Friday, June 5, 2020

Michigan State to play Wake Forest in the Pinstripe Bowl

December 8, 2019
Redshirt freshman running back Elijah Collins (24) stiff arms a defender during the game against Illinois Nov. 9, 2019 at Spartan Stadium.
Redshirt freshman running back Elijah Collins (24) stiff arms a defender during the game against Illinois Nov. 9, 2019 at Spartan Stadium. —
Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

Michigan State football will have to do a little more traveling than initially thought. 

The Spartans were picked to play its 12th bowl game during Mark Dantonio's tenure in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Wake Forest on Dec. 27 (3:20 p.m., ESPN), according to Stadium's Brett McMurphy. 



After its loss Saturday night to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship, Wisconsin was selected to play in the Rose Bowl. Penn State was picked to play Memphis in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl which pushed Michigan State up to New York and left the Detroit-hosted Quick Lane Bowl without a Big Ten team to fill a slot. 

The Spartans rebounded after a 5-game losing streak to win their final two games against Rutgers and Maryland to avoid their first missed postseason since 2016. 

"I'll be excited where we'll go," Dantonio said following the Spartans' 19-16 win against the Terrapins. "Every bowl experience we've had, every single bowl experience we've had has been a tremendous experience for our players, really for our fans, the ones that are there and for our football program and team. They have all been positive experiences and they've all helped us get better. At the end of the day, we need to continue to work toward getting better."

This will be MSU's first-ever matchup against the Demon Deacons (8-4, 4-4 ACC). Michigan State, who hasn't played in a northern bowl game since the 1984 Cherry Bowl, has lost two of its last three postseason games, including last year's RedBox Bowl against Oregon. 

"We're excited about representing the Big Ten in the Pinstripe Bowl against a high-quality ACC opponent in Wake Forest,” Dantonio said in a statement Sunday afternoon. “Playing in New York for a bowl game will be a new experience for our program, and it will be a really festive atmosphere to be right in the city during the holiday season."

Added Michigan State Athletic Director Bill Beekman: "We’re looking forward to the opportunity of playing in a bowl game in New York City for the first time in school history. Michigan State has a great alumni base on the East Coast and playing in Yankee Stadium presents fans with a unique experience to watch Spartan football. We’ve heard the Pinstripe Bowl does a tremendous job putting on a great bowl experience for the student-athletes.”

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