Go Green, Wear White! Spartans Host Western Michigan for In-State Clash
 
 
 
 
Sept. 8, 2017

Game 2: Michigan State (1-0) vs. Western Michigan (0-1)
 Date | Time Saturday, Sept. 9 | 3:40 p.m.
 Location East Lansing, Mich.
Spartan Stadium (75,005/Natural Grass)
 Television BTN
 Broadcast Team Brandon Gaudin (play-by-play) | Glen Mason (analyst)
Sideline: Elise Menaker
 Internet Coverage BTN2Go | Gametracker
 Radio Spartan Sports Network (Listen Live) | Affiliates
 Satellite Radio Ch. 145 (Sirius)/Ch. 195 (XM)/Ch. 957 (SiriusXM.com)
 Radio (Mobile) Broadcast available on Spartan Sports Network Mobile App: iPhone/iPad | Android
 Parking/Tailgating/Stadium Information Gameday Central | Gameday Answers
 Tickets Available at msuspartans.com
 Parking Lots will open at 9 a.m. | Parking Map (PDF)
 Stadium Map Spartan Stadium Map
 Game Notes Michigan State | Western Michigan
 Series Information MSU leads, 12-2
 Social Media @MSU_Football | Facebook

FIRST-AND-10 –
• Following its 35-10 season-opening win over Bowling Green, Michigan State plays host to Western Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 3:30 p.m. in Spartan Stadium. The Broncos battled at No. 4 USC last weekend but ultimately fell, 49-31, after tying the game at 28 in the fourth quarter.

• The Spartans will be wearing an all-white uniform and helmet combination for the first-time ever at home on Saturday. MSU has been wearing all-white uniforms on road games since 2014, but unveiled its new white helmet over the summer. The design features the green Spartan helmet logo on both sides, filled in with the Spartan green pattern that was designed by Nike. The same Spartan green pattern fills in the stripe in the middle of the helmet. MSU has only worn white helmets at home in two previous games, both arriving in the 1954 season (Oct. 2 vs. Wisconsin; Oct. 23 vs. Purdue).

• Saturday’s game marks the 15th meeting between Michigan State and Western Michigan. The Spartans lead the overall series, 12-2, including a 10-game winning streak that dates back to 1921. In the last matchup in 2015, MSU played in Kalamazoo for the first time in series history and defeated the Broncos, 37-24, en route to reaching the College Football Playoff.

• MSU is 11-2 against WMU in East Lansing, including an 8-0 record in Spartan Stadium. The series dates back to 1908, as Michigan State topped Western Michigan, 35-0, in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. After playing five times between 1908 and 1921, with MSU holding a 3-2 advantage in the series, the two teams didn’t meet again until 1980.

• MSU head coach Mark Dantonio is 4-0 in his MSU career against WMU, and his teams have outscored the Broncos, 150-65 (average score: 38-16).

• MSU is 40-6 (.870) against current members of the Mid-American Conference (2-0 vs. Akron, 3-0 vs. Bowling Green, 7-3 vs. Central Michigan, 10-0 vs. Eastern Michigan, 1-0 vs. Kent State, 3-1 vs. Miami-Ohio, 1-0 vs. Ohio, 1-0 vs. Toledo and 12-2 vs. Western Michigan). MSU has won 32 of its last 35 games against MAC opponents. Dantonio is 12-1 against MAC opponents during his tenure at MSU. • Michigan State is in the midst of its second-winningest decade in school history. The Spartans are 69-25 (.734) since 2010 and during that span, MSU has claimed three Big Ten Championships (2010, 2013, 2015) and three Big Ten Division titles (2011, 2013, 2015). In addition, the Spartans recorded a school-record four consecutive bowl victories (2012 Outback against No. 18 Georgia, 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings against TCU, 2014 Rose Bowl Game against No. 5 Stanford, 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic against No. 4 Baylor), which also tied a Big Ten record. MSU was the only school to finish in the top-six of the national polls from 2013-15 (No. 3 in 2013, No. 5 in 2014, No. 6 in 2015).

• The 69 wins this decade are second most in the Big Ten and tied for 11th most in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, while the 40 wins since 2013 are tied for third in the Big Ten and tied for eighth most in the FBS. The 36 wins from 2013-15 marked the winningest three-year stretch in the history of the program. MSU’s highest winning percentage by decade is currently the 1950s (.766, 70-21-1 record).

• Under Dantonio, Michigan State has produced a 54-17 record (.761) in home games since 2007, including a 15-game winning streak (7-0 in 2010, 7-0 in 2011, won first game in 2012) and a 12-game winning streak (7-0 in 2013; won first five in 2014), which rank second and tied for third, respectively, in Spartan Stadium history. Dantonio is 27-3 (.900) against nonconference opponents in Spartan Stadium (only losses: 2009 to Central Michigan; 2012 to No. 20 Notre Dame; 2016 to BYU).

• Now in his 11th season as head coach of the Spartans, Dantonio owns a 91-42 (.684) record. Dantonio has won the most Big Ten Championships (three) and bowl games (four) of any Spartan head coach and also ranks first with nine bowl appearances. He is the only active Big Ten coach to win multiple Big Ten Championships (2010, 2013, 2015), claim a victory in the Rose Bowl (2014), and coach in the College Football Playoff (2015). The second-winningest coach in school history with 91 victories, trailing only Hall of Famer Duffy Daugherty (109), Dantonio also ranks first in program history in conference winning percentage (.654, 53-28 record, minimum 10 games), second in home wins (54) and AP Top 25 victories (17), tied for second in Big Ten wins (53) and AP Top 25 finishes (six), and fifth in overall winning percentage (.684).

STAT LEADERS –
Michigan State:
Rushing – Brian Lewerke (8 carries for 69 yards, 8.6 avg, 0 TDs)
Passing – Brian Lewerke (22-of-33, .677, 250 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs)
Receiving – Darrell Stewart (6 catches for 85 yards, 14.2 avg., 0 TDs)
Tackles – Joe Bachie (10 tackles, 4 solos, 6 assists, 0.5 TFLs)

Western Michigan:
Rushing – LeVant Bellamy (9 carries for 102 yards, 11.3 avg, 0 TDs)
Passing – Jon Wassink (11-of-22 for 67 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT)
Receiving – Anton Curtis (3 catches for 30 yards, 10.0 avg, 0 TDs)
Tackles – Justin Tranquill (8 tackles, 5 solo, 3 assists)

A QUICK GLANCE AT WESTERN MICHIGAN (0-1, 0-0 MAC) –
• Western Michigan is coming off a 49-31 loss at No. 4 USC last week as the Broncos battled the Trojans tough throughout, but ultimately fell after tying the game at 28 in the fourth quarter.

• Head coach Tim Lester is in his first season at the reins of the Broncos, coming to his alma mater from Purdue, where he was the quarterbacks coach for one season. Prior to Purdue, Lester was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Syracuse for three seasons. Before his time with the Orange, Lester was head coach at Division III Elmhurst (Illinois) College from 2008 to 2012, registering a 33-19 ledger over five seasons. He also went 7-4 at Division II St. Joseph’s College in 2004.

• Western Michigan returns 15 starters as part of 24 returning lettermen from last season’s school-record breaking season as the Broncos went 12-0 during the regular season, then won the MAC Championship before losing in the Cotton Bowl to Wisconsin, ending the season with a 13-1 record.

• Last week at USC, Western Michigan posted 357 yards of total offense, grinding out 263 rushing yards while passing for 94 yards. Defensively, WMU allowed 521 yards of total offense to USC with 289 coming on the ground and 232 through the air. The Broncos had a controlling 34:33-25:20 time of possession advantage, but were 5-of-14 on third-down conversions while USC was 7-of-11. WMU’s defense had two interceptions and two sacks against Trojan quarterback and Heisman hopeful Sam Darnold.

• While Zach Terrell ended his WMU career as the all-time leading passer in program history, finishing with 12,104 passing yards and 96 career TDs, the second most in program history, the Broncos now turn the reins of the offense over to redshirt sophomore Jon Wassink. In his first collegiate action, Wassink was 11-for-22 for 67 yards with one INT, adding seven rushing for 32 yards and one TD against USC. • Western Michigan features three experienced running backs. Sophomore LeVant Bellamy had nine carries for 102 yards (11.3 avg.) with a long of 48 yards against USC, while junior Jamauri Bogan rushed 15 times for 77 yards (5.1 avg.) with one TD. Senior Jarvion Franklin entered the 2017 season as WMU’s all-time leader with 41 rushing TDs and also has 3,679 career rushing yards.

• Senior returner/cornerback Darius Phillips had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and added a 20-yard interception return. Phillips ended with 168 yards on four kick returns, finishing with a game-high 188 all-purpose yards. He was named the 2016 MAC Special Teams Player of the Year.

• Sophomore wide receiver Keishawn Watson had a 27-yard TD pass to Wassink on a double pass on the Broncos’ opening drive of the second half to give WMU a 21-14 advantage. Watson added two catches while redshirt freshman Anton Curtis snared three catches for 30 yards.

• Sophomore safety Justin Tranquill led the WMU defense with eight tackles, while senior linebacker Asantay Brown added seven stops, including one sack. Junior defensive end Eric Assoua added two tackles for loss, including one sack.

MSU/WESTERN MICHIGAN CONNECTIONS –
• Michigan State sophomore wide receiver Trishton Jackson has a brother on Western Michigan, redshirt sophomore defensive back, Obbie.

• Michigan State fifth-year senior kicker Brett Scanlon spent the first two years of his collegiate career at Western Michigan before transferring to MSU in 2015. Scanlon played in 20 games for the Broncos from 2013-14, including all 13 games as a sophomore in 2014, averaging 61.5 yards on 77 kickoffs.

• Western Michigan defensive coordinator Tim Daoust was a graduate assistant under Mark Dantonio at Cincinnati in 2005.

• Michigan State defensive tackles coach Ron Burton coached one season at Air Force (2012) with current WMU co-offensive coordinator Jake Moreland. Moreland was a tight ends coach at Air Force (2012-14).

MSU/WESTERN MICHIGAN SERIES NOTES –
• Saturday’s game marks the 15th meeting between Michigan State and Western Michigan. The Spartans lead the overall series, 12-2, including a 10-game winning streak that dates back to 1921. In the last matchup in 2015, MSU played in Kalamazoo for the first time in series history and defeated the Broncos, 37-24, en route to reaching the College Football Playoff.

• MSU is 11-2 against WMU in East Lansing, including an 8-0 record in Spartan Stadium. The series dates back to 1908, as Michigan State topped Western Michigan, 35-0, in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. After playing five times between 1908 and 1921, with MSU holding a 3-2 advantage in the series, the two teams didn’t meet again until 1980.

• MSU head coach Mark Dantonio is 4-0 in his MSU career against WMU, and his teams have outscored the Broncos, 150-65 (average score: 38-16).

• Western Michigan’s last win in the series came on Oct. 11, 1919, 21-18.

THE LAST MEETING –
Sept. 4, 2015, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP): Madre London ran for two touchdowns in the first several minutes of his college career to help the fifth-ranked Spartans build a big lead they needed to hold off Western Michigan for a 37-24 victory.

The Spartans had a 27-7 lead in the second quarter and were up by 24 points in the third. The Broncos pulled within 10 points early in the fourth by putting together two long TD drives.

After giving up a field goal and having a three-and-out possession, Western Michigan drove to the 7 with a chance to make the final minutes dramatic, but the Spartans intercepted a pass in the end zone with 1:36 remaining.

Connor Cook was 15 of 31 for 256 yards with two TDs. Cook threw a 9-yard TD pass to Josiah Price late in the first quarter and a 21-yarder to DeAnthony Arnett early in the third to give the Spartans a 34-10 lead.

Michigan State’s Aaron Burbridge had four receptions for 117 yards. The Spartan had a trio of running backs, including London, combine to run for 190 yards on 35 carries. LJ Scott, a freshman, ran for 77 yards on 13 carries. Gerald Holmes had 54 yards on nine attempts, including an 8-yard TD run in the second quarter.

Western Michigan’s Zach Terrell was 33 of 50 for 365 yards with two TDs and two interceptions.

WMU’s Daniel Braverman had 13 receptions for 109 yards and Corey Davis caught 10 passes for 154 yards, including a 17-yard TD late in the third quarter. The Broncos failed to strike a balance in part because Jarvion Franklin ran for just 23 yards on eight carries before a hard hit sent him to the sideline in the third.

Darius Phillips scored a game-tying, 100-yard kickoff return midway through the first quarter for the Broncos. Phillips took the opening kickoff to the Michigan State 30 to set his team up with an opportunity to score first, but Andrew Haldeman missed a 41-yard field goal.

POST-GAME NOTES FROM THE BOWLING GREEN GAME –
• Michigan State has won 19 straight home openers, tied for the fifth-longest active streak in the nation. MSU’s streak began in 1999 with a win over Oregon . . . Mark Dantonio improved to 11-0 in home openers at MSU and 10-1 in season openers.

• Michigan State leads the all-time series over Bowling Green, 3-0 . . . Dantonio is 2-0 against BGSU in his tenure at MSU, as the Spartans also defeated the Falcons in 2007.

• Michigan State improved to 82-36-3 all-time in season openers, including a 17-2 record in its last 19 games. The Spartans have won their last nine season openers.

• Dantonio improved to 27-3 against nonconference opponents in Spartan Stadium . . . overall, Dantonio is 36-13 against nonconference opponents.

• A combined 18 true freshmen and redshirt freshmen saw action in their first collegiate game on Saturday (OL Matt Allen, CB Austin Andrews, DE Drew Beesley, OT Luke Campbell, WR Cam Chambers, PK Matt Coghlin, TE Noah Davis, TE Matt Dotson, OG Kevin Jarvis, DT Naquan Jones, WR Laress Nelson, DE Jacub Panasiuk, LB/DE Brandon Randle, OG Jordan Reid, WR Hunter Rison, CB Josiah Scott, LB Antjuan Simmons, WR Cody White).

• Nine Spartans made their first career starts (DE Dillon Alexander, LB Joe Bachie, CB Josh Butler, RT Luke Campbell, TE Noah Davis, WR Trishton Jackson, TE Matt Sokol, CB Josiah Scott, DE Kenny Willekes).

• Cornerback Josiah Scott became just the third true freshman position player to start in his collegiate debut in the Mark Dantonio era (WR Mark Dell in 2007; S Isaiah Lewis in 2010). Specialists who started as true freshmen in their collegiate debut under Dantonio include punter Aaron Bates in 2007 and long snapper Taybor Pepper in 2012.

OFFENSE
• Michigan State recorded 465 yards of total offense (215 receiving; 250 passing) while holding Bowling Green to 212 yards of total offense (67 rushing; 145 passing) . . . Michigan State also had 25 first downs compared to BGSU’s 9.

• Sophomore quarterback Brian Lewerke won his first career game as a starter and recorded career highs in passing yards (250), completions (22), attempts (33), passing touchdowns (3) and total offense (319 yards). . . Lewerke also rushed eight times for 69 yards . . . Lewerke’s career high on the ground is 79 rushing yards (Maryland, 2016).

• Darrell Stewart Jr. posted career highs with six receptions for 85 yards and finished with 150 all-purpose yards (85 receiving, 28 rush, 22 kick return, 15 punt return).

Felton Davis III had four catches for 35 yards and a career-high two touchdowns (4-yard TD reception in second quarter; 8-yard TD reception in third quarter).

Matt Sokol registered career highs with three catches for 31 yards, and also caught his first career touchdown pass on a 13-yard reception in the third quarter.

• The Spartans held a significant advantage in time of possession (38:01-21:59).

• MSU won the third-down battle, converting 8-of-15 third downs while holding BGSU to 2-of-13.

DEFENSE
• Tyson Smith, in his first game back since suffering an offseason stroke, returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. It marked Smith’s first career interception and first career touchdown. Michigan State has scored 29 defensive touchdowns in the Dantonio era.

Joe Bachie led the Spartans with a career-high 10 tackles, including a half tackle for loss (3 yards).

• The Spartans had six pass break-ups, including two each by David Dowell and Josiah Scott.

SPECIAL TEAMS
Jake Hartbarger averaged 49.0 yards per punt (six punts for 294 yards), including three punts inside the 20.

TYSON SMITH NOMINATED FOR ORANGE BOWL COURAGE AWARD & DISNEY SPORTS SPIRIT AWARD –
• Junior cornerback Tyson Smith, who suffered a stroke last November and wasn’t medically cleared to play football until late June, has been nominated for the Orange Bowl Courage Award and the Disney Sports Spirit Award. In his first game back, Smith returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown in the season-opening win against Bowling Green on Sept. 2.

• Smith missed all of winter conditioning and spring practice while recovering from his stroke. He was cleared to play June 29 and reported for Michigan State’s preseason camp on July 30.

• After the game, Smith told reporters: “The feeling when I stepped on the field, it was more than football, it was a blessing. I’m still me and I felt normal, but I didn’t know for sure if I was normal...Everybody was behind me, but I thought it was a low chance of me coming back...It meant everything in the world (to have my teammates celebrate with me after the touchdown). Those guys were behind me when I was out. To see that they were behind me, that meant a lot.”

• The Orange Bowl Courage Award honors players in college football who show great courage in the face of adversity. Michigan State’s Arthur Ray Jr., who battled back from cancer to see the field in 2011, won the Orange Bowl Courage Award in 2011.

• Since 1996, the Disney Sports Spirit Award has been presented annually to college football’s most inspirational student-athlete, team, coach, fan or figure who has overcome extraordinary physical or emotional hardships or other challenges, while exhibiting a selfless nature and good sportsmanship. The award will be presented for the 22nd consecutive year on Thursday, Dec. 7th during the ESPN live telecast of The Home Depot College Football Awards.

Brian Allen, Chris Frey VOTED 2017 TEAM CAPTAINS –
• Following the last practice of preseason camp on Aug. 24, MSU head coach Mark Dantonio announced the 2017 captains to the team -- senior offensive lineman Brian Allen and senior linebacker Chris Frey.

• In addition, Dantonio announced the 15-man Eagle leadership council for the season, which includes Allen, Frey, sophomore linebacker Joe Bachie, junior linebacker Byron Bullough, sophomore offensive tackle Cole Chewins, junior linebacker Andrew Dowell, senior running back Gerald Holmes, fifth-year senior linebacker Shane Jones, sophomore quarterback Brian Lewerke, junior safety Grayson Miller, junior safety Matt Morrissey, junior tight end Matt Sokol, fifth-year senior quarterback Damion Terry, sophomore defensive lineman Raequan Williams and junior safety Khari Willis. The Eagles council will rotate throughout the season being game captains.

Cole Chewins, Shane Jones AND Matt Sokol NAMED GAME CAPTAINS AGAINST WESTERN MICHIGAN –
• Sophomore offensive tackle Cole Chewins, senior linebacker Shane Jones and senior tight end Matt Sokol will be the Eagles to rotate as game captains against Western Michigan on Saturday. In order for all of the Eagles to serve as game captains twice, team captain Chris Frey will not walk out to midfield for the Western Michigan game, and Brian Allen will not walk out to midfield for the Minnesota game.

LJ Scott RETURNS TO LEAD POTENT RUSHING ATTACK –
• Junior LJ Scott, who has been named to the Maxwell Player of the Year and Doak Walker Running Back of the Year Watch Lists, led the Spartans in nearly every rushing category last season, compiling career highs in rushing yards (994), carries (184) and rushing touchdowns (6). His 82.8 rushing yards per game average ranked eighth in the Big Ten during the regular season and his 86.9 ypg in conference play was sixth best. Scott’s 994 rushing yards were seventh most by a Spartan sophomore in a single season. He also had a team-best 10 runs of 20 yards or longer. In addition, Scott had 10 receptions for 147 yards (14.7 avg.).

• The 6-1, 230-pound Scott had five 100-yard games, tied for third most in the Big Ten in the regular season, including four of the last six games (109.7 ypg last six games).

• A third-team All-Big Ten selection by the media, Scott collected career highs in rushing yards (160), all-purpose yards (236) and receiving yards (76) vs. No. 2 Ohio State on Nov. 19. Scott scored on the second play from scrimmage against the Buckeyes on a career-long 64-yard TD reception and also recorded a career-long rush with a 61-yard scamper in the first quarter. He finished with 19 carries for 160 yards (8.4 avg.) and two catches for 76 yards.

• Scott rushed for 139 yards against No. 2 Michigan on Oct. 29, the most by a player against the Wolverines during the regular season. He also compiled 100-yard games against Furman (105), Maryland (128) and Rutgers (122). Scott had 98 yards with a touchdown on 22 carries in the 36-28 win at No. 18 Notre Dame on Sept. 17.

• In 27 career games, including 12 starts, the Hubbard, Ohio, product has rushed for 1,732 yards (64.1 ypg; 5.0 avg.) and 17 touchdowns. Scott already ranks among the top 25 in MSU history with his 1,732 rushing yards. His 1,693 rushing yards ranked No. 5 in school history for a player through their sophomore season (Lorenzo White: 2,682 yards in 1984 and 1985).

Gerald Holmes, Madre London ALSO BRING EXPERIENCE TO THE BACKFIELD –
• In addition to LJ Scott, senior Gerald Holmes and junior Madre London bring significant experience and will see their share of carries in the backfield. Holmes has rushed for 1,055 yards on 225 carries in 29 career games, including nine starts, while London has 157 carries for 674 career yards in 22 games with six starts. The trio of Holmes, London and Scott own a combined total of 3,461 rushing yards on 727 carries with 36 rushing touchdowns.

Brian Lewerke RECORDS FIRST WIN AS STARTING QUARTERBACK AGAINST BOWLING GREEN –
• Sophomore Brian Lewerke recorded his first career win as a starting quarterback in the season-opening victory over Bowling Green while recording career highs in passing yards (250), completions (22), attempts (33), passing touchdowns (3) and total offense (319 yards) against the Falcons. Lewerke also rushed eight times for 69 yards . . . his career high for rushing is 79 yards (at Maryland, 2016).

• Lewerke played in four games and started twice (Northwestern, Maryland) as a redshirt freshman in 2016 before suffering a season-ending injury (broken tibia) in the fourth quarter of the Michigan game on Oct. 28. He bounced back quickly from the injury and fully participated in all of spring practice.

• Last season, Lewerke became the first Spartan freshman quarterback to start a game (Northwestern) since 2004 (Stephen Reaves vs. Central Michigan).

YOUTH MOVEMENT –
• Michigan State features one of the youngest teams in the nation with 75 underclassmen on its 2017 roster (35 true freshmen, 16 redshirt freshmen, 24 sophomores), to go along with 24 juniors and 13 seniors.

• Twelve of MSU’s 22 projected starters either on offense or defense are underclassmen (11 sophomores, one redshirt freshmen), and 36 underclassmen are listed on the depth chart (14 sophomores, eight redshirt freshman, 14 true freshmen).

• A combined 18 true freshmen and redshirt freshmen saw action in their first collegiate game against Bowling Green. Redshirt freshmen (9): OL Matt Allen, CB Austin Andrews, DE Drew Beesley, OT Luke Campbell, WR Cam Chambers, PK Matt Coghlin, TE Noah Davis, DT Naquan Jones, DE Brandon Randle; True freshmen (9): TE Matt Dotson, OG Kevin Jarvis, WR Laress Nelson, DE Jacub Panasiuk, OG Jordan Reid, WR Hunter Rison, CB Josiah Scott, LB Antjuan Simmons, WR Cody White.

• The nine true freshmen already ties the most true freshmen played in one season under Dantonio (nine in 2016).

• Nine Spartans made their first career starts vs. Bowling Green (DE Dillon Alexander, LB Joe Bachie, CB Josh Butler, RT Luke Campbell, TE Noah Davis, WR Trishton Jackson, TE Matt Sokol, CB Josiah Scott, DE Kenny Willekes).

• Cornerback Josiah Scott became just the third true freshman position player to start in his collegiate debut in the Mark Dantonio era (WR Mark Dell in 2007; S Isaiah Lewis in 2010). Specialists who started as true freshmen in their collegiate debut under Dantonio include punter Aaron Bates in 2007 and long snapper Taybor Pepper in 2012.

MSU IN SEPTEMBER UNDER DANTONIO –
• Michigan State has won 12 of its last 15 as part of a 29-10 (.744) record in the ninth month of the calendar year under head coach Mark Dantonio.

Here’s a closer look at Michigan State’s September performances under Dantonio (29-10): 2007 (4-1), 2008 (4-0), 2009 (1-3), 2010 (4-0), 2011 (3-1), 2012 (2-2), 2013 (2-1), 2014 (2-1), 2015 (4-0), 2016 (2-1), 2017 (1-0).

RUNNING GAME KEY FOR SPARTANS UNDER DANTONIO –
• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 74-16 (.822) when outrushing its opponent, including a 58-9 record (.866) since 2010. Conversely, MSU is 17-26 (.395) under Dantonio when being outgained on the ground by its opponent. The Spartans are 34-6 (.850) in games when gaining 200 or more rushing yards under Dantonio.

STOPPING THE RUN –
• Michigan State held Bowling Green to just 67 rushing yards in the season opener. MSU has held 43 opponents under 100 yards rushing since 2011, most in the Big Ten.

• Stopping the run has been the main theme for MSU on defense in the Dantonio era, and it led to ranking No. 1 in the NCAA FBS in rushing defense in 2014 (88.5 ypg.). Since the Big Ten began awarding stat champions in all games in 1985, Michigan State (2011-14) became only the second team in conference history to lead the league in rushing defense four years in a row (Michigan, 1990-93). MSU’s 88.5 rushing yards allowed in 2014 was the eighth-lowest total in school history. The Spartans have ranked in the Top 25 in rushing defense six times in the last eight seasons, including a run of five straight years in the top 11 (2011-15).

SPARTANS TOUGH ON HOME TURF –
• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State has produced a 54-17 record (.761) in home games since 2007, including a 15-game winning streak (7-0 in 2010, 7-0 in 2011, won first game in 2012) and a 12-game winning streak (7-0 in 2013; won first five in 2014), which rank second and tied for third, respectively, in Spartan Stadium history.

• MSU is 39-11 (.780) at home since 2010 and 23-6 (.793) since 2013.

Mark Dantonio is 27-3 (.900) against nonconference opponents in Spartan Stadium (only losses: 2009 to Central Michigan; 2012 to No. 20 Notre Dame; 2016 to BYU).

• Dantonio is 11-0 in home openers at MSU and the Spartans’ 19-game winning streak in home openers is tied for the fifth-long longest in the nation.

SPARTANS SUCCESSFUL IN NON-CONFERENCE GAMES –
Mark Dantonio is 36-13 (.735) against nonconference opponents, including a 27-3 (.900) mark in Spartan Stadium. Dantonio is 26-2 in games against teams outside of the Power Five conferences.