Post-Game Notes: Jacksonville State
Connor Cook's .923 completion percentage ties for the 10th best in Big Ten single-game history.
Michigan State opened its 118th football season with a 45-7 victory over Jacksonville State. MSU is now 79-36-3 (.682) in season openers, including a 14-2 record (.875) in its last 16 games.
Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio has compiled a 9-2 record (.818) in 11 season-opening games. Dantonio is 7-1 in season-opening games at MSU, with a 55-18 victory over UAB in his Spartan debut in 2007, a 38-31 loss at California in 2008, a 44-3 win over Montana State in 2009, a 38-14 victory over Western Michigan in 2010, a 28-6 win over Youngstown State in 2011, a 17-13 victory over No. 24 Boise State in 2012, a 26-13 win over Western Michigan in 2013 and a 45-7 victory over Jacksonville State in 2014.
In its 118-year football history, Michigan State is 97-21 (.822) in home openers, including a 16-game winning streak that began in 1999. The Spartans have won 18 of their last 19 home openers, with the only setback coming to Colorado State, 23-16, in the 1998 Black Coaches Association Classic. Dantonio is 8-0 in home openers at MSU.
Friday's game marked just the fifth time in school history that MSU has played an opponent from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). The Spartans defeated Montana State, 44-3, in the 2009 season opener; Northern Colorado, 45-7, in Week 4 of the 2010 campaign; Youngstown State, 28-6, in the 2011 season opener; and Youngstown State, 55-17 in Week 3 of the 2013 season. Michigan State has outscored its FCS opponents, 217-40 (average score of 43-8), in the five meetings.
Friday's Michigan State-Jacksonville State game marked just the 15th night game in the 91-year history of Spartan Stadium. The Spartans are now 10-5 in prime-time TV appearances in Spartan Stadium, including wins in six of their last seven night games at home. MSU is 5-0 in season-opening night games at Spartan Stadium, while Dantonio is 7-2 in night games at Spartan Stadium.
Michigan State has compiled a 49-18 record (.731) in games played against non-conference opponents since 1999. Mark Dantonio is 26-10 (.722) against non-conference opponents, including a 20-2 record (.909) in Spartan Stadium. Overall, the Spartans have won 32 of their last 43 non-league games (.744).
Michigan State extended its current winning streak to 11 games - the fourth-longest streak in program history. The Spartans have won 43 of their last 55 games (.782), dating back to the beginning of the 2010 season.
Under Dantonio, Michigan State has produced a 39-11 record (.780) in home games, including a 15-game winning streak (7-0 in 2010, 7-0 in 2011, won first game in 2012). The Spartans have won 24 of their last 29 home games, including eight straight.
Junior quarterback Connor Cook recorded his ninth career 200-yard passing game, completing 12-of-13 (.923) first-half throws for 285 yards and three touchdowns against Jacksonville State. Cook's first incompletion came on his 10th pass attempt with 5:24 left in the second quarter. He opened the game 9-for-9 passing for 257 yards and three scores. His .923 completion percentage ties for the 10th best in Big Ten single-game history.
In his last three games, Cook has thrown for 921 yards (307.0 per game), eight TDs and two interceptions.
Fifth-year senior Tony Lippett recorded his first career 100-yard receiving game, with four receptions for 167 yards (41.8 avg.) and a career-best two touchdowns against Jacksonville State. In a span of 94 seconds in the first quarter, Lippett scored on plays of 64 and 71 yards from Cook.
In his last two games, Lippett has nine catches for 261 yards (29.0 avg.) and three TDs.
Fifth-year senior Nick Hill scored a career-best two rushing touchdowns against Jacksonville State. Hill scored on runs of 17 and 8 yards in the second quarter. He had produced two rushing TDs in his first 40 career games.
Sophomore tight end Josiah Price set career highs for receptions (3 for the fourth time) and receiving yards (54) against Jacksonville State.
Junior AJ Troup had three catches for 38 yards against Jacksonville State. His first career reception - a 17-yard grab from Cook with 3:35 left in the first quarter - resulted in a touchdown.
Sophomore Tyler O'Connor scored his first career rushing touchdown on a 3-yard keeper with 2:18 remaining in the third quarter against Jacksonville State. O'Connor managed Michigan State's only scoring drive of the second half (9 plays, 81 yards).
Michigan State improved to 21-3 (.875) when gaining more than 200 rushing yards under Dantonio. The Spartans rushed 50 times for 211 yards and three scores in the 2014 season opener against Jacksonville State.
In his first career start, linebacker Darien Harris matched his career high with five tackles against Jacksonville State. Harris also recorded five stops in MSU's 24-20 win over Stanford in the 100th Rose Bowl Game.
In his first career start, cornerback Darian Hicks recorded his first career interception against Jacksonville State.
Fifth-year senior free safety Kurtis Drummond tallied his ninth career interception against Jacksonville State.
The Spartans have held 11 of their last 15 opponents below 100 yards rushing. Jacksonville State managed just 22 yards rushing on 25 attempts (0.9 yards per carry). Since 2011, Michigan State has held 26 opponents under 100 rushing yards (seven in 2011; eight in 2012; 10 in 2013; and one in 2014). In 94 games under Dantonio, MSU has held its opponents under 100 yards rushing 46 times (49 percent).
Michigan State's defense recorded seven tackles for loss (51 yards), including five sacks (49 yards), and three interceptions against Jacksonville State. The Spartans have forced at least one turnover in 75 of the last 94 games (80 percent).
Sophomore Michael Geiger converted 1-of-2 field-goal attempts against Jacksonville State, hitting a 35-yarder as time expired in the first half. Geiger's streak of consecutive made field goals ended at 13, as his 41-yard attempt sailed wide left in the first quarter.