MSU Spartans
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1996 Notes

1996-97 Final Statistics
1996-97 Superlatives
1996 Single-Game Superlatives
1996 Honors and Awards
1996 Final Statistics
Game-by-Game Final Statistics
1996 Big Ten Statistics
1996 In Review
1996 Top Season Averages
1996 MSU Single-Game Superlatives

More Season Notes:

Letterwinners --
Forty-eight members of the 1996 Michigan State football team earned letters:
Seniors (12): C Matt Beard, WR Nigea Carter, LB Reggie Garnett, RB Duane Goulbourne, CB Aldi Henry, LB Jason Krueger, WR Derrick Mason, OG Brian Mosallam, TE Elroy Reese, DE Delrico Simons, DT Chris Smith, SS Marvin Wright.
Juniors (14): OT Flozell Adams, DB Archer Collins, PK Chris Gardner, LB Tyrone Garland, FS Dan Hackenbracht, CB Ray Hill, WR Damien Hiram, TE Josh Keur, WR Octavis Long, OT Dave Mudge, FB Travis Reece, LB Ike Reese, QB Todd Schultz, OG Scott Shaw.
Sophomores (10): CB Amp Campbell, SS Scott Ernsberger, FB Garett Gould, LB Dwayne Hawkins, FS Sorie Kanu, DE Courtney Ledyard, SS Lemar Marshall, QB Gus Ornstein, DT Desmond Thomas, DE Dimitrius Underwood.
Freshmen (12): LB Mike Austin, QB Bill Burke, P Paul Edinger, DE Pete Govens, RB Sedrick Irvin, OT Casey Jensen, WR Gari Scott, SS Shawn Wright, C Mike Neal.

NCAA Stat Leaders --
Here's a glance at how Michigan State ranked among the NCAA stat leaders in 1995 (bowl games not included):

Team Statistics
Rushing Offense:30th at 187.9 yards per game
Passing Offense:38th at 228.1 yards per game
Total Offense:28th at 416.0 yards per game
Scoring Offense: 19th at 32.5 points per game
Rushing Defense: 22nd at 116.7 yards per game
Pass Efficiency Defense: 63rd at 123.0 rating
Total Defense: 19th at 301.3 yards per game
Scoring Defense: 53rd at 24.0 points per game
Turnover Margin: t-90th at -0.73 turnovers per game
Net Punting: 93rd at 33.3 yards per punt
Punt Returns: 34th at 11.1 yards per return
Kickoff Returns: 110th at 16.3 yards per return

Individual Statistics
Rushing: Sedrick Irvin (39th at 94.2 ypg)
Receiving Yards: Derrick Mason (t-38th at 74.7 ypg)
Punting: Paul Edinger (48th at 40.9 avg.)
Punt Returns: Derrick Mason (41st at 9.8 avg.)
Field Goals: Chris Gardner (9th at 1.55 mpg)
Scoring:Sedrick Irvin (t-8th at 9.82 ppg); Chris Gardner (t-31st at 7.82 ppg)
All-Purpose Yards: Derrick Mason (23rd at 143.6 ypg); Sedrick Irvin (t-43rd at 130.1 ypg)

"Red Zone" Update --
Michigan State scored on 41 of its 48 possessions (.854) that penetrated the opponent's 20-yard line in 1996. The Spartans' scoring drives produced 31 touchdowns and 10 field goals. Michigan State scored on 16 of its last 17 possessions inside the 20. Here's a look at MSU's trips inside the "Red Zone" in '96:

Opponent          "Red Zone" Results 
Purdue              6-6 (5 TDs, FG) 
@Nebraska           2-2 (2 TDs)
Louisville          3-4 (TD, 2 FGs, missed FG) 
Eastern Michigan    3-4 (3 TDs, missed FG) 
@Iowa               2-3 (2 TDs, interception) 
Illinois            5-7 (5 TDs, 2 fumbles)
@Minnesota          4-5 (2 TDs, 2 FGs, time expired) 
Wisconsin           3-3 (TD, 2 FGs)
@Michigan           5-5 (4 TDs, FG) 
Indiana             6-6 (5 TDs, FG) 
@Penn State         2-3 (TD, FG, missed FG) 
Stanford (Sun Bowl) 0-0

Spartans Tough Against Run --
Michigan State ranked among the NCAA leaders in both total defense (19th at 301.3 yards per game) and rushing defense (22nd at 116.7). State held five of its 11 regular-season opponents under 100 yards rushing. The Spartans posted some impressive numbers against some of the nation's top running teams. Michigan State played against four teams which finished ranked among the NCAA's top 40 in rushing offense. Here's how the Spartans fared against those teams:

NCAA           Season Rush    
Rank   Team       Avg.     vs. MSU
 4.  Nebraska    291.9      184 
12.  Wisconsin   241.1      137 
25.  Penn State  203.3      179 
38.  Iowa        176.1      138

Irvin Posts Impressive Frosh Numbers --
Sedrick Irvin set Michigan State freshman single-season records for rushing yards (1,067) and touchdowns (18). Irvin had five 100-yard rushing games, including a season-high 158 yards vs. Indiana (33 attempts). He ranked fourth among the NCAA's top freshman rushers (yards per game). Here's a look at the top freshman rushers in Division I-A last season (bowl games included):

NCAA Rk.  Player, Team          G   Att.    Yds.   Avg. TD    YPG 
   4.     Ron Dayne, Wis.      13   325    2109    6.5  21  162.2 
  22.     Demond Parker, Okla. 11   180    1184    6.6  10  107.6 
  35.     Amos Zereoue, WVU    11   222    1035    4.7   9   94.1 
  39.     Sedrick Irvin, MSU   12   237    1067    4.5  16   88.9 
  56.     Thomas Hamner, Minn. 11   195     883    4.5   3   80.3

Scoreboard Operator Gets A Workout --
Michigan State averaged 29.8 points per game in 1996 -- its best season scoring average since 1978 (37.4 ppg). The Spartans produced 44 touchdowns last year, eight more TDs than the team managed in '95. Here's a look at Michigan State's scoring production over the last 20 seasons:

                     Scoring  
Year    TDs    PTS    Avg. 
1996    44     358    29.8 
1995    36     287    23.9 
1994    34     280    25.5 
1993    35     277    23.1 
1992    29     238    21.6 
1991    18     162    14.7 
1990    39     312    26.0 
1989    47     356    29.7 
1988    29     269    22.4 
1987    30     261    21.8
1986    36     285    25.9 
1985    35     258    21.5 
1984    24     193    16.1 
1983    19     162    14.7 
1982    23     202    18.3 
1981    31     263    23.9 
1980    27     221    20.1 
1979    29     240    21.8 
1978    56     411    37.4 
1977    30     260    23.6

Spartan Trends Under Saban --
Here's how Michigan State has fared during Nick Saban's tenure (1995-96):

Games played in Spartan Stadium: 8-4
Games played on the road/neutral site: 4-7-1
When leading at halftime: 11-5
When trailing at halftime: 1-5-1
When scoring first: 9-3-1
When opponent scores first: 3-8
When leading after first quarter: 9-1-1
When trailing after first quarter: 2-5
When tied after first quarter: 1-5
When leading after three quarters: 11-0-1
When trailing after three quarters: 1-9
When tied after three quarters: 0-2
When gaining more first downs than opponent: 9-3
When gaining fewer first downs than opponent: 3-6-1
When gaining same number of first downs as opponent: 0-2
When gaining 200+ yards rushing: 9-2-1
When opponent gains 200+ yards rushing: 2-5-1
When outrushing opponent: 10-4-1
When being outrushed by opponent: 2-7
When gaining 200+ yards passing: 7-8-1
When opponent gains 200+ yards passing: 2-7-1
When gaining more total yards than opponent: 11-4
When gaining fewer total yards than opponent: 1-7-1
When leading in time of possession: 9-7-1
When trailing in time of possession: 3-4

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