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No. 21 Spartans Host Eastern Michigan on 'Celebrate 2012' Weekend
 
 
 
Junior tight end Dion Sims leads the Spartans with 16 catches for 152 yards through three games.

 
Junior tight end Dion Sims leads the Spartans with 16 catches for 152 yards through three games.
 
 

Sept. 20, 2012

No. 21/20 Michigan State (2-1) vs. Eastern Michigan (0-3)
 Date | Time Saturday, Sept. 22 | 3:30 p.m.
 Location East Lansing, Mich.
Spartan Stadium (75,005/Natural Grass)
 Televison BTN
 Broadcast Team Matt Devlin (play-by-play) | Glen Mason (analyst) | Rebecca Haarlow (sidelines)
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 Game Notes Michigan State | Eastern Michigan
 Statistics Michigan State | Eastern Michigan
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FIRST-AND-10 (what you need to know about the MSU-EMU matchup) -
• Saturday's game marks just the ninth meeting between Michigan State and Eastern Michigan.The Spartans lead the all-time series 8-0, including a 7-0 record in games played in East Lansing. Michigan State and Eastern Michigan played three times between the 1898-99 seasons. Since the series resumed in 1996, the Spartans have won the last five meetings by a combined score of 248-44 (49.6-8.8). The last meeting came in 2008 when Michigan State posted a 42-10 victory in Spartan Stadium.

• Michigan State University will induct six members into its Athletics Hall of Fame on Thursday, Sept. 20, as part of the "Celebrate 2012" weekend. The Class of 2012 includes: Carl Banks (football), Emily Bastel (women's golf), Clinton Jones (football/track), Shawn Respert (basketball), Diane Spoelstra (women's basketball/softball/volleyball) and George Szypula (men's gymnastics coach). The "Celebrate 2012" weekend includes the third-annual Varsity Letter Jacket Presentation and Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 20; announcement of the Varsity S Club award winners on Friday, Sept. 21; and culminates Saturday, Sept. 22 with a special recognition of the Hall of Famers during the Michigan State-EMU football game in Spartan Stadium.

• 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. Saturday's game marks the third in the 12-game series. Eastern Michigan is scheduled to host Michigan State in either 2018 or 2020 at Rynearson Stadium.

• MSU is 41-7-2 (.840) against current members of the Mid-American Conference (2-0 vs. Akron, 2-0 vs. Bowling Green, 6-3 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). MSU has won 26 of its last 29 games against MAC opponents, including a 41-7 victory over Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant on Sept. 8.

• Michigan State is ranked No. 21 in this week's Associated Press Poll and No. 20 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll. The Spartans have been ranked in the USA TODAY Poll for a school-record 33 consecutive weeks, dating back to the 2010 season.

• Michigan State has compiled a 42-17 record (.719) against non-conference opponents since 1999. Mark Dantonio is 19-9 (.679) against non-conference opponents, including a 15-2 record (.882) in Spartan Stadium. Overall, the Spartans have won 25 of their last 35 non-league games (.714).

• Junior running back Le'Veon Bell ranks third in the Big Ten and tied for 16th in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing, averaging 119.0 yards per game. The Columbus, Ohio, native is also third in the Big Ten in all-purpose yards (144.0 ypg.), tied for third in rushing touchdowns (4) and tied for sixth in scoring (8.0 ppg.). Bell needs 90 more rushing yards to become the 16th player in MSU history to reach the 2,000-yard career milestone.

• Through three games, junior tight end Dion Sims has 16 receptions for 165 yards - both totals represent career highs. Sims had 12 catches in 2011 and 133 receiving yards in 2009. His 16 receptions are tied for fourth among tight ends in the NCAA FBS. Thirteen of his 16 catches (81 percent) have gone for either a touchdown or first down.

• Junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell ranks second in the Big Ten in passing (236.7 yards per game) and fifth in total offense (227.3 ypg.).

• With 208 career points, fifth-year senior kicker Dan Conroy needs just five more points to join Michigan State's all-time Top 10 in scoring. Conroy already ranks among MSU's career leaders in extra points (sixth with 100), field goals (eighth with 36), and scoring (12th with 208 points). His 78 percent field-goal accuracy (36-of-46) ranks first in the Spartan record book and 13th among active NCAA FBS players.

STAT LEADERS -
Michigan State (after three games):
Rushing - Le'Veon Bell (81 carries for 357 yards, 4.4 avg., 4 TDs)
Passing - Andrew Maxwell (65 of 114 for 710 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs)
Receiving - Dion Sims (16 catches for 165 yards, 10.3 avg., 1 TD)
Tackles - Max Bullough (17 tackles, 8 solos, 9 assists, 2.5 TFL)

Eastern Michigan (after three games):
Rushing - Alex Gillett (31 carries for 153 yards, 4.9 avg., 2 TDs)
Passing - Alex Gillett (35 of 74 for 397 yards, 4 TDs, 6 INTs)
Receiving - Garrett Hoskins (8 catches for 101 yards, 12.6 avg., 2 TDs)
Tackles - Bryan Pali (32 tackles, 15 solos, 17 assists, 2.5 TFL)

INSIDE THE NUMBERS -
• In nine seasons as a head coach, Mark Dantonio's teams have compiled an 24-13 record (.649) during the month of September, including an 18-6 mark (.750) at Michigan State.

• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 31-4 (.886) when leading in time of possession, including a 16-1 record (.941) since 2010. The Spartans currently lead the Big Ten and rank No. 8 in the NCAA FBS in time of possession (34:37 per game).

• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 35-8 (.814) when outrushing its opponent, including a 19-1 record (.950) since 2010.

• The Spartans have won 24 of their last 30 games (.800), 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 24 wins since 2010 are tied ninth most among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams (Oklahoma, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin also have 24 wins since the beginning of the 2010 season).

• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State has produced a 30-7 record (.811) in home games. With its 20-3 victory on Sept. 15, Notre Dame snapped MSU's 15-game home winning streak - the fifth-longest in school history. Prior to the 2012 season, the Sporting News named Spartan Stadium No. 3 on its "Five Toughest Places to Play Right Now" list.

• 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.)

• Michigan State has won 18 of its last 19 games played in the state of Michigan since the beginning of the 2010 season (15-1 in Spartan Stadium; vs. Florida Atlantic at Ford Field in Detroit in 2010; at Michigan in 2010; at Central Michigan in 2012).

• Over the last three 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 AP 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.

SPARTAN DEFENSE ONE OF THE TOP IN THE NATION -
• After leading the Big Ten in total defense in 2011, the Spartans once again feature one of the top defensive units in all of college football this season.

• The Spartan defense ranks among the NCAA FBS Top 20 in six categories: pass efficiency defense (seventh at 85.3), passes defended (11th at 6.7 pg.), total defense (13th at 250.3 ypg.), rushing defense (14th at 77.0 ypg.), scoring defense (16th at 13.3 ppg.) and third-down defense (18th at .268). In addition, MSU also leads the Big Ten in total defense, rushing defense and scoring defense. Through three games, the Spartans have only surrendered two offensive touchdowns.

• In the 17-13 season-opening win over No. 24 Boise State, the Spartans held the Broncos without an offensive touchdown for the first time since 1997. They also limited the nation's highest scoring offense since 2000 to 206 yards of total offense and 37 rushing yards, both lows in the Coach Chris Petersen era at BSU; the 13 points scored were the second fewest under Petersen.

Mark Dantonio: PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS -
• Sixth-year head coach Mark Dantonio owns a 46-23 (.667) 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).

Andrew Maxwell ranks second in the Big Ten in passing (236.7 yards per game) and fifth in total offense (227.3 ypg.).


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 (t-16th at 119.0 yards per game)
Punting: Mike Sadler (t-34th with 43.0-yard average)
Punt Returns: Nick Hill (26th at 13.0 yards per return)
Kickoff Returns: Nick Hill (43rd at 23.5 yards per return)
Field Goals: Dan Conroy (t-28th at 1.3 made per game)
All-Purpose Runners: Le'Veon Bell (29th at 144.0 yards per game)

THE LAST MEETING -
Sept. 6, 2008, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP): Javon Ringer rushed for 135 yards and a career-high five touchdowns to lead Michigan State to a 42-10 victory over Eastern Michigan. Ringer was a workhorse for Michigan State, especially early. He carried 25 times for 105 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, sparking the Spartans to a 21-7 halftime lead.

Ringer might have had a six-TD game, but fumbled just before crossing the goal line on a 3-yard plunge on the game's opening drive. The ball was recovered by Eastern Michigan's Jermaine Jenkins for a touchback.

Eastern Michigan's spread offense struggled against a faster, aggressive Michigan State defense. The Eagles managed an 80-yard touchdown drive to tie the game at 7 early in the second quarter, capped by quarterback Andy Schmitt's 3-yard TD run.

But the Spartans responded with 35 unanswered points. Michigan State quarterback Brian Hoyer completed 8-of-12 passes for 148 yards. Otis Wiley returned five punts for a combined 113 yards, giving the Spartans good field position much of the game.

Eastern Michigan was able to generate 342 yards of total offense. But the Eagles couldn't cash in on scoring opportunities. Trailing 21-7 midway through the third quarter, a holding call nullified what would have a been a 10-yard Terrence Blevins touchdown run for the Eagles. Eastern lined up for a 22-yard field goal but ran a fake, with holder Ryan Downard stopped on the 1 yard line. Michigan State responded with a long touchdown drive, capped by a 1-yard Ringer run, to take a 28-7 lead late in the third.

NOTES FROM THE NOTRE DAME GAME -
• With its 20-3 victory over Michigan State, Notre Dame leads the all-time series 47-28-1, including a 19-15-1 record in games played in East Lansing.

• Notre Dame ended Michigan State's 15-game home winning streak - the fifth-longest in school history.

• Michigan State is 8-5 in 13 prime-time TV appearances in Spartan Stadium, including a 2-3 record vs. Notre Dame. The Irish snapped MSU's four-game winning streak under the lights in Spartan Stadium. Dantonio is 5-2 in night games at Spartan Stadium.

• Michigan State failed to score a touchdown at home for the first time since the 1991 season opener against Central Michigan (a 20-3 loss). The Spartans also matched their lowest point total scored under Mark Dantonio (2011: 20-3 loss at Nebraska).

Andrew Maxwell set career highs for pass attempts (45) and completions (23) against Notre Dame. Maxwell completed throws to eight different receivers.

Keith Mumphery established career highs for receptions (6) and receiving yards (71) against the Irish.

MICHIGAN STATE vs. MAC TEAMS -
Michigan State has compiled a 41-7-2 record (.840) against current members of the Mid-American Conference (2-0 vs. Akron, 2-0 vs. Bowling Green, 6-3 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 26 out of the last 29 meetings vs. MAC teams.

The Spartans have outscored their last 10 MAC opponents, 395-139, for an average score of 40-14.

BATTLE FOR IN-STATE BRAGGING RIGHTS -
Michigan State's 2012 roster features 54 players from the state of Michigan, including 12 of the Spartans' 24 probable starters for Saturday's game against Eastern Michigan: wide receiver Tony Lippett (Detroit/Crockett), right guard Chris McDonald (Sterling Heights/Henry Ford II), tight end Dion Sims (Detroit/Orchard Lake St. Mary's), wide receiver Bennie Fowler (Bloomfield/Detroit Country Day), quarterback Andrew Maxwell (Midland), fullback Niko Palazeti (Northville/Detroit Catholic Central), defensive tackle Micajah Reynolds (Lansing/Sexton), nose tackle Anthony Rashad White (Battle Creek/Battle Creek Central), defensive end William Gholston (Detroit/Southeastern), linebacker Chris Norman (Detroit/Renaissance), linebacker Max Bullough (Traverse City/St. Francis) and punter Mike Sadler (Grand Rapids/Forest Hills Northern).

CELEBRATE 2012 WEEKEND -
• Michigan State University will induct six members into its Athletics Hall of Fame on Thursday, Sept. 20, as part of the "Celebrate 2012" weekend. The Class of 2012 includes: Carl Banks (football), Emily Bastel (women's golf), Clinton Jones (football/track), Shawn Respert (basketball), Diane Spoelstra (women's basketball/softball/volleyball) and George Szypula (men's gymnastics coach).

The "Celebrate 2012" weekend includes the third-annual Varsity Letter Jacket Presentation and Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 20; announcement of the Varsity S Club award winners on Friday, Sept. 21; and culminates Saturday, Sept. 22 with a special recognition of the Hall of Famers during the Michigan State-EMU football game in Spartan Stadium. Here are bullet-point sketches for MSU's Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2012:

Carl Banks (football, 1980-83)
Hometown - Flint, Mich.

Three-time First-Team All-Big Ten (1981-83) . . . 1983 First-Team All-American . . . 1983 Columbus Touchdown Club College Linebacker of the Year . . . 1984 first-round NFL Draft choice by the New York Giants (No. 3 overall); named to NFL's All-Decade Team (1980s).

Emily Bastel (women's golf, 1998-2002)
Hometown - Upper Sandusky, Ohio

First Spartan to be named Big Ten Golfer of the Year (2002) . . . 2002 Second-Team All-American . . . Won Big Ten individual title in 2000 . . . Four-time All-Big Ten (1999-2002).

Clinton Jones (football/track, 1964-66)
Hometown - Cleveland, Ohio

Two-time First-Team All-American and First-Team All-Big Ten (1965-66) . . . Led Spartans in rushing on National Championship and Big Ten Championship teams in 1965 and 1966 . . . Big Ten's leading rusher in conference games in 1966 . . . 1967 first-round NFL Draft choice by the Minnesota Vikings (No. 2 overall).

Shawn Respert (basketball, 1991-95)
Hometown - Detroit, Mich.

Michigan State's all-time leading scorer (2,531 career points) . . . 1995 NABC and Sporting News National Player of the Year . . . 1994 & 1995 All-American and 1995 Consensus First-Team All-American . . . Two-time First-Team All-Big Ten and 1995 Big Ten Player of the Year.

Diane Spoelstra (women's basketball/softball/volleyball, 1975-78)
Hometown - Kentwood, Mich.

One of only two women to compete in three different sports at MSU; earned starting positions on volleyball, women's basketball and softball teams . . . Two-year starter in volleyball for program that produced a combined record of 82-13, including back-to-back AIAW Championship appearances . . . Three-year starter helped softball team to back-to-back College World Series appearances in 1976 and 1977; batted .467 in 1976 CWS (AIAW National Champions) . . . Two-year starter averaged nearly 10 points per game while helping women's basketball team post back-to-back 20-win seasons.

George Szypula (men's gymnastics coach, 1948-87)
Hometown - Philadelphia, Pa.

Collected 252 dual meet victories in 41 seasons as head coach . . . Led Spartans to 1958 Co-National Championship and 1968 Big Ten Championship . . . Coached 18 NCAA individual champions and 48 Big Ten Champions . . . Named NCAA Coach of the Year in 1966.

BELL PACES SPARTAN GROUND GAME -
Junior running back Le'Veon Bell ranks third in the Big Ten and tied for 16th in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing, averaging 119.0 yards per game. The Columbus, Ohio, native is also third in the Big Ten in all-purpose yards (144.0 ypg.), tied for third in rushing touchdowns (4) and tied for sixth in scoring (8.0 ppg.). Bell needs 90 more rushing yards to become the 16th player in MSU history to reach the 2,000-yard career milestone.

Bell rushed for 70 yards on 18 carries (3.9 avg.) and scored two touchdowns in the win over Central Michigan. He has four rushing TDs this season and 25 for his career, tying him with Craig Thomas (1990-93) for 10th most in MSU history.

Bell collected several weekly honors after his career night helped lead Michigan State past No. 24 Boise State, 17-13, in the season-opening win. He 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's 210 rushing yards against Boise State 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).

Bell has rushed for 1,910 yards and 25 touchdowns in 30 career games. He ranks among MSU's all-time leaders in rushing TDs (tied for 10th with 25), rushing average (18th at 5.16), rushing yards (17th with 1,910) and rushing attempts (18th with 370).

MAXWELL TAKES OVER THE REIGNS AS STARTING QUARTERBACK -
Fourth-year junior Andrew Maxwell, who spent the past two seasons as Kirk Cousins' understudy, is in his first season as the starting quarterback. The 6-foot-3, 212-pound Maxwell ranks second in the Big Ten in passing (236.7 yards per game) and fifth in total offense (227.3 ypg.). He has completed 65-of-114 throws (.570) for 710 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

In a 20-3 loss to No. 20 Notre Dame, Maxwell set career highs for pass attempts (45) and completions (23) while completing throws to eight different receivers for 187 yards.

Maxwell opened the 2012 season with back-to-back 200-yard passing games against No. 24 Boise State and at Central Michigan and became the first Spartan starting quarterback to win his first two starts since Jeff Smoker in 2000 (Missouri, Notre Dame).

In a 41-7 win at Central Michigan, he completed 20-of-31 passes for a career-high 275 yards and two scores. Maxwell had TD tosses of 20 yards to Dion Sims and 7 yards to Bennie Fowler. In the first half, he went 17-of-28 for 213 yards as MSU built a 24-0 halftime lead.

In his first career start against No. 24 Boise State, Maxwell completed 22-of-38 throws for 248 yards and directed a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. He went 3-for-3 for 38 yards during the nine-play, 56-yard fourth-quarter drive as MSU rallied from a 13-10 deficit. His 18-yard completion to Sims on a third-and-6 play from the BSU 25 set up Le'Veon Bell's game-winning 5-yard TD run. Maxwell iced the game by managing a 13-play, 52-yard drive, including two third-down completions for 15 yards, that consumed the final 6:32 off the clock.

Michigan State's last 19 quarterbacks have compiled a 13-6 record (.684) in their first collegiate start, including a 9-2 mark in home games.

SCOUTING EASTERN MICHIGAN -
Under fourth-year head coach Ron English, Eastern Michigan is off to an 0-3 start with losses to Ball State, Illinois State and Purdue. The Eagles are giving up more than 500 yards of total offense a game (514.3 ypg.) and opponents are averaging 40.7 points against them. EMU is last in the FBS in rushing defense, surrendering 312.3 yards on the ground per game.

The offense is centered around senior quarterback Alex Gillett, who leads the team in not only passing with 397 yards and four touchdowns, but also rushing with 153 yards. Senior tight end Garrett Hoskins is the top receiving threat with eight catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

Senior linebacker Bryan Pali anchors the defense with 32 tackles, which ranks sixth in the Mid-American Conference and tied for 25th in the FBS. Junior defensive back Donald Coleman is second on the team with 24 stops.

 

 

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