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No. 11 Spartans Head to Central Michigan For First Time in School History
 
 
 
Le'Veon Bell ranks first in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in carries (44) and rushing yards (210.0 ypg.).
 
Le'Veon Bell ranks first in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in carries (44) and rushing yards (210.0 ypg.).
 
 

No. 11/11 Michigan State (1-0) at Central Michigan (1-0)
 Date | Time Saturday, Sept. 8 | 3:30 p.m.
 Location Mount Pleasant, Mich.
Kelly/Shorts Stadium (30,255/FieldTurf)
 Televison ESPNU
 Broadcast Team Anish Shroff (play-by-play) | Dan Hawkins (analyst)
 Internet Coverage Game will be shown live on WatchESPN.com
 Radio Spartan Sports Network (Listen Live) | Affiliates
 Satellite Radio Sirius (Ch. 134) and XM (Ch. 192)
 Radio (Mobile) Broadcast available on Spartan Sports Network Mobile App: iPhone/iPad | Android
 Parking/Stadium Information CentralGameday.com
 Game Notes Michigan State | Central Michigan
 Depth Charts Michigan State | Central Michigan
 Live Stats  Gamewatcher (CMUChippewas.com)
 Social Media @MSU_Football   |  Facebook

FIRST-AND-10 (what you need to know about the MSU-Central Michigan matchup) -
• Saturday's game marks just the ninth meeting between Michigan State and Central Michigan. The Spartans lead the all-time series 5-3. All of the previous games in the series have been played in Spartan Stadium with the Chippewas winning the first two meetings, 20-3 in 1991 and 24-20 in 1992, and MSU then taking the next four: 48-34 in 1993, 38-7 in 1998, 35-21 in 2001 and 24-7 in 2004. CMU broke the streak by edging the Spartans, 29-27, in 2009. Last season, MSU topped the Chippewas, 45-7.

• In August 2009, Michigan State Athletics Director Mark Hollis outlined plans for a "Celebrate the State" football series, featuring 12 games over 10 seasons (2011-2020) against Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan that includes the Spartans making one road trip each to Mount Pleasant, Ypsilanti and Kalamazoo. Michigan State will play four games each against the Chippewas, Eagles and Broncos during the 10-year period.

• Michigan State has compiled a 40-7-2 record (.837) against current members of the Mid-American Conference (2-0 vs. Akron, 2-0 vs. Bowling Green, 5-3 vs. Central Michigan, 8-0 vs. Eastern Michigan, 1-0 vs. Kent State, 3-1 vs. Miami-Ohio, 1-0 vs. Ohio, 7-1-2 vs. Temple, 1-0 vs. Toledo and 10-2 vs. Western Michigan). With its 29-27 victory in Spartan Stadium in 2009, Central Michigan ended MSU's 15-game winning streak against MAC opponents. Overall, the Spartans have won 25 out of the last 28 meetings vs. MAC teams.

• Third-year Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos was a four-year letterman (1987-90) and two-year starter (1989-90) at quarterback at Michigan State. Enos compiled a 16-7-1 record (.688) as a two-year starter for Coach George Perles, including back-to-back bowl victories (defeated Hawaii, 33-13, in the 1989 Aloha Bowl and USC, 17-16, in the 1990 John Hancock Bowl). As a senior, he threw for 1,677 yards and four TDs while helping the Spartans earn a share of the 1990 Big Ten championship. Enos spent four years as an assistant coach at Michigan State, including one season under John L. Smith (quarterbacks coach, 2006) and three under Mark Dantonio (running backs coach, 2007-09). He also previously served as the quarterbacks coach under Dantonio at Cincinnati from 2004-05.

• Michigan State has compiled a 41-16 record (.719) in games played against non-conference opponents since 1999. Mark Dantonio is 18-8 (.692) against non-conference opponents, including a 15-1 record in Spartan Stadium. Overall, the Spartans have won 24 of their last 33 non-league games (.727).

• Junior running back Le'Veon Bell has collected several weekly honors after his career night helped lead Michigan State past No. 24 Boise State, 17-13, in last Friday's season-opening win. On Monday, Bell was named the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week by the conference office and also the Big Ten Player of the Week by ESPN.com. In addition, he was named the Heisman Player of the Week by CBSSports.com. Bell set career highs for rushing attempts (44), rushing yards (210), receptions (6), receiving yards (55) and all-purpose yards (265) against the Broncos. He outgained the entire Boise State offense, 210-206, and 84 of his 210 yards came after contact. In addition, Bell's 265 all-purpose yards rank as the 10th-highest single-game total in Spartan history, and his 44 carries tied for fourth most in school history.

• Bell ranks first in the Big Ten and fourth in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing (210.0 ypg.) and first in the FBS carries (44).

• Bell's 210 rushing yards tied for the 23rd-highest single-game total in school history, and he became the first Spartan running back to eclipse the 200-yard mark since Javon Ringer gained 201 yards on 39 rushes against Notre Dame in 2008. The 210 rushing yards were also the most by a Big Ten running back in a season opener since Purdue's Ralph Bolden in 2009 (234 vs. Toledo) and the most by a Spartan in an opener since T.J. Duckett in 2000 (219 vs. Marshall).

• Michigan State moved up two spots this week to No. 11 in both The Associated Press and USA TODAY Coaches Polls. In addition, the Spartans have been ranked in the USA TODAY Poll for a school-record 31 consecutive weeks, dating back to the 2010 season.

• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State has produced a 30-6 record (.833) in home games, including its current 15-game winning streak, which is the fifth-longest in school history and its longest home streak since winning 19 straight from 1950-53 (teams coached by Clarence "Biggie" Munn). The 15-game home winning streak is also the fourth-longest active home winning streak in the NCAA FBS (LSU - 18; Wisconsin - 17; Northern Illinois/MSU - 15). For the second straight year, Michigan State posted a 7-0 record at home in 2011, marking the first consecutive perfect home seasons since 1955-56. The Spartans have gone undefeated at home 18 times (including ties in 1966, 1940, 1933, 1930) since the stadium opened in 1923. Prior to the 2012 season, the Sporting News named Spartan Stadium No. 3 on its "Five Toughest Places to Play Right Now" list.

CLASS BREAKDOWN (STARTERS) -
Michigan State Offense: 2 seniors, 5 juniors, 3 sophomores, 1 freshman
Michigan State Defense: 3 seniors, 7 juniors, 1 sophomore
Central Michigan Offense: 5 seniors, 1 junior, 4 sophomores, 1 freshman
Central Michigan Defense: 3 seniors, 3 juniors, 5 sophomores

STAT LEADERS -
Michigan State:
Rushing - Le'Veon Bell (44 carries for 210 yards, 4.8 avg., 2 TDs)
Passing - Andrew Maxwell (22 of 38 for 248 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs)
Receiving - Dion Sims (7 catches for 65 yards, 9.3 avg., 0 TDs)
Tackles - Max Bullough (7 tackles, 3 solos, 4 assists, 1.5 TFLs)

Central Michigan:
Rushing - Zurlon Tipton (17 carries for 180 yards, 10.6 avg., 3 TDs)
Passing - Ryan Radcliff (14 of 23 for 171 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT)
Receiving - Titus Davis (4 catches for 51 yards, 12.8 avg., 0 TDs)
Tackles - Justin Cherocci (15 tackles, 2 solos, 13 assists, 0.5 TFLs)

THE LAST MEETING -
Sept. 24, 2011, in East Lansing, Mich.: Le'Veon Bell ran for 81 yards and three touchdowns - all in the first half - to lead Michigan State to a 45-7 victory over in-state rival Central Michigan. The Spartans took advantage of four Central Michigan turnovers, including an Isaiah Lewis 37-yard interception return for a touchdown, which helped Michigan State race to a 31-0 halftime lead. The Chippewas finally scored in the third quarter after a blocked punt when Ryan Radcliff threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to David Blackburn. Michigan State's first five plays were runs by Edwin Baker, then Kirk Cousins threw deep to B.J. Cunningham for a 54-yard gain to the Central Michigan 1-yard line. Bell scored on the next play. Cousins threw an interception early in the second quarter, but Radcliff returned the favor. Michigan State's Trenton Robinson intercepted his pass at the 3-yard line and returned it 34 yards. The Spartans then moved down the field with five-straight runs, capped by Bell's touchdown from 5 yards out. A.J. Westendorp came on at quarterback for Central Michigan but quickly threw two interceptions, the first of which was returned for a touchdown by Lewis. Bell's 13-yard touchdown with 1:23 left in the second quarter made it 31-0. Cousins was 13-of-22 passing for 213 yards and threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Larry Caper in the third quarter before being relieved by backup Andrew Maxwell. Maxwell threw his first career touchdown pass, a 3-yarder to Dion Sims in the fourth quarter.

NOTES FROM THE BOISE STATE GAME -
• Michigan State held No. 24 Boise State without an offensive touchdown for the first time since the Broncos were shut out by Washington State, 58-0, on Sept. 27, 1997. The 13 points marked the Broncos' second-lowest point total under Chris Petersen (10 vs. Washington in 2007).

• Michigan State held Boise State to 37 rushing yards and 206 yards of total offense, both lows in the Chris Petersen era.

• The Spartans have won six of their last 10 games played against AP Top 25 teams (2010-12).

• As a team, Michigan State rushed 52 times for 213 yards against Boise State. The Spartans recorded only one 200-yard rushing game during the entire 2011 season (39 rushing attempts for 213 yards vs. Michigan).

• In its 116-year football history, Michigan State is 77-36-3 (.677) in season openers, including a 12-2 record (.857) in its last 14 games.

Mark Dantonio has compiled a 7-2 career record (.778) in season openers, including a 5-1 mark (.833) in season-opening games at MSU.

• 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.

• Michigan State is 8-4 (.667) in prime-time TV appearances in Spartan Stadium. Mark Dantonio is 5-1 (.833) in night games played in Spartan Stadium.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS -
• The Spartans have won 23 of their last 28 games (.821), dating back to the beginning of the 2010 season, including a 14-2 record in Big Ten regular-season play.

• MSU is coming off back-to-back 11-win seasons for the first time in program history. The 22 wins in 2010 and 2011 were the highest two-year total in school history and ranked tied for seventh most among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams during that same period.

• Michigan State's 23 wins since 2010 are tied seventh most among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams (Alabama, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin also have 23 wins since the beginning of the 2010 season).

• Over the last four years, Michigan State has won more Big Ten games (24) than any other conference team. (Note: Ohio State also won 24 games, but had to vacate seven victories following the 2010 season.)

• Over the last two seasons, Michigan State is 10-1 in games decided by 10 points or less, including 4-1 in 2011. The only loss came in a 42-39 defeat against Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game.

• Michigan State was ranked No. 13 in both The Associated Press and USA TODAY Preseason Polls. It marked MSU's highest preseason ranking in the AP Poll since 1979 (No. 10), and its highest-ever preseason rating in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll, which began administering the poll in 1991.

• Michigan State returns four starters to its offensive line (senior right guard Chris McDonald, senior right tackle Fou Fonoti, junior left tackle Dan France, sophomore center Travis Jackson). In addition, junior Blake Treadwell (center) and sophomore Skyler Burkland (right tackle) each started the first three games of 2011 before suffering season-ending knee injuries at Notre Dame. Michigan State had four different starting combinations in 14 games on the offensive line last season, including three different starting centers (Treadwell, Jackson, Ethan Ruhland).

Mark Dantonio: PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS -
• Sixth-year head coach Mark Dantonio owns a 45-22 (.672) record at Michigan State.

• Dantonio recorded 44 wins from 2007-11, the most by as Spartan head coach in his first five seasons ("Biggie" Munn ranks second, with 36 wins from 1947-1951).

• Dantonio is the first head coach in MSU history to win at least nine games three times in his first five seasons (9 wins in 2008; back-to-back 11-win seasons in 2010 and 2011).

• Dantonio has won at least nine games in a season three times (9 in 2008, 11 in 2010, 11 in 2011), tying him with the most seasons of at least nine wins of any coach in MSU history ("Biggie" Munn, 1951, 1952, 1953; Duffy Daugherty, 1955, 1965, 1966).

• A trademark of Dantonio's Michigan State teams has been their ability to produce wins late in the regular season. Under Dantonio, Michigan State has compiled a 13-3 record (.813) in November. His teams have won seven-straight games in November (3-0 in 2010 and 4-0 in 2011). In the four seasons (2003-06) prior to Dantonio's arrival, Michigan State went just 2-11 (.154) in November.

• From his first day on the job, Dantonio has pledged to support student-athletes as they pursue excellence, both in the classroom and on the playing field. In his first five seasons, nearly 80 percent (72 of 91) of his Michigan State players who have completed their eligibility have earned their undergraduate degrees. In addition, 56 Spartans have earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, including two Academic All-Americans (2009: Blair White, first team; 2011: Mike Sadler, second team).

NCAA STAT LEADERS -
Here's a glance at how Michigan State ranks among the NCAA individual stat leaders in 2012:

Individual Statistics (Top 50)
Rushing: Le'Veon Bell (4th with 210.0 yards per game)
Total Offense: Andrew Maxwell (41st with 248.0 yards per game)
Receptions: Dion Sims (t-35th at 7.0 receptions per game)
Interceptions: RJ Williamson (t-5th at 1.0 interceptions per game)
Kickoff Returns: Nick Hill (37th at 21.3 yards per return)
Field Goals: Dan Conroy (t-35th at 1.00 per game)
Scoring: Le'Veon Bell (t-25th at 12.0 points per game)
All-Purpose Runners: Le'Veon Bell (4th at 265.0 yards per game)

MSU/CENTRAL MICHIGAN COACHING CONNECTIONS -
• Third-year Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos was a four-year letterman (1987-90) and two-year starter (1989-90) at quarterback at Michigan State. Enos compiled a 16-7-1 record (.688) as a two-year starter for Coach George Perles, including back-to-back bowl victories (defeated Hawaii, 33-13, in the 1989 Aloha Bowl and USC, 17-16, in the 1990 John Hancock Bowl). As a senior, he threw for 1,677 yards and four TDs while helping the Spartans earn a share of the 1990 Big Ten championship. Enos still ranks among MSU's all-time leaders in pass attempts (No. 12 at 478), pass completions (No. 12 at 297), completion percentage (No. 4 at .621), passing yards (No. 12 at 3,837) and total yards (No. 11 at 4,301).

Dan Enos spent four years as an assistant coach at Michigan State, including one season under John L. Smith (quarterbacks coach, 2006) and three under Mark Dantonio (running backs coach, 2007-09). Enos previously served as the quarterbacks coach under Dantonio at Cincinnati from 2004-05.

• Michigan State wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel spent the 2010 season at Central Michigan, working in the same role under Dan Enos.

• Central Michigan quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Morris Watts spent three different stints and a total of 12 seasons as Michigan State's offensive coordinator. Watts served in that capacity for eight seasons under George Perles (1986-90 and 1992-94), one under Nick Saban (1999) and three more under Bobby Williams (2000-02).

• Central Michigan offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Mike Cummings served as Michigan State's tight ends and special teams coach under Nick Saban during the 1998 season.

• Central Michigan assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and linebackers coach Kyle Nystrom began his coaching career as a student assistant at Michigan State under George Perles in 1983.

• Central Michigan running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Kort Shankweiler spent two years as a graduate assistant at Michigan State (2008-09) under Mark Dantonio.

• Central Michigan director of football operations Plas Presnell graduated from Michigan State in 1973.

MSU/CMU CONNECTIONS, PART 2 -
• Former Michigan State two-time All-American Lorenzo White's son Lorenzo is a senior cornerback on Central Michigan's 2012 roster. White, who ranks as MSU's all-time leading rusher with 4,887 career yards, finished fourth in the final balloting for the Heisman Trophy in both 1985 and 1987.

• Central Michigan Athletics Director Dave Heeke was raised in East Lansing and graduated from East Lansing High School in 1981. Heeke began his professional career as an assistant athletic events coordinator at Michigan State in 1987.

• Sixth-year Michigan State head women's basketball coach Suzy Merchant was a four-year starter (1987-91) and three-year captain at Central Michigan. Merchant still holds CMU career (463) and single-season (156) records for assists. Merchant's husband, Gary Rakan, played football at Central Michigan and was a three-year letterwinner from 1990-92.

• Sixth-year Central Michigan head women's basketball coach Sue Guevara previously spent 10 years as an assistant coach at Michigan State (1987-96) under Karen Langeland.

 

 

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