Post-Game Notes: Nebraska
Nov. 17, 2013
With the 41-28 win over Nebraska, Michigan State clinched a share of the Big Ten Legends Division title . . . MSU can earn a trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game on Dec. 7 with at least one win in its next two games (at Northwestern, vs. Minnesota), or one more loss by Minnesota (at Wisconsin, at Michigan State) . . . the Spartans won the inaugural Big Ten Legends Division title outright in 2011 with a 7-1 record.
The 2013 senior class won its 38th game since 2010 (38-12) to become the winningest senior class in the 117-year history of Michigan State football . . . the class of 2011 games won 37 games from 2008-11.
For the first time in eight meetings, the Spartans defeated Nebraska . . . the Huskers lead the all-time series 7-1, including a 4-1 record in Lincoln . . . the 41 points are the most by a Spartan team against Nebraska in series history.
Michigan State forced five Nebraska turnovers, the most caused by the Spartans in the Coach Mark Dantonio era (fumble recovery by Shilique Calhoun in first quarter; interception by Kurtis Drummond in first quarter; fumble recovery by Taybor Pepper in first quarter; fumble recovery by Isaiah Lewis in second quarter; fumble recovery by Trae Waynes in fifth quarter) . . . MSU converted those five turnovers into 24 points.
Jeremy Langford produced career highs in carries (32) and rushing yards (151) . . . he scored three touchdowns, including a 37-yarder in the fourth quarter, and now has 13 rushing TDs this season . . . Langford has rushed for more than 100 yards in five straight games; it's the first time a Spartan has rushed for more than 100 yards in five consecutive games since Blake Ezor in 1989 . . . Langford also had a career-high 174 all-purpose yards, as he had four catches for 23 yards . . . Langford's 151 rushing yards marked the second most by a Spartan against Nebraska (record: 188 yards by Le'Veon Bell in 2012).
Tony Lippett recorded a career-high 67 receiving yards on four catches (16.8 avg.) . . . Lippett's 67 receiving yards are the most ever by a Spartan receiver against Nebraska.
Connor Cook completed 15-of-31 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown . . . he is the first Spartan quarterback to win eight of his first nine games as the starting quarterback since Jimmy Raye in 1966 (9-0-1).
Nebraska rushed for 182 yards, becoming the first Spartan opponent to rush for more than 100 yards this season; however, the Huskers, who were ranked No. 14 in the FBS in rushing entering the game, were held below their season average (246.8 ypg).
Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah rushed for 123 yards on 22 carries, the most by a player against Michigan State this season (previous: Marcus Shaw, South Florida, 94 yards) . . . Abdullah is the first player to rush for more than 100 yards against MSU since Taylor Martinez (Nebraska) ran for 205 last season.
Nebraska's 28 points equal the most Michigan State has allowed this season (Indiana) and it marks just the second time MSU has allowed a team to score more than 17 points in 2013 . . . the Cornhuskers collected 392 yards of total offense, the most MSU has given up since last year's Nebraska game on Nov. 3, when NU had 473 yards of total offense; the Huskers entered the game averaging 446.0 yards per game.
Nebraska scored a touchdown on a 32-yard pass from Tommy Armstrong to Sam Burtch with 2:44 left in the first quarter; it marked the first touchdown the Spartans had allowed since Indiana scored a TD in the fourth quarter on Oct. 12.
Mike Sadler placed four of his seven punts inside the 10 . . . he has placed 35 percent of his punts (19 of 54) inside the 10 this season . . . the 19 punts inside the 10 lead the FBS . . . Sadler also ran for a 3-yard gain on a fake field goal in the fourth quarter; with MSU leading 27-21, Michael Geiger lined up to attempt a 45-yard field goal, but Sadler got the first down on the fake, his second rushing first down of the season (26-yard rush on fake punt at Iowa on Oct. 5) . . . three plays later, Connor Cook hit Keith Mumphery for a 27-yard touchdown pass that put MSU up 34-21 with 7:56 left in the game.
Michigan State converted 11 of its 21 third-down conversions (.524); entering the game, Nebraska ranked third in the FBS in opponent third-down conversions (.271).
Michigan State snapped Nebraska's seven-game home Big Ten winning streak; the Huskers are now 9-2 at home in Big Ten games, with the only other loss coming to Northwestern in 2011.
MSU held Nebraska's leading wide receiver, Quincy Enunwa, without a reception for the first time all season . . . Enunwa entered the game with 41 catches for 536 yards and eight TDs.
Michael Geiger connected on both of his field-goal attempts (45 yards, 25 yards) . . . he is now 11-of-12 in field goals this season, and he's made his last nine in a row.
Kurtis Drummond tied his career high with 10 tackles; he also had 10 tackles against Nebraska last season . . . Drummond also recorded an interception, his second of the season and sixth of his career.
Michigan State held a 38:37-21:23 advantage in time of possession; MSU entered the game No. 2 in the FBS in time of possession (34:32 per game). Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 44-8 (.846) when leading in time of possession, including a 31-5 record (.861) since 2010.
The Spartans are off to their best 10-game start since 2010, when they also began the season 9-1. In seasons where MSU has played at least 10 games, this marks just the sixth time in program history the Spartans have won at least nine of their first 10 games (1953, 1955, 1965, 1966, 2010, 2013).
A trademark of Mark Dantonio's Michigan State teams has been their ability to produce wins late in the regular season. Under Dantonio, Michigan State has compiled a 16-5 record (.762) in November. His teams have won 10 of the last 12 games in November (3-0 in 2010; 4-0 in 2011; 1-2 in 2012, 2-0 in 2013). In addition, Michigan State is 18-9 (.667) in Big Ten road games under Dantonio, including a 12-3 record (.800) since 2010. MSU is 3-0 in conference road games this season (wins at Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska).
The Spartans have won 38 of their last 50 games (.760), dating back to the beginning of the 2010 season. The 38 wins are tied for most in the Big Ten during that same time period. In addition, MSU has recorded 33 Big Ten victories since 2008, the most of any team in the conference (Note: Ohio State has won 38 games, but had to vacate seven victories following the 2010 season.).
Michigan State's current six-game winning streak is tied for the second longest under head coach Mark Dantonio (eight in 2010; six in 2008).
Michigan State improved to 6-0 in the Big Ten for just the third time in program history (1965, 1966) . . . MSU's six-game conference winning streak ties for the fourth longest in school history and is the longest since MSU won seven straight spanning the 1988-89 seasons.
Mark Dantonio now has four nine-win seasons at Michigan State, the most by any coach in school history (9 in 2008, 11 in 2010, 11 in 2011) . . . "Biggie" Munn (1951, 1952, 1953) and Duffy Daugherty (1955, 1965, 1966) each had three nine-win seasons at MSU.
Senior wide receiver Bennie Fowler served as MSU's fourth game captain.
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