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Thorne leads No. 11 Spartans past No. 13 Pitt in Peach Bowl

Peach Bowl Football
Posted at 11:00 PM, Dec 30, 2021

ATLANTA (AP) — Payton Thorne’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Jayden Reed gave No. 11 Michigan State the lead with less than three minutes remaining and the Spartans overcame an 11-point deficit to beat No. 13 Pittsburgh 31-21 on Thursday night in the Peach Bowl.

Linebacker Cal Haladay’s 78-yard interception return for a touchdown with 22 seconds remaining ended Pitt fill-in quarterback Davis Beville’s bid for a last-minute comeback in the game the Panthers played without start QB Kenny Pickett.

Thorne threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes as Michigan State (11-2) rallied after trailing 21-10. Cam Bright returned a fumble recovery 26 yards for a touchdown 20 seconds into the second half for Pittsburgh (11-3).

The Panthers lost fill-in starting quarterback Nick Patti to an injury in the first quarter.