Oct 26, 1996

Irvin's Two Touchdowns Help Spartans Humble Badgers

EAST LANSING, Mich.--Sedrick Irvin ran for 125 yards and scored twice, setting a school record for freshman rushing yardage as Michigan State knocked off Wisconsin, 30-13, in the Big 10 Conference.

Todd Schultz was 18-of-25 for 269 yards and two TDs for the Spartans (5-3, 4-1 Big 10), who have won three straight games and remain in the hunt for the conference title.

Mike Samuel was 15-of-28 for 153 yards and ran for a score for the Badgers (3-4, 0-4), who had lost three in a row to ranked Big 10 foes by a combined 10 points.

Irvin had 17 carries, including an eight-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter that capped the scoring. He caught a 25-yard TD pass from Schultz with 1:06 remaining in the second quarter that gave Michigan State a 20-10 lead.

Irvin boosted his season total to 734 yards, surpassing the MSU freshman record of 616 set by Lorenzo White.

Schultz hit Duane Goulbourne with a 26-yard scoring pass midway through the first quarter. The teams traded field goals before Samuel's 12-yard run tied it with 6:47 left in the half.

But Chris Gardner kicked a 43-yard field goal with 4:37 to go and Irvin's TD catch gave the Spartans a 10-point lead. John Hall kicked a 51-yard field goal for Wisconsin with 10 seconds left before halftime.

Gardner's third field goal, a 26-yarder midway through the third quarter, gave MSU a 23-13 lead. Irvin's TD run sealed it as the Badgers were held scoreless in the second half.

Ron Dayne had 81 yards on 15 rushes for the Badgers, who were outgained 471-290. Michigan State has not allowed a 100-yard rusher this season.

Quotes From The Players

MSU QB Todd Schultz "Each week I try to get better and better. My (surgically repaired) knee feels good, the line is giving me protection, and we're starting to open up the offense.

"The thing about our offense right now is that we're keeping everyone off balance. They never knew if we were going to run or throw.

"We needed somebody to step up and help out Derrick Mason. Octavis did a little of everything for us today.

(On the Michigan game) "Right now, we're playing really good ball. They should be a little worried about us."

MSU RB Sedrick Irvin "With the way the offensive line is playing, I could probably get 1,500 yards. The offensive line has just been great for the last four or five weeks.They've bade everything possible for myself, Todd (Schultz), Derrick (Mason) and everyone else.

"The way the offensive line has been playing, I think it's possible for both me and Duane (Goulbourne) to get 1,000 yards. I think our guys ought to be up for the Heisman like that Ohio State guy is."

(On his move to WR at times during the game) "I'm just here to help the team out. I'll do whatever they ask and play wherever they put me."

(On why he writes 'Jesus Christ' on his wristbands) "To thee old Lord I lift up my soul. My God in thee I trust. Let me not be ashamed and let not my enemies triumph over me. God gave me the power and the strength to my right hand. So on my right hand I always put 'Jesus' or 'God' here,"

(About the MSU vs. UM rivalry) "Ask me about Florida-Florida State or Florida State-Miami, and I can tell you about it. Right now, all I can tell you about Michigan is it's another game we've got to win."

(About the Michigan game) "Michigan is worried about us. This is like playing Western Michigan. No difference. We've got to win. Coach Saban told us there was a sign in the Michigan locker room (at the beginning of the season) that said 57 days to Michigan State! All I can say is we'll be there."

MSU WR Octavis Long (On starting vs. Wisconsin) "I wasn't nervous. I was anxious. I had the confidence. The only difference was I knew I'd get more reps.

"But I was anxious to get out there and show the coaches I could handle that too.

"When I watched the film and saw all the off-man they played, my eyes sort of lit up. If you give Todd the underneath stuff, he's just going to pick you apart. He's so patient."

(On playing only special teams for two years and being redshirted one year) "I never want to go through that again. But it has made me treat every play like it's my last one.

"I'm determined to make something happen every time I touch the football. The wait has been worth it. It's something else to just be playing in this stadium. I can remember when I was a little kid running around the upper deck here."

MSU WR Derrick Mason "I went to our church service today, and the preacher said, 'Today's word is patience.' I think we showed a lot of patience today, especially Todd (Schultz.)

"Todd has been very patient with all that has happened. And I think he became a smarter passer by sitting out and watching those games."

(On the Michigan game) "The guys are high, they have a lot of energy. The team we have this year, I think they have more focus than previous teams had when we went into to play Michigan or anybody else and I think they have more character on the team."

MSU OL Brian Mosallam (On MSU QB Todd Schultz) "You have to wonder. The guy has started, what six or seven games in his life? You wonder where he gets the poise and confidence. But it just oozes out of him."

(On Wisconsin's defense) "When we looked across the line, they had that look. We could tell they gave up. They were getting tired, and I think we wore them down."

(On MSU's improvement) "I think Coach Saban has done a good job teaching us how to handle adversity. We're maturing."

(On the Michigan game) "I grew up the biggest Michigan fan in the world. ... But it just so happened that I wasn't tops on their list. So I came here, and it was the greatest move I made.

"As much as I liked them, I dislike them now even more."

MSU LB Ike Reese "I think we're starting to jell and come together as a team right now.

"We knew they were going to come out hard. They were going to go as hard as they could for the first half. But when you lose three games like they did, you start second-guessing yourself. It's hard to stay in every game and fight like that.

"We knew if we kept a foot on them, they would give up. And I think, in the second half, they did just that.

"They had the size. We had the quickness. Speed kills any time."

(On overcoming Wisconsin's lone interception) "If that had happened earlier in the year, we would have had a problem with it But we've learned. We know how to handle a situation like that one. We knew there was no way their defense was going to stop our offense. We told the offense not to worry, that we've get the ball right back."

MSU DL Chris Smith "We reached down deep, and I think we started to wear on them.

"Underwood (two sacks) played the best game of his life. The young guys are stepping up for us."

(On his third blocked FG in the last four games) "I think I must have a magnet for leather or something. Newkirk and I both got our hands up and it just happened to hit mine. It didn't feel too good, but I'll take it. Yeah, this one was a little different. I caught this kick directly on the palm of my hand. And you know how hard that kicker kicks."

Wisconsin QB Mike Samuel "I thought we had some good pressure from them, but we didn't expect that to happen. I didn't really get hurt, but they were a physical team, that's for sure."

Wisconsin LB David Lysek "I don't know. I think this game hurt more because we really expected to win this game. We expected to handle this team."

Michigan State vs. Wisconsin Postgame Coverage

Quotes From Msu Head Coach Nick Saban
It was a good win today. Beats the hell out of losing I can tell you that. The offense did even better than what we anticipated they could do in terms of the ability to run the football against a very good defensive team, the best defense I think against the run in the Big Ten.

We made some big plays passing the ball. Octavis (Long) and Mace (Derek Mason) both had big days. Sedrick (Irvin) was outstanding with his running and so was Goldie (Goulbourne) really. The offensive line obviously did a very good job for us to have that much success. Todd (Schultz) 18 for 24 was an outstanding performance.

I don't think it was one of our best first halfs on defense. They ran the ball effectively. They gave us a lot of formations that made it difficult for us to utilize our quickness but we made some adjustments and played more aggressively in the second half.

We've put ourselves in a position now that each game that we play is more and more important and obviously the game coming up this week will be very important. (Defensively) We set the edges and played more eight-man fronts and I think that helped us a little bit. We forced the ball back inside.

I'm pleased with the consistency that we've played with. We've shown maturity to this point. I would expect us to continue to do that.

Michigan State vs. Wisconsin Postgame Coverage

Quotes From Wisconsin Coach Barry Alvarez
I thought MSU played a very good game. They outphysicaled us. Our kids did a good job in the kicking game.

(On having a emotional hangover from last week's game)- I would guess that had something to do with it.

(On MSU's ranking)- They execute as well as anyone. They protect Schultz, defensively they present a lot of problems. I think they are a really good team. They execute offensively better than we execute defensively.

(On MSU's Defense)- They were what I expected. We had seen most of it before. I wasn't surprised by anything.

We couldn't get any push on their protection. We wanted to, but we just couldn't do it.

(On the Big 10) - Our guys put a lot of effort into the first three games and then we came up here and got beat soundly.

Wisconsin             0 13  0  0  13 
Michigan St           7 13  3  7  30  
 Michigan St-Goulbourne 26 pass from Schultz (Gardner kick)
 Wisconsin-FG Hall 37
 Michigan St-FG Gardner 34
 Wisconsin-Samuel 12 run (Hall kick)
 Michigan St-FG Gardner 43
 Michigan St-Irvin 25 pass from Schultz (Gardner kick)
 Wisconsin-FG Hall 51
 Michigan St-FG Gardner 26
 Michigan St-Irvin 8 run (Gardner kick)
                      Wisconsin Michigan St 
First downs                  18          23 
Rushed-yards             37-137      47-202 
Passing yards               153         269 
Sacked-yards lost          2-15         1-5 
Return yards                 17          35 
Passes                  15-28-0     18-25-1 
Punts                    7-42.3      3-49.3 
Fumbles-lost                1-0         1-0 
Penalties-yards            5-30        6-49 
Time of possession        28:06       31:54 

Individual Statistics
RUSHING: Wisconsin-Dayne 15-81, Mccullough 10-42, Stecker 2-9, Samuel 10-5. Michigan St-Irvin 17-125, Goulbourne 19-68, Gould 2-7, Crenshaw 5-6, Schultz 4-minus 4.

PASSING: Wisconsin-Samuel 15-28-0-153. Michigan St-Schultz 18-25-1-269.

RECEIVING: Wisconsin-Hayes 5-79, Lyles 3-19, Simmons 3-18, Martin 2-16, Dayne 1-13, Merritt 1-8. Michigan St-D Mason 6-108, Long 5-94, Goulbourne 3-35, Irvin 3-26, Keur 1-6.

Att: 59,217

Michigan State vs. Wisconsin Game Notes

GAME CAPTAINS FOR MICHIGAN STATE:
Ike Reese, Matt Beard, Derrick Mason
FOR WISCONSIN:
Daryl Carter, Tarek, Saleh, Cayetano Castro, Jerry Wunsch

ATTENDANCE 69,217

SERIES
Today's 30-13 win over The Badgers gives the Spartans a 24-15 advantage in the all-time series vs. Wisconsin.

NOTES
MSU freshman tailback Sedrick Irvin rushed for 125 yards and one TD in 17 carries this afternoon, his fourth game of 100-plus yards on the ground this year ... Irvin established a school record for freshman rushing yards in a season today, bettering the previous mark of 616 yards held by Lorenzo White (l984) ... Irvin, who entered today's action with 609 yards on the ground, now has 734 rushing yards...Irvin notched his 12th TD this year (eight run in the 4th quarter) and his dozen six pointers put him in an eighth-place tie with Clint Jones (1965), Sonny Grandelius (1950), and Lynn Chandnois (1948) on the school's seasonal chart ... Sedrick has scored at least one TD in his last five contests.

MSU senior TB Duane Goulbourne's 26-yard TD reception in the first quarter was his first career TD grab of his career ... Goulbourne has 22 career TDs, 13th on MSU's all-time chart, 21 on the ground and now one through a reception MSU totaled 202 yards on the ground this afternoon, the fifth straight game in which the Spartans had reached or surpassed that mark. It is the longest streak of rushing for 200 or more yards by a Spartan team since 1990 (nine straight games). Under Nick Saban, MSU is 8-1-1 when rushing for 200 or more yards.

MSU senior WR Derrick Mason hauled in six receptions for 108 yards this afternoon, his third straight game and fourth of the year of 100 or more receiving yards. It represented Mason's sixth career contest of 100 or more receiving yards and raised his career mark to 1,610 yards, ninth on MSU's career chart ... Mason also moved into 11th place on MSU's career reception chart with 99 (he passed Mark Ingram's total of 95 today).

Michigan State held the Badgers scoreless in the second half, the second time this year that the Spartans had blanked their opponent over the final 30 minutes of action, The last time MSU blanked a Big Ten opponent in the second half was on Oct. 1, 1994, vs. Wisconsin at East Lansing.

MSU wide reciever Octavis Long established season/personal bests in receptions (6) and reception yardage (94 yds,) this afternoon.

MSU junior placekicker Chris Gardner tied his career high for field goals in a game with three this afternoon (34, 43, 26 yds.)