Published January 28, 2012
MOBILE, Ala. – Michigan State's Kirk Cousins and Wisconsin's Russell Wilson threw touchdown passes to lead the North to a 23-13 victory over the South in the Senior Bowl on Saturday.
Purdue kicker Carson Wiggs put it away with his third short field goal, a 28-yarder with 4:11 left in the showcase for senior NFL prospects.
Boise State's Kellen Moore led that clinching 13-play drive that consumed 8:36 with the help of a running clock.
It snuffed out a spark provided by South quarterback Nick Foles of Arizona, who started his career with Cousins at Michigan State.
Foles had gotten the South into the end zone by firing a 20-yard touchdown pass to Arizona teammate Juron Criner with 12:55 left in the game.
It was an up-and-down day for a crew of quarterbacks with sparkling college credentials, with a combined five interceptions.
Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead had a big day for the North. He set a Senior Bowl record in the first half with 98 yards on two late punt returns, and was named the MVP. Pead also rushed for a team-high 31 yards on eight carries.
Cousins completed 5 of 11 passes for 115 yards but threw an interception. Moore, who won an college-record 50 games as a starting quarterback, was 6-of-12 passing for 50 yards, and had a 23-yarder to set up the final field goal that put the North up two scores.
Wilson completed 4 of 7 passes for 45 yards with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Marvin Jones in the second quarter. He also threw an interception.
Arkansas receiver Joe Adams, the South's Most Outstanding Player, had six catches for 116 yards after losing a fumble on the opening drive. He had a 36-yarder and a 29-yarder in the third quarter.
Criner gained 77 yards on six catches.
Linebacker Bobby Wagner of Utah State had seven tackles and an interception and was the North's Most Outstanding Player.
Wiggs made kicks of 27, 32 and 28 yards while missing a 37-yarder in the final minutes.
Foles almost got the South back in it earlier, but his fourth-down pass from the 13 was incomplete with 3:59 left in the third quarter.
He had the best stat line of the six quarterbacks. Foles was 11-of-15 passing for 136 yards and the TD, and was the only South quarterback who wasn't picked off.
San Diego State's Ryan Lindley was 10 of 21 for 103 yards and also was intercepted once. Oklahoma State's 28-year-old Brandon Weeden started for the South but was picked off twice on nine attempts, completing five passes for 56 yards.
Cousins put the North ahead 20-6 early in the second half with a 41-yard touchdown pass to Arizona State's Gerell Robinson. The 6-foot-3, 223-pound Robinson caught it coming across the middle and raced down the right sideline.
It was the second time on the drive Cousins had thrown for a nice gain on third down, hitting T.J. Graham (North Carolina State) for 22 yards earlier.
The North's Kendall Reyes of Connecticut had two sacks.