Post-Game Notes: Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Dec. 30, 2012
Michigan State improves its postseason bowl record to 9-14 (.391). The Spartans have won back-to-back bowl games for the first time since the 1989-90 seasons (MSU defeated Georgia, 33-30, in triple overtime in the 2012 Outback Bowl).
Mark Dantonio improved his postseason bowl record to 3-4 overall as a head coach, including a 2-4 mark at Michigan State. Dantonio has led the Spartans to a school-record six-consecutive bowl appearances (2007 Champs Sports Bowl, 2009 Capital One Bowl, 2010 Alamo Bowl, 2011 Capital One Bowl, 2012 Outback Bowl and 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl).
Michigan State now leads the all-time series against TCU, 2-0. The first meeting came 59 years ago in Week 3 of the 1953 season, as MSU defeated the Horned Frogs, 26-19, in Spartan Stadium.
Michigan State improved its record to 19-2-1 (.886) against current members of the Big 12 Conference.
The Spartans have won 29 of their last 40 games (.725), dating back to the beginning of the 2010 season.
Michigan State has compiled a 44-17 record (.721) in games played against non-conference opponents since 1999. Mark Dantonio is now 21-9 (.700) against non-conference opponents. Overall, the Spartans have won 27 of their last 37 non-league games (.730).
Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 35-7 (.833) when leading in time of possession, including a 20-4 record (.833) since 2010. MSU had a 33:03-26:57 advantage in time of possession over TCU.
Under Dantonio, Michigan State is 40-10 (.800) when outrushing its opponent, including a 24-3 record (.889) since 2010. The Spartans outrushed TCU, 123-87.
Michigan State has outscored its opponents 158-88 (+70) in the second half this season, including a 17-3 edge over TCU.
Over the last three seasons, Michigan State is 13-6 (.684) in games decided by 10 points or less, including a 4-5 record in 2012.
The 2012 senior class helped Michigan State to a record of 35-18 (.660) since 2009, including four-straight bowl appearances. The 35 wins are the second most by any senior class in the 116-year history of MSU football (record: 37 wins by 2011 senior class).
Michigan State's defense allowed just 74 points in the second half/overtime in 2012 (five touchdowns, 13 field goals).
Michigan State allowed only 85 points in its six games played away from Spartan Stadium (14.2 points per game) in 2012.
Since the beginning of last season, Michigan State has held 15 opponents under 100 rushing yards (seven in 2011; eight in 2012). TCU managed 87 yards on 30 rushing attempts (2.9 yards per carry).
Michigan State's defense limited TCU to five first downs and 84 total yards in the second half (27 plays; 3.1 yards per play). The Spartans didn't allow any third-down conversions in the second half (0-for-7). MSU forced the Horned Frogs to go three-and-out on 4-of-8 second-half possessions.
Offensive Player of the Game Le'Veon Bell recorded his eighth 100-yard rushing game of the 2012 season - the second-highest single-season total in MSU history (Lorenzo White had 11 100-yard rushing games in 1985). Bell carried 32 times for 145 yards against TCU, including a 4-yard touchdown run that gave MSU its first lead at 14-13 with 7:00 left in the fourth quarter. His 32 rushing attempts and 145 rushing yards mark the fifth-highest single-game bowl totals in Spartan history. He became the first MSU back to post a 100-yard rushing game in a bowl since Javon Ringer carried 21 times for 101 yards against Boston College in the 2007 Champs Sports Bowl. Bell also completed a 29-yard pass to TyQuan Hammock to set up MSU's first TD.
Bell finished the 2012 season with 382 carries for 1,793 yards and 12 TDs. His 382 rushing attempts (third), 1,793 rushing yards (second) and 12 rushing TDs (tied for 13th) rank among the top single-season totals in MSU history. The Spartans improved to 18-3 (.857) when Bell scores at least rushing TD (2010: 5-0; 2011: 7-1; and 2012: 6-2). He has rushed for 3,346 yards and 33 TDs in 40 career games. Bell ranks among MSU's all-time leaders in rushing TDs (sixth with 33), rushing attempts (sixth with 671) and rushing yards (seventh with 3,346).
Red-shirt freshman Connor Cook came off the bench to complete 4-of-11 passes for 47 yards and a touchdown against TCU. Cook capped a 14-play, 90-yard drive with his first career TD pass, 15-yard strike to Aaron Burbridge late in the third quarter. The 14-play, 90-yard scoring march marked MSU's longest touchdown drive of the season and its longest in bowl history.
Defensive Player of the Game William Gholston recorded a season-high nine tackles against TCU, including a 5-yard sack. Gholston recorded at least one tackle for loss in nine of MSU's 13 games.
Dan Conroy set MSU's single-season record (23 made) with his 47-yard game-winning field goal with 1:01 left in the fourth quarter.
Mike Sadler set MSU's single-game bowl records for punts (11) and punting yards (481) against TCU. Sadler broke the bowl records he set in the 2012 Outback Bowl against Georgia (eight punts for 401 yards).