A look at five key Cougars ahead of the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 28. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press

Nov 25, 2017; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Michigan State running backs Connor Heyward (11) and LJ Scott (3) celebrate a touchdown against Rutgers in the first half at High Point Solutions Stadium.(Photo: Noah K. Murray, USA TODAY Sports)

EAST LANSING — It was back to practice for Michigan State in preparation for the Holiday Bowl.

The 19th-ranked Spartans’ sting of not going to the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla.— and being snubbed in favor of Michigan — is starting to disappear. It’s quickly been replaced by an eagerness to get to San Diego and face No. 21 Washington State.

“It was maybe a little mixed (emotions) because I wasn’t too disappointed by the bowl game, I knew both were very prestigious and both were very fun ones,” sophomore quarterback Brian Lewerke said Friday after the Spartans resumed practice. “It was kind of the fact that the other team that we beat got into the one that we kind of wanted to get in. That was just the biggest thing.”

The Spartans (9-3) will face the Cougars (9-3) at 9 p.m. ET on Dec. 28 at San Diego County Credit Union Stadium (ESPN). It’s the Spartans’ first bowl game since losing to eventual national champion Alabama in the 2015 College Football Playoff semifinal in Arlington, Texas, almost two years ago.

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