Spartans Open 2013 Season Under the Lights Against Western Michigan
Aug 29, 2013
Friday's game marks the 13th meeting between Michigan State and Western Michigan, with all games played in East Lansing. Michigan State leads the all-time series 10-2, including a 7-0 mark in games played in Spartan Stadium. The Spartans have won the last eight meetings, including a 38-14 victory in the 2010 season opener. Michigan State is 3-0 against the Broncos in season openers (1997, 2003 and 2010). Western Michigan's last win in the series came on Oct. 11, 1919, 21-18. Michigan State has outscored the Broncos, 326-135 (27.2-11.3), in the 12 previous meetings, but five games have been decided by nine points or less. Mark Dantonio is 2-0 in his MSU career against WMU.
Seventh-year Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio has compiled a 7-2 record (.778) in season openers during his nine-year career. Dantonio is 5-1 in season-opening games at MSU, with a 55-18 victory over UAB in his Spartan debut in 2007, a 38-31 loss at California in 2008, a 44-3 win over Montana State in 2009, a 38-14 victory over Western Michigan in 2010, a 28-6 win over Youngstown State in 2011, and a 17-13 victory over No. 24 Boise State in 2012.
In its 116-year football history, Michigan State is 95-21 (.819) in home openers, including a 14-game winning streak that began in 1999. The Spartans have won 16 of their last 17 home openers, with the only setback coming to Colorado State, 23-16, in the 1998 Black Coaches Association Classic. Mark Dantonio is 6-0 in home openers at MSU.
Friday's Michigan State-Western Michigan game marks just the 14th night game in the 90-year history of Spartan Stadium. The Spartans are 8-5 in their 13 previous prime-time TV appearances in Spartan Stadium, including a 1-1 record last season (a 17-13 victory over No. 24 Boise State and a 20-3 loss to No. 20 Notre Dame). Four of those wins came over ranked opponents (No. 19 USC in 1987, No. 10 Notre Dame in 1998, No. 4 Wisconsin in 2011 and No. 24 Boise State in 2012). Michigan State is 3-0 in season-opening night games at Spartan Stadium, while Mark Dantonio is 5-2 in night games at Spartan Stadium.
Michigan State has compiled a 44-17 record (.721) in games played against non-conference opponents since 1999. Mark Dantonio is 21-9 (.700) against non-conference opponents, including a 16-2 record (.889) in Spartan Stadium. Overall, the Spartans have won 27 of their last 37 non-league games.
MSU is 36-6 (.857) against current members of the Mid-American Conference (2-0 vs. Akron, 2-0 vs. Bowling Green, 6-3 vs. Central Michigan, 9-0 vs. Eastern Michigan, 1-0 vs. Kent State, 1-0 vs. UMass, 3-1 vs. Miami-Ohio, 1-0 vs. Ohio, 1-0 vs. Toledo and 10-2 vs. Western Michigan). MSU has won 27 of its last 30 games against MAC opponents, including a 41-7 victory over Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant and a 23-7 win over Eastern Michigan in Spartan Stadium last season.
Over the last five years, Michigan State has won more Big Ten games (27) than any other conference team. (Note: Ohio State won 32 games, but had to vacate seven victories following the 2010 season.)
The Spartans have won 29 of their last 40 games (.725), dating back to the beginning of the 2010 season, including a 17-7 record (.708) in Big Ten regular-season play. MSU's 29 wins since 2010 are tied for 13th most among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams.
In six seasons under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State has produced a 31-11 record (.738) in home games, including a 14-game winning streak spanning the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
BATTLE FOR IN-STATE BRAGGING RIGHTS -
PROGRAM NOTES -
MSU's 29 wins over the last three seasons ties for 13th most among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams and is second most in the Big Ten during that same period; in addition, it's the winningest three-year stretch in school history. The Spartans have posted three consecutive winning seasons, a first for the program since recording six in a row from 1985-90. MSU has won 29 of their last 40 games (.725), dating back to the beginning of the 2010 season.
Michigan State has appeared in a school-record six consecutive bowl games (2007 Champs Sports Bowl, 2009 Capital One Bowl, 2010 Alamo Bowl, 2011 Capital One Bowl, 2012 Outback Bowl, 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl). The six-year bowl streak is currently tied for the 18th longest in the NCAA FBS and second longest in the Big Ten.
In the past four seasons, MSU has recorded 27 Big Ten victories, the most of any team in the conference (Note: Ohio State won 32 games, but had to vacate seven victories following the 2010 season.). The Spartans produced back-to-back 11-win seasons in 2010-11 for the first time in program history, claimed a share of the Big Ten Championship in 2010, and won the inaugural Big Ten Legends Divisions title in 2011.
SPARTAN DEFENSE RANKS AMONG THE BEST IN THE FBS -
Michigan State returns seven starters and 11 players with starting experience from the Big Ten's top-ranked defense in 2012. The Spartan defense ranked among the NCAA FBS Top 10 in eight categories: touchdowns allowed (second with 16), pass efficiency defense (third at 98.8), total defense (fourth at 274.4 ypg.), pass break-ups (tied for eighth at 4.8 pg.), rushing defense (eighth at 98.6 ypg.), third-down defense (eighth at .305), pass defense (ninth at 175.8 ypg.) and scoring defense (ninth at 16.3 ppg.). In addition, MSU also led the Big Ten in six defensive categories (touchdowns allowed, total defense, scoring defense, pass efficiency defense, rushing defense and third-down defense).
The Spartans are one of just five NCAA FBS schools, along with Alabama, Florida State, Florida and LSU, to rank among the Top 10 nationally in total defense the past two seasons. Michigan State ranked fourth in total defense in 2012 (274.4 ypg.) and sixth in 2011 (277.4 ypg).
MSU has also ranked in the NCAA FBS Top 10 the past two seasons in rushing defense (eighth in 2012 at 98.6 yppg.; ninth in 2011 at 100.5 ypg.) and scoring defense (ninth in 2012 at 16.3 ppg.; 10th in 2011 at 18.4 ppg). Michigan State, Alabama and Florida State are the only schools in the nation to rank among the NCAA FBS Top 10 in total defense, rushing defense and scoring defense the past two seasons.
In addition, MSU has ranked among the NCAA FBS Top 15 in pass defense in 2011 (11th at 176.9 ypg.) and 2012 (ninth at 175.8 ypg.). Michigan State and Alabama are the only two programs in the country to rank in the NCAA FBS Top 15 the past two seasons in total defense, rushing defense, passing defense and scoring defense.
The Spartans return five players who received All-Big Ten recognition on defense in 2012, including first-team selections Max Bullough (LB) and Darqueze Dennard (CB). Senior linebacker Denicos Allen, senior strong safety Isaiah Lewis and junior defensive end Marcus Rush earned honorable mention All-Big Ten accolades from the coaches and media.
Senior linebacker Max Bullough has led the Spartans in tackles the previous two seasons (89 in 2011; career-high 111 in 2012). Bullough was re-elected a team captain and is just the third Spartan to be named a captain at least twice in the Dantonio era (Greg Jones, 2009-10; Kirk Cousins, 2009-11). Bullough is featured on preseason watch lists for the Bednarik (defensive player of the year), Butkus (nation's best linebacker) and Lombardi (nation's best lineman) Awards, and also was named to the Nagurski Trophy (defensive player of the year), Lott IMPACT Trophy and College Football Performance Awards Linebacker Trophy Watch Lists. He was a preseason All-America selection by Phil Steele's College Football Preview (second team) and Athlon Sports (third team).
A LOOK AT THE SPARTAN OFFENSE -
The offense must replace first-team All-Big Ten running back Le'Veon Bell, who led the Big Ten and ranked third in the NCAA FBS in rushing, averaging 137.9 yards per game. Bell was one of three juniors on MSU's 2012 roster to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft (defensive end William Gholston, tight end Dion Sims). Bell accounted for 92 percent of the team's rushing total in 2012, as he recorded 1,793 rushing yards, the second-highest single-season total in MSU history. Bell also had 12 of the team's 13 rushing touchdowns. Bell rushed for 3,346 yards and 33 TDs in 40 career games. He finished his career ranked among MSU's all-time leaders in rushing TDs (sixth with 33), rushing attempts (sixth with 671), rushing yards (seventh with 3,346) and all-purpose yards (ninth with 4,114). Bell had 12 career 100-yard rushing games, which is eighth most in MSU history. Bell also had 78 career receptions for 531 yards (6.8 avg.) and one score.
Although the Spartans lost Bell, MSU returns fifth-year senior quarterback Andrew Maxwell, who ranked among MSU's Top 10 single-season leaders in pass attempts (second with 446), pass completions (fourth with 234), passing yards (seventh with 2,606) and total offense (eighth with 2,500 yards) during his first year as a starter. Maxwell completed 53 percent of his passes (234-of-446) for 2,606 yards, 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions and had six 200-yard passing games in 2012. He ranked fourth in the Big Ten in passing (200.5 yards per game) and sixth in total offense (192.3 ypg.). Dantonio has stated that he has more depth at quarterback on this year's roster than he's ever had before while coaching at Michigan State, as sophomore Connor Cook, red-shirt freshman Tyler O'Connor, and true freshman Damion Terry also competed for playing time at the position during preseason camp.
After having to replace nearly its entire receiving corps in 2012, Michigan State will return four of its top six reception leaders in 2013. Keith Mumphery (515 yards) led the team with 42 receptions last season, followed by Bennie Fowler, who had 41 for a team-high 524 receiving yards. Tony Lippett (36 catches for 392 yards) and Aaron Burbridge (29 catches for 364 yards) also return for the Spartans. Last season, Fowler was the only receiver with any starting experience - and that was just one game as a red-shirt freshman. Entering this season, there's a combined 31 starts.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS -
Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 35-7 (.833) when leading in time of possession, including a 20-4 record (.833) since 2010. The Spartans led the Big Ten and ranked third in the NCAA FBS in time of possession (33:17 per game) in 2012.
Under Dantonio, Michigan State is 40-10 (.800) when outrushing its opponent, including a 24-3 record (.889) since 2010; MSU also is 17-3 (.850) when rushing for 200-plus yards in a game.
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 losses have come against Wisconsin in the 2011 Big Ten Championship Game (42-39) along with Ohio State (17-16), Iowa (19-16 in 2OT), Michigan (12-10), Nebraska (28-24) and Northwestern (23-20) in 2012.
SCOUTING WESTERN MICHIGAN -
The Broncos return 15 starters from last season's team that went 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the Mid-American Conference to place fifth in the West Division standings.
WMU brings back five starters on offense, including senior quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen, who started six games last season and completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,825 yards and 15 touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Broncos, Jaime Wilson, the 2012 MAC Freshman of the Year who caught 67 passes for 792 yards in 2012, suffered a broken ankle during preseason camp and will be out for at least the first half of the season. WMU does return its leading rusher in Dareyon Chance; the Lauderhill, Fla., native had a career-best 947 yards rushing as a junior in 2012 and was named the team's Most Outstanding Offensive Player.
On defense, Western Michigan returns eight starters, including its top-five leading tacklers from last year. Senior linebacker Johnnie Simon, a third-team All-MAC selection, led the way in 2012 with 103 stops.
Sophomore Andrew Haldeman is back as the team's starting field-goal kicker for the second consecutive season. Haldeman was 10-of-16 in field-goal attempts as a freshman and made 42 of his 43 point-after attempts.
CARL "BUCK" NYSTROM NAMED HONORARY CAPTAIN -
Nystrom captained the 1955 squad that finished 9-1 including a 17-14 Rose Bowl win over UCLA. He was named the team's MVP and head coach Duffy Daugherty called him the greatest guard he had ever coached. He was also a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 1955.
Nystrom was the first MSU football player to earn All-America recognition as both player and scholar, landing a first-team spot on the Academic All-America Team in 1955.
He was also a member of the 1953 Big Ten Championship team that won the 1954 Rose Bowl over UCLA. He lettered three seasons at MSU, one under Biggie Munn (1953) and two under Daugherty (1954-55).
Nystrom was an assistant coach at MSU three different times in his coaching career. He joined the Spartan staff for the first time in 1958 as freshman coach, was the offensive line coach in 1971 under Daugherty, and spent four seasons as the offensive line coach under George Perles from 1983-86.
Nystrom was also an assistant coach at Colorado State (1959-61), North Dakota State (1963-66), Oklahoma (1967-68), Northern Michigan (1975-80) and Colorado (1981-82).
Nystrom was a part of national championship teams at North Dakota State (1965), Oklahoma (1968) and Northern Michigan (1976). He also coached in 12 bowl games including the 1962 and 1968 Orange Bowls, the 1969 Bluebonnet Bowl, the 1984 Cherry Bowl, and the 1985 All-American Bowl.
Nystrom was inducted into the North Dakota State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994.
Nystrom was also named an honorary captain for the Iowa game in 2008.
2013 CAPTAINS ELECTED -
SPARTAN FOOTBALL MILESTONES IN 2013 -
The 2013 season also marks the 100th anniversary of Michigan State's first football victory over Michigan (Oct. 18, 1913, 12-7 in Ann Arbor).
The 2013 season also marks the 100th anniversary of Michigan State's first perfect season (7-0; team coached by John Macklin).
The 2013 season marks the 90th anniversary of Spartan Stadium, and the Oct. 12 Homecoming game marks the 500th game in the history of Spartan Stadium.
The 2013 season also marks the 60th anniversary of Michigan State's first Big Ten Championship in 1953 and the Spartans' first Rose Bowl appearance (28-20 win over UCLA in 1954).
The 2013 season marks the 60th anniversary of the Paul Bunyan Trophy, presented to the winner of the Michigan State-Michigan game since 1953.
The 2013 season marks the 35th anniversary of Michigan State's fourth Big Ten Championship in 1978 (tied for first at 7-1).
SPARTANS RETURN TO PRIME TIME -
Michigan State has won four of its last five night games in Spartan Stadium, including two on the last play of the game (vs. Notre Dame in 2010: Aaron Bates' 29-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Gantt off a fake field goal gave MSU a 34-31 overtime victory; and vs. Wisconsin in 2011: Kirk Cousins completed a 44-yard Hail Mary pass to Keith Nichol on the final play of regulation).
Here are brief recaps of the previous 12 night games played in Spartan Stadium:
Sept. 7, 1987 (Michigan State 27, No. 19 Southern Cal 13)
Sept. 12, 1998 (Michigan State 45, No. 10 Notre Dame 23)
Sept. 2, 1999 (Michigan State 27, Oregon 20)
Oct. 26, 2002 (Wisconsin 42, Michigan State 24)
Sept. 18, 2004 (Notre Dame 31, Michigan State 24)
Sept. 23, 2006 (Notre Dame 40, Michigan State 37)
Oct. 13, 2007 (Michigan State 52, Indiana 27)
Oct. 24, 2009 (No. 7 Iowa 15, Michigan State 13)
Sept. 18, 2010 (Michigan State 34, Notre Dame 31)
Sept. 2, 2011 (No. 17 Michigan State 28, Youngstown State 6)
Oct. 22, 2011 (No. 15 Michigan State 37, No. 4 Wisconsin 31)
Aug. 31, 2012 (No. 13 Michigan State 17, No. 24 Boise State 13)
Sept. 15, 2012 (No. 20 Notre Dame 20, No. 10 Michigan State 3)
PERCY SNOW ELECTED TO COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME -
A four-year letterman and three-year starter for Coach George Perles from 1986-89, Snow helped Michigan State to a combined record of 29-16-2 during his career, including three postseason bowl appearances (1988 Rose Bowl, 1989 Gator Bowl and 1989 Aloha Bowl). A two-time first-team All-American and three-time first-team All-Big Ten selection, he led the Spartans in tackles for three consecutive seasons from 1987-89.
As MSU's latest inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, Snow's name will be added to the "Ring of Fame" prior to the Nov. 2 game against Michigan.
HANK BULLOUGH TO BE INDUCTED INTO MSU ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME -
A three-year starter as a guard, Bullough helped MSU to a combined record of 21-7 (.750) from 1952-54, including the 1952 National Championship and 1953 Big Ten title. As a sophomore for Clarence "Biggie" Munn, he anchored an offensive line that helped the Spartans finish second nationally in total offense, averaging nearly 429 yards per game including 272 yards on the ground. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound Bullough was named honorable mention All-Big Ten as both a junior and senior.
Bullough spent 12 years as an assistant coach at Michigan State, including 11 seasons under Duffy Daugherty (1959-69) and one year under George Perles (1994). Bullough served as defensive coordinator for MSU's back-to-back National Championship teams in 1965 and `66. Two of his pupils, defensive end "Bubba" Smith (No. 1 overall) and linebacker George Webster (No. 5), were among the top five selections in the first round of the 1967 NFL Draft.
SPARTAN STADIUM NORTH END ZONE PROJECT INFORMATION -
In June 2013, the Michigan State Board of Trustees approved a $24.5 million project to the north end of Spartan Stadium that will feature a two-story, 50,000-square-foot addition as well as an entrance plaza, renovated gates, and additional restrooms and concessions.
The building will include new locker rooms for teams, coaches and officials, including a 4,500-square-foot home locker room and a 700-square-foot home training room, in addition to a 3,600-square-foot media center and a 4,000-square-foot recruiting lounge for all varsity sports. The project is scheduled to be completed in July 2014.
Prior to the 2012 season, new high-def Panasonic video screens and scoreboards as well as a new sound system were installed in Spartan Stadium. The new scoreboard/video screen in the south end zone is 5,300-square feet, compared to its predecessor that measured just 567-square feet (installed in 1998). The top of the new south end zone structure reaches 130 feet. In addition, two new video boards as well as an LED ribbon board were added to the north end zone. The LED ribbon board covers 4,500 square feet (450-feet long and 10-feet high). Combined, the south and north video screens/scoreboards total 13,300-square feet. The $10 million project replaced a 14-year-old scoreboard, message board and audio system.
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