Post-Game Notes: Rutgers
With the 40-7 win over Rutgers, Michigan State finished the regular season 9-3 overall (7-2 Big Ten). . . 11th-year head coach Mark Dantonio won his 99th game at Michigan State . . . he improved to 99-45 overall and 60-30 in Big Ten games.
The Spartans lead the overall series against Rutgers, 6-3, including a 4-0 mark in Big Ten play . . . MSU is 3-1 in games played in Piscataway.
In its 121-year football history, Michigan State has won at least nine games in a season 16 times, including a record seven under Dantonio (2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017) . . . MSU won its ninth game in the regular season for the 13th time (the Spartans claimed Rose Bowl wins during the 1953, 1955 and 1987 seasons in picking up their ninth victory).
MSU's six-game win improvement from last season ties a school record (three in 1954 to nine in 1955; four in 1964 to 10 in 1965; seven in 2012 to 13 in 2013).
A trademark of Dantonio's Michigan State teams has been their ability to produce wins late in the season. Under Dantonio, Michigan State has compiled a 28-11 record in November. His teams have won 22 of the last 30 games in November (3-0 in 2010; 4-0 in 2011; 1-2 in 2012; 4-0 in 2013; 3-1 in 2014; 3-1 in 2015; 1-3 in 2016; 3-1 in 2017) . . . MSU is 8-3 under Dantonio in the final game of the regular season.
Dantonio is 5-1 in his coaching career against Rutgers (4-0 at MSU) . . . Dantonio went 1-1 against Rutgers during his three seasons at Cincinnati (2004-06), including a 30-11 upset win over the seventh-ranked Scarlet Knights in 2006.
Although the NCAA doesn't officially keep track of single-game time of possession records, MSU's time of possession (47:50 to 12:10) vs. Rutgers is believed to be an FBS record . . . Air Force had the previous record of 45:14 set in 2016 (according to Air Force Athletics).
MSU finished tied for second in the Big Ten East Division with a 7-2 league record. It marks the 10th time MSU has won at least seven conference games in a season, including six under Dantonio (7-1 in 2010; 7-1 in 2011; 8-0 in 2013; 7-1 in 2014; 7-1 in 2015; 7-2 in 2017).
Michigan State scored a season-high 40 points.
Brian Lewerke recorded his sixth 200-yard passing game of the season, completing 21-of-31 throws for 222 yards and one TD . . . he also had 53 yards rushing on 12 carries to finish the game with 275 yards of total offense . . . Lewerke now has 3,066 yards of total offense, which is a Spartan sophomore single-season record (previous: Connor Cook with 2,831 in 2013) . . . Lewerke's 486 rushing yards rank fourth most in an MSU single-season by a Spartan QB.
Gerald Holmes led MSU in rushing for the first time this season with 59 yards on 10 carries (5.9 avg.), including a 2-yard TD run on the first play of the fourth quarter, his first rushing touchdown of the year.
MSU rushed for more than 200 yards (209) in a game for the fifth time this season . . . MSU is 5-0 this season when rushing for more than 200 yard in a game and 38-6 overall under Dantonio when collecting more than 200 yards on the ground.
The Spartans held Rutgers to five first downs, 14 rushing yards, 98 passing yards and 112 total yards . . . all of those marks except passing are season lows by a Spartan opponent this season (Western Michigan had 79 yards passing on Sept. 9).
Rutgers' 14 yards rushing are the fewest by a Spartan opponent since Baylor had minus-20 in the 2015 Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015, while the 112 total yards are the fewest by an MSU opponent since Minnesota had 96 on Nov. 24, 2012.
MSU forced three turnovers (forced fumble by Demetrius Cooper and recovery by Andrew Dowell in the first quarter; Joe Bachie interception in the fourth quarter; Josiah Scott interception in the fourth quarter).
MSU held eight opponents (Bowling Green, Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana, Northwestern, Penn State, Maryland, Rutgers) during the regular season under 100 yards rushing . . . in 144 games under Dantonio, MSU has held its opponents under 100 yards rushing 71 times (62-9 record in those games).
Matt Coghlin set a career high with four field goals (two 26-yarders in first quarter; tied career long with 46-yarder in second quarter; 32-yarder in third quarter).