April 24, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State's 2012 home football schedule features two prime-time television appearances: Friday, Aug. 31 against Boise State at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN and Saturday, Sept. 15 against Notre Dame at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.
Michigan State heads into the 2012 season with a 7-4 record in its previous prime-time TV appearances in Spartan Stadium, including three-straight victories. The Spartans went 2-0 in home night games last year, including a 28-6 win over Youngstown State in the season opener and 37-31 victory over Wisconsin as Keith Nichol scored on Kirk Cousins' 44-yard Hail Mary pass on the final play of regulation. In 2010, Michigan State defeated Notre Dame in overtime, 34-31, as holder Aaron Bates completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Charlie Gantt off a fake field goal.
The 2012 season and home opener marks the first-ever meeting against Boise State.
The Irish lead the all-time series 46-28-1; however, the Spartans have won 10 of the last 15 meetings. Nine of the last 12 games in the series have been decided by seven points or less. Michigan State is 2-2 in home night games against Notre Dame.
Michigan State's seven-game home schedule also includes a non-conference match-up against Eastern Michigan (Sept. 22) and Big Ten games against Ohio State (Sept. 29), Iowa (Oct. 13/Homecoming), Nebraska (Nov. 3) and Northwestern (Nov. 17).
"You would be hard-pressed to find a more challenging home schedule than the one we'll face this fall," MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. "Six of the seven home games will be played against bowl teams from last season.
"We're excited about the prime-time match-up against Boise State in the season opener. The Michigan State-Notre Dame rivalry is special, and those games routinely go down to the wire.
"The Spartan Stadium atmosphere is electric for night games, and recently, we've had some incredible finishes."
Dantonio welcomes back 17 starters from last year's team that won the Big Ten Legends Division title, tied the school single-season record with 11 wins and finished No. 10 in the final USA TODAY Poll. Michigan State has won 14-consecutive games in Spartan Stadium - its longest home streak since winning 19 straight from 1950-53 (teams coached by Clarence "Biggie" Munn) and the fourth-longest active streak in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (LSU - 17; Wisconsin - 16; Northern Illinois - 15; MSU - 14).
The Spartans enter the 2012 season with a streak of 116 consecutive live TV appearances (games televised regionally or nationally since November 2002).