From The Press Box
Post-game notes from the 2003 MasterCard Alamo Bowl.
Dec. 29, 2003
Michigan State vs. Nebraska
2003 MasterCard Alamo Bowl
Alamodome - San Antonio, Texas
December 29, 2003
MSU Game Notes
Michigan State now has an all-time record of 7-10 in bowl games. The Spartans had won their two previous bowl games, including the 2001 Silicon Valley Bowl and the 2000 Citrus Bowl. This was the Spartans' first-ever appearance in the Alamo Bowl.
Michigan State is now 0-5 all-time vs. Nebraska.
Michigan State is now 23-10-1 all-time against current members of the Big 12 Conference, including the five losses to Nebraska.
MSU head coach John L. Smith is now 4-11 in postseason action, including 1-6 in bowl games. Smith has now taken seven straight teams to bowl games.
Michigan State is now 16-4 against non-conference opponents since the 1999 season.
The Spartans are now 15-15 in their last 30 games against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. MSU was 3-22 in their previous 25 games before the current run.
Michigan State is now 2-3 when the opponent scores first. MSU is also 0-4 when trailing at halftime.
The three points scored by Michigan State was a season low. The previous low was 19 points in a 20-19 loss to Louisiana Tech Sept. 13.
Michigan State was also held to a season low in total offense with 174 yards and tied its season low with 13 first downs.
Michigan State held Nebraska scoreless in the second half. It was the second time this season MSU held an opponent scoreless in the second half, joining the 31-3 victory over Indiana Oct. 4.
The three points scored by MSU in the first half equaled the Spartans' lowest first-half output of the season. Michigan State scored three first-half points in a 27-20 loss to Michigan.
Jeff Smoker was 21-of-39 for 156 yards. Smoker finished his career with Michigan State passing records of 1150 attempts, 685 completions, 8932 yards and 61 touchdowns. He also extended his MSU single-season passing records to 488 attempts, 302 completions and 3395 yards.
Brandon Fields booted a 62-yard punt after Michigan State's first possession, which is a new Alamo Bowl record. It was also the longest punt ever by an MSU player in a bowl game.
Dave Rayner's 46-yard field goal in the first quarter was his 22nd field goal of the season, which ties the MSU single-season record set by Paul Edinger in 1998. It also tied the second-longest field goal by an MSU player in bowl history.
Aaron Alexander had eight catches for 63 yards. The eight catches matched his career high set in the last regular season game vs. Penn State.
With four catches for 31 yards, Agim Shabaj moved into a tie for seventh place on the MSU single-season reception list with 57 catches.
Seth Mitchell and Ronald Stanley both joined Jason Harmon in the 100-tackle club for the season. Mitchell's nine tackles give him 104 for the season, while Stanley's three tackles pushed his total to 101. Harmon also had nine tackles, including two for losses, to move his season total to 109.
Mike Labinjo had one tackle for loss (one yard), giving him 33.5 for his career, which is fifth-best in MSU history.
Jaren Hayes had one catch, extending his school-record number of receptions in a season by a running back to 48.