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.