Spartan Football Entertains No. 12 Notre Dame
 
 
 
Drew Stanton ranks second in the Big Ten and No. 10 in the NCAA in total offense, averaging 290.0 yards per game.
 
Drew Stanton ranks second in the Big Ten and No. 10 in the NCAA in total offense, averaging 290.0 yards per game.
 
 

Sept. 23, 2006

DATE: Sept. 23, 2006
SITE: Spartan Stadium (75,005/natural grass), East Lansing, Mich.
KICKOFF: 8:13 p.m. EDT
ESTIMATED ATTENDANCE: 75,005 (sold out)
BROADCAST COVERAGE: Radio - The Spartan Radio Network, featuring veteran play-by-play announcer George Blaha, color analyst Jim Miller, sideline reporter Jason Strayhorn and broadcast host Mike Kamin, will broadcast the game to 39 affiliates throughout the state. Michigan State football broadcasts can be heard locally on flagship station WJIM (AM 1240) and WMMQ (FM 94.9) and in Detroit on WJR Radio (AM 760). The MSU-Notre Dame game can be heard live on XM Satellite Radio (Channel 197). In addition, all Spartan football broadcasts will be streamed live on the MSU Athletics Department web site at www.msuspartans.com. Television - ABC/ESPN2 will televise the Michigan State-Notre Dame game live, with Brent Musburger handling the play-by-play, Bob Davie and Kirk Herbstreit providing color commentary and Lisa Salters serving as the sideline reporter.

FIRST-AND-10 (what you need to know about Saturday's MSU-Notre Dame matchup) -
• Saturday's Michigan State-Notre Dame football game marks the 70th meeting between the schools. It also marks the 40th anniversary of the 1966 "Game of the Century" between the second-ranked Spartans and top-ranked Irish that ended in a 10-10 tie.
• The Irish lead the all-time series 43-25-1, including a 17-13-1 record in games played in East Lansing, Mich., and a 15-11-1 mark in games played in Spartan Stadium. The Spartans have won seven of the last nine meetings, including a 44-41 overtime victory in Notre Dame Stadium in 2005. The last seven games in the series all have been decided by 10 points or less.
• Members of Michigan State's 1966 football team will be introduced during a pre-game ceremony. Following the ceremony, the 1966 team will form a human tunnel for the current players to run through as they take the field.
• During a special pre-game ceremony, two-time All-American Charles "Bubba" Smith will become just the third player in Michigan State football history to have his jersey number (No. 95) retired, joining Don Coleman (No. 78, 1949-51) and George Webster (No. 90, 1964-66).
• Both teams will wear 1966 "Game of the Century" commemorative patches on the front of the game jerseys. Michigan State also will wear throwback (Spartan) decals on its helmet to replicate the look of the team's 1966 helmet. In addition to changing the side decals, a single white stripe will be added down the center of the helmet. The player's jersey number will appear on the back of the helmet, with the white stripe dividing the double-digit numbers.
• ABC play-by-play announcer Brent Musburger covered the 1966 "Game of the Century" as a sportswriter for the Chicago American.
• Michigan State ranks second (tied with Purdue) among opponents in all-time victories (25) over Notre Dame. Only Southern Cal (30) has posted more wins over the Irish than the Spartans and Boilermakers.
• Through three games, Michigan State is a perfect 16-for-16 in the "red zone," with 13 scoring drives resulting in touchdowns and three more in field goals. Last week, the Spartans went 5-for-5 (all TDs) in the "red zone" at Pittsburgh.
• Michigan State has outscored its first three opponents, 66-30, in the second half.
• Saturday's Michigan State-Notre Dame game marks just the sixth night game in the 83-year history of Spartan Stadium. The Spartans are 3-2 in their five previous prime-time TV appearances in Spartan Stadium, including two wins over ranked opponents. Michigan State is 1-1 in home night games played against the Fighting Irish.

THE COACHES -
Michigan State's John L. Smith (Weber State 1971) is 21-18 (.538) in his fourth year with the Spartans and 131-78 (.627) in 18 seasons as a college head coach. Smith ranks No. 13 among active Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as NCAA I-A) coaches in career victories. Twelve of his 17 teams have participated in postseason play, including seven-straight bowl appearances from 1997-2003. He came to Michigan State following five seasons at Louisville (1998-2002) where he put together a 41-21 worksheet (.661), including five-consecutive bowl appearances and back-to-back C-USA titles in 2000-01. Smith posted a 16-18 ledger (.471) in three seasons at Utah State (1995-97) while leading the Aggies to consecutive Big West Conference crowns in 1996-97. His six-year mark of 53-21 (.716) at Idaho (1989-94) included five NCAA I-AA playoff appearances and five Top 20 finishes.

Notre Dame's Charlie Weis (Notre Dame 1978) is 11-4 (.733) in his second year as head coach of the Fighting Irish. In 2005, he earned the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award after leading the Irish to a 9-3 record, including a trip to the Fiesta Bowl. Weis previously spent 15 seasons as an assistant coach in the National Football League, winning four Super Bowl championship rings. In his five seasons (2000-04) as offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick, New England won three Super Bowl crowns (following the 2001, 2003 and 2004 seasons). Weis spent 10 years as an assistant coach under Bill Parcells, including stints with the New York Giants (1990-92), New England Patriots (1993-96) and New York Jets (1997-99).

TEAM COMPARISONS -

                                Michigan State     Notre Dame
Basic Offense                   Spread             Multiple
Basic Defense                   4-2-5              4-3
Offensive Starters Returning    6                  7
Defensive Starters Returning    6                  9
Specialists Returning           1                  1

AVERAGE HEIGHTS & WEIGHTS (STARTERS) -

                                      Michigan State     Notre Dame
Offensive Line & Tight End            6-5, 301           6-5, 288
Offensive Backs & Wide Receivers      6-1, 209           6-2, 224
Defensive Line                        6-3, 276           6-3, 277
Linebackers                           6-1, 242           6-1, 226
Defensive Backs                       6-0, 200           6-0, 200

CLASS BREAKDOWN (STARTERS) -
Michigan State Offense: 6 seniors, 2 juniors, 3 sophomores
Michigan State Defense: 4 seniors, 5 juniors, 2 sophomores
Notre Dame Offense: 8 seniors, 1 junior, 1 sophomore, 1 freshman
Notre Dame Defense: 9 seniors, 2 juniors

STAT LEADERS -
Michigan State (after three games):

Rushing - Javon Ringer (46 carries for 356 yards, 7.7 avg., 1 TD)
Passing - Drew Stanton (56 of 82 for 677 yards, 6 TDs, 2 INTs)
Receiving - Matt Trannon (19 catches for 190 yards, 10.0 avg., 2 TDs)
Tackles - Otis Wiley (26 tackles, 18 solos, 8 assists, 4 TFL, 4 PBU)

Notre Dame (after three games):
Rushing - Darius Walker (52 carries for 180 yards, 3.5 avg., 1 TD)
Passing - Brady Quinn (72 of 122 for 767 yards, 6 TDs, 3 INTs)
Receiving - Rhema McKnight (18 catches for 243 yards, 13.5 avg., 2 TDs)
Tackles - Maurice Crum (26 tackles, 16 solos, 10 assists, 6 TFL)

STAT COMPARISON -

                            Michigan State     Notre Dame
Scoring                     39.0               25.3
First Downs                 24.0               19.0
Total Offense               506.3              342.0
Rushing Yards               258.0              84.0
Passing Yards               248.3              258.0
Time of Possession          31:16              31:33
Third Down Conversions      .641               .318
Points Allowed              20.0               24.7
Total Offense Allowed       299.3              327.3
Rushing Yards Allowed       78.7               132.3
Passing Yards Allowed       220.7              195.0

MSU/NOTRE DAME SERIES NOTES -
Saturday's game marks the 70th meeting between Michigan State and Notre Dame. The last seven games in the series all have been decided by 10 points or less. The Irish lead the all-time series 43-25-1, including a 17-13-1 record in games played in East Lansing, Mich., and a 15-11-1 mark in games played in Spartan Stadium. The Spartans have won seven of the last nine meetings, including a 44-41 overtime victory in Notre Dame Stadium in 2005. Michigan State put together a five-game winning streak from 1997-2001- its longest since taking eight straight from 1955-63. (Note: For a complete list of all-time series scores, please refer to page 134 in the 2006 MSU Football Media Guide.)

THE LAST MEETING -
Sept. 17, 2005, in South Bend, Ind.: Jason Teague took a pitch and raced 19 yards around right end for the game-winning touchdown in overtime as Michigan State upset No. 10 Notre Dame, 44-41, in South Bend, Ind. It marked Michigan State's fifth-straight win in Notre Dame Stadium, tying Purdue (1954-62) for the longest winning streak by an Irish opponent in South Bend. Drew Stanton went 3-for-3 for 71 yards on MSU's second possession, including a 20-yard TD strike to Matt Trannon, as the Spartans jumped out to a 7-0 lead with 11:38 remaining in the first quarter. Notre Dame answered on its next series as Brady Quinn finished off a 13-play, 70-yard drive with an 18-yard TD toss to Jeff Samardzija as the Irish tied the game at 7 with 5:14 left in the first quarter. Jason Ringer's 25-yard run set up MSU's second TD, an 11-yard scoring pass from Stanton to Kellen Davis, as the Spartans regained the lead 14-7 with 2:01 to play in the first quarter. The Irish scored 10-straight points off Spartan turnovers early in the second quarter to take a 17-14 lead. Chinedum Ndukwe's interception led to D.J. Fitzpatrick's 48-yard field goal and a lost fumble resulted in Quinn's 31-yard TD pass to Samardzija. Michigan State responded with an eight-play, 76-yard drive and pulled even at 17 on a 21-yard field goal by John Goss with 5:26 remaining in the first half. Late in the second quarter, Stanton's 45-yard bomb to Terry Love gave the Spartans a first-and-goal at the Irish 2. Two plays later, Stanton scored on a 3-yard keeper around left end as MSU took a 24-17 halftime lead. Early in the third quarter, SirDarean Adams returned his first career interception 30 yards for a touchdown as the Spartans built a 31-17 advantage. Trannon turned a screen pass from Stanton into a 65-yard scoring play as MSU extended its lead to 38-17 with 5:07 left in the third quarter. Notre Dame put together a nine-play, 80-yard drive and cut its deficit to 38-24 on Quinn's 6-yard TD pass to Darius Walker. Quinn's 50-yard completion down the middle of the field to Maurice Stovall set up his fourth TD pass. Two plays later, Quinn again hooked up with Stovall, this time for a 7-yard scoring play as the Irish rallied to within 38-31 with 12:29 remaining in the fourth quarter. Tom Zbikowski's 18-yard punt return set up Notre Dame's game-tying score. Quinn capped off an eight-play, 57-yard drive with a 4-yard TD toss to Samardzija as the Irish pulled even at 38 with 2:31 to play in regulation. On its first possession of overtime, Notre Dame settled for a 44-yard field goal from Fitzpatrick and a 41-38 lead. On MSU's first play from scrimmage in overtime, Stanton scrambled 11 yards to the Irish 14. Following a false-start penalty, Teague scored the game-winning TD, running through the lane created by blocks from Love and Kyle Brown. Michigan State and Notre Dame combined for 49 first downs, 1,082 total yards and 85 points. Stanton completed 16-of-27 throws for 327 yards and three TDs. His 327 passing yards marked the most ever by a Spartan quarterback in the Notre Dame series. Trannon recorded the first 100-yard receiving game of his career, with five catches for 136 yards. Quinn completed 33-of-60 passes for 487 yards and a Notre Dame record-tying five TDs.

THE LAST MEETING IN SPARTAN STADIUM -
Sept. 18, 2004, in East Lansing, Mich.: Brady Quinn threw for one touchdown and ran for another score to lead Notre Dame to a 31-24 victory over Michigan State in Spartan Stadium. The Fighting Irish parlayed six takeaways into 17 points. Michigan State jumped out to a 7-0 lead with 12:18 remaining in the first quarter as Jerramy Scott recovered a blocked punt by Marshall Campbell in the back of the end zone. Tom Zbikowski's 22-yard interception return to the MSU 13 set up Notre Dame's first score. Six plays later, Quinn scored on a 1-yard bootleg around the left end on a fourth-and-goal play to tie the game at 7-7 with 4:42 left in the first quarter. Notre Dame took the lead for good at 14-7 with :07 remaining in the first quarter as Zbikowski stripped the ball from Jason Teague and returned the fumble 75 yards for a score. A 21-yard punt return by Carlyle Holiday set up Notre Dame's third touchdown. Three plays later, Matt Shelton scored on a 35-yard strike from Quinn as the Irish built a 21-7 advantage with 8:52 to play in the first half. Ryan Grant finished off a seven-play, 75-yard drive with a 6-yard TD run as Notre Dame extended its lead to 28-7 with 5:39 remaining in the third quarter. DeAndra Cobb returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a TD as the Spartans pulled to within 28-14. Michigan State cut its deficit to 28-17 on Dave Rayner's 46-yard field goal with 14:55 left in the fourth quarter. On their next series, the Spartans put together a 10-play, 86-yard drive but failed to score as Jehuu Caulcrick fumbled attempting to dive over the pile at the goal line. Quinn's 31-yard completion to Jeff Samardzija led to Notre Dame's final score, a 23-yard field goal by D.J. Fitzpatrick that gave the Irish a 31-17 lead with 57 seconds on the clock. Drew Stanton capped an eight-play, 63-yard drive with a 4-yard TD run as the Spartans rallied to within 31-24 with 8 seconds to play. The Irish outgained Michigan State in total yards, 388-341.

SPARTANS RANK SECOND IN ALL-TIME VICTORIES vs. NOTRE DAME -
Michigan State ranks second (tied with Purdue) among opponents in all-time victories (25) over Notre Dame. Only Southern Cal (30) has posted more wins over the Irish than the Spartans and Boilermakers.


All-Time Wins vs. Notre Dame Opponent Games Played Wins vs. ND Southern Cal 77 30 Michigan State 69 25 Purdue 77 25 Michigan 34 19 Pittsburgh 63 18

MEGAPHONE TROPHY -
Since 1949, the winner of the Michigan State-Notre Dame game has been presented the Megaphone Trophy, sponsored jointly by the Detroit alumni clubs of both schools. The megaphone is printed half blue, with a gold ND monogram, and half white, with a green MSC. All previous game scores are listed on the trophy. Michigan State and Notre Dame played 36 consecutive seasons from 1959-94 until the two-year interruption of the series in 1995-96. The current series contract runs through the 2011 season.

GRIMES FAMILY FEUD -
Saturday, Michigan State sophomore wide receiver Carl Grimes (Detroit, Mich./St. Martin De Porres High School) will compete against his brother David, a sophomore wide receiver on the 2006 Notre Dame roster.

MSU/NOTRE DAME COACHING CONNECTIONS -
• Michigan State's John L. Smith, who served as head coach at Utah State in 1997 and at Louisville from 1998-2002, compiled a 4-2 record against Cincinnati teams coached by Rick Minter, now defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Notre Dame.
• Michigan State offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin spent the 2001 season in the same capacity at Cincinnati under Rick Minter (now Irish defensive coordinator and linebackers coach), helping the Bearcats to a 7-5 record and a trip to the Motor City Bowl.
• Michigan State secondary coach Chuck Driesbach and Notre Dame offensive line coach John Latina worked together at Ole Miss from 2002-04. Driesbach served as defensive coordinator under David Cutcliffe, while Latina acted as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
• Michigan State director of player development Dino Folino and Notre Dame offensive line coach John Latina spent the 1982 season together at Pittsburgh. Folino coached the Panther defensive backs for Foge Fazio, while Latina worked with the tight ends.
• Notre Dame head special teams coach and defensive backs assistant Brian Polian began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Michigan State in 1997, working for former Spartan head coach Nick Saban.

MSU/NOTRE DAME CONNECTIONS, PART II -
• Michigan State junior tight end Eric Andino (Arlington Heights, Ill.) and Notre Dame senior safety Tom Zbikowski were teammates at Buffalo Grove (Ill.) High School.
• Michigan State's veteran play-by-play radio announcer George Blaha graduated from Notre Dame in 1966 with a degree in economics. Blaha is in his 29th season as the Spartans' radio voice.
• Michigan State second-year baseball coach David Grewe (pronounced GREW-ee) spent three years as an assistant coach at Notre Dame (2003-05) where he served as recruiting coordinator, hitting and catching instructor under former Irish head coach Paul Mainieri.

MSU, NOTRE DAME CELEBRATE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF 1966 "GAME OF THE CENTURY" -
Saturday's Michigan State-Notre Dame football game marks the 70th meeting between the schools. It also marks the 40th anniversary of the 1966 "Game of the Century" between the second-ranked Spartans and top-ranked Irish that ended in a 10-10 tie.

To mark the 40th anniversary of the 1966 "Game of the Century":

• On Friday, MSU's Athletics Development Office will entertain members of the 1966 football team and their families during a private reception in the LaSalle Bank Club in Spartan Stadium.

Approximately 45 former players and coaches from the 1966 team are expected to return to campus this weekend. Five All-Americans from the 1966 team are scheduled to participate in the reunion activities: fullback Bob Apisa, halfback Clinton Jones, defensive end Charles "Bubba" Smith, wide receiver Gene Washington and rover George Webster. Other headliners returning include offensive guard Tony Conti, quarterback Jimmy Raye, linebacker Charlie Thornhill and offensive tackle Jerry West.

• Saturday's edition of the Spartan Sports Zone game program will be packaged with a reprinted copy of the 1966 game program. The set of game programs will be available for $10.

• Throughout pre-game warmups, the scoreboard will display the final score from the 1966 game.

• Members of Michigan State's 1966 football team will be introduced during a pre-game ceremony. Following the ceremony, the 1966 team will form a human tunnel for the current players to run through as they take the field.

• Two-time All-American Charles "Bubba" Smith will become just the third player in Michigan State football history to have his jersey number (No. 95) retired, joining Don Coleman (No. 78, 1949-51) and George Webster (No. 90, 1964-66). A fourth jersey number (No. 46) was retired in honor of former MSU President John Hannah.

Smith, who was selected Lineman of the Year by United Press International in 1966, will be presented with a framed copy of his jersey during a special pre-game ceremony. The No. 95 officially will be taken out of circulation following the 2008 season, when sophomore defensive end Justin Kershaw completes his eligibility.

Despite being regularly double- or triple-teamed or having opponent's run away from his side of the field, Smith still produced 10 tackles for losses in 1966 while helping the Spartans to a 9-0-1 record. Michigan State ranked third in the NCAA in rushing defense in 1966, allowing just 51.4 yards per game.

Smith became the first selection overall in the 1967 National Football League Draft by the Baltimore Colts. In 1988, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. In June 2006, Smith was rated among the Top 10 Greatest Defensive Players of All-Time, according to lists compiled by CollegeFootballNews.com's Pete Fiutak (No. 6) and Richard Cirminiello (No. 8).

• Clinton Jones, George Webster, Bubba Smith and Don Coleman have been selected as honorary captains for Saturday's game and will accompany the 2006 team captains to midfield for the pre-game coin toss.

• Both teams will wear 1966 "Game of the Century" commemorative patches on the front of the game jerseys.

• Michigan State will wear throwback (Spartan) decals on its helmet to replicate the look of the team's 1966 helmet. In addition to changing the side decals, a single white stripe will be added down the center of the helmet. The player's jersey number will appear on the back of the helmet, with the white stripe dividing the double-digit numbers.

MSU vs. NOTRE DAME RANKS AMONG NATION'S OLDEST RIVALRIES -
The Michigan State-Notre Dame series began 109 years ago in 1897, making it one of the 27 oldest rivalries in college football. It also ranks as one of only three rivalries - joining Army-Navy and Auburn-Georgia Tech - that does not involve either intrastate or current conference rivals.

CURRENT SPARTANS vs. NOTRE DAME -
Career Stat Leaders

Rushing - Jehuu Caulcrick (2 games: 22 carries for 104 yards, 4.7 avg., 0 TDs)
Passing - Drew Stanton (2 games: 24 of 39 for 437 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT)
Receiving - Matt Trannon (3 games: 8 catches for 172 yards, 21.5 avg., 2 TDs)
Tackles - David Herron Jr. (3 games: 18 tackles, 10 solos, 8 assists, 1 sack)

SPARTAN SCOUT TEAM PLAYERS OF THE WEEK -
The Michigan State coaching staff selected the following Scout Team Players of the Week for their contributions in practice prior to the Sept. 23 game against Notre Dame:

Offense - WR Blair White (earns Scout Team Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career)
Defense - DT John Stipek (earns Scout Team Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career)

SPARTANS FROM THE HOOSIER STATE -
Michigan State's 2006 roster features three players from Indiana: junior center John Masters (Carmel), red-shirt junior offensive guard Kenny Shane (Indianapolis/North Central) and junior defensive tackle Chris Smith (Brookville/Franklin County).

SPARTANS TOUGH IN NON-CONFERENCE GAMES -
Michigan State has compiled a 23-7 record (.767) in games played against non-conference opponents since 1999, including six-straight wins (2005-06).

Here's a look at Michigan State's non-conference results since 1999:

Date Opponent MSU Result Site Sept. 16, 2006 Pittsburgh W, 38-23 Pittsburgh, Pa. Sept. 9, 2006 Eastern Michigan W, 52-20 Spartan Stadium Sept. 2, 2006 Idaho W, 27-17 Spartan Stadium Sept. 17, 2005 Notre Dame W, 44-41 (OT) South Bend, Ind. Sept. 10, 2005 Hawaii W, 42-14 Spartan Stadium Sept. 3, 2005 Kent State W, 49-14 Spartan Stadium Dec. 4, 2004 Hawaii L, 38-41 Honolulu, Hawaii Sept. 18, 2004 Notre Dame L, 24-31 Spartan Stadium Sept. 11, 2004 Central Michigan W, 24-7 Spartan Stadium Sept. 4, 2004 Rutgers L, 14-19 Piscataway, N.J. Dec. 29, 2003 Nebraska L, 3-17 San Antonio, Texas Sept. 20, 2003 Notre Dame W, 22-16 South Bend, Ind. Sept. 13, 2003 Louisiana Tech L, 19-20 Spartan Stadium Sept. 6, 2003 Rutgers W, 44-28 Spartan Stadium Aug. 30, 2003 Western Michigan W, 26-21 Spartan Stadium Sept. 21, 2002 Notre Dame L, 17-21 Spartan Stadium Sept. 14, 2002 California L, 22-46 Spartan Stadium Sept. 7, 2002 Rice W, 27-10 Spartan Stadium Aug. 31, 2002 Eastern Michigan W, 56-7 Spartan Stadium Dec. 31, 2001 Fresno State W, 44-35 San Jose, Calif. Dec. 1, 2001 Missouri W, 55-7 Spartan Stadium Sept. 22, 2001 Notre Dame W, 17-10 South Bend, Ind. Sept. 8, 2001 Central Michigan W, 35-21 Spartan Stadium Sept. 23, 2000 Notre Dame W, 27-21 Spartan Stadium Sept. 16, 2000 Missouri W, 13-10 Columbia, Mo. Sept. 9, 2000 Marshall W, 34-24 Spartan Stadium Jan. 1, 2000 Florida W, 37-34 Orlando, Fla. Sept. 18, 1999 Notre Dame W, 23-13 South Bend, Ind. Sept. 11, 1999 Eastern Michigan W, 51-7 Spartan Stadium Sept. 2, 1999 Oregon W, 27-20 Spartan Stadium

UPSET SPECIALS -
Michigan State is 18-18 (.500) in its last 36 games against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, including an 11-4 record (.733) in games played in Spartan Stadium. Fifteen of those 18 wins over ranked teams have come while Michigan State was unranked or ranked below its opponent.

In 2005, the Spartans went 1-2 against AP Top 25 teams, including an overtime win at No. 10 Notre Dame (44-41) and losses at No. 15 Ohio State (35-24) and against No. 5 Penn State (31-22).

Here's a look at Michigan State's last 36 games against AP Top 25 teams (MSU wins in bold type):

Date Result (Associated Press Ranking) Site Nov. 19, 2005 No. 5 Penn State 31, MSU 22 East Lansing Oct. 15, 2005 No. 15 Ohio State 35, No. 16 MSU 24 Columbus Sept. 17, 2005 MSU 44, No. 10 Notre Dame 41 (OT) South Bend Nov. 13, 2004 MSU 49, No. 4 Wisconsin 14 East Lansing Oct. 30, 2004 No. 12 Michigan 45, MSU 37 (3 OT) Ann Arbor Oct. 16, 2004 MSU 51, No. 19 Minnesota 17 East Lansing Dec. 29, 2003 No. 22 Nebraska 17, MSU 3 San Antonio Nov. 8, 2003 No. 7 Ohio State 33, No. 14 MSU 23 Columbus Nov. 1, 2003 No. 11 Michigan 27, No. 9 MSU 20 East Lansing Oct. 18, 2003 No. 15 MSU 44, No. 25 Minnesota 38 Minneapolis Sept. 27, 2003 MSU 20, No. 13 Iowa 10 East Lansing Nov. 23, 2002 No. 15 Penn State 61, MSU 7 State College Nov. 2, 2002 No. 15 Michigan 49, MSU 3 Ann Arbor Oct. 12, 2002 No. 17 Iowa 44, MSU 16 Iowa City Sept. 21, 2002 No. 12 Notre Dame 21, MSU 17 East Lansing Dec. 31, 2001 MSU 44, No. 20 Fresno State 35 San Jose Nov. 3, 2001 MSU 26, No. 6 Michigan 24 East Lansing Sept. 29, 2001 No. 16 Northwestern 27, No. 23 MSU 26 Evanston Sept. 22, 2001 MSU 17, No. 23 Notre Dame 10 South Bend Nov. 11, 2000 MSU 30, No. 9 Purdue 10 East Lansing Nov. 4, 2000 No. 16 Ohio State 27, MSU 13 Columbus Oct. 21, 2000 No. 16 Michigan 14, MSU 0 Ann Arbor Sept. 23, 2000 No. 23 MSU 27, No. 16 Notre Dame 21 East Lansing Jan. 1, 2000 No. 9 MSU 37, No. 10 Florida 34 Orlando Nov. 20, 1999 No. 15 MSU 35, No. 13 Penn State 28 East Lansing Nov. 6, 1999 No. 19 MSU 23, No. 20 Ohio State 7 East Lansing Oct. 23, 1999 No. 17 Wisconsin 40, No. 11 MSU 10 Madison Oct. 16, 1999 No. 20 Purdue 52, No. 5 MSU 28 West Lafayette Oct. 9, 1999 No. 11 MSU 34, No. 3 Michigan 31 East Lansing Sept. 18, 1999 MSU 23, No. 24 Notre Dame 13 South Bend Nov. 28, 1998 No. 23 Penn State 51, MSU 28 State College Nov. 7, 1998 MSU 28, No. 1 Ohio State 24 Columbus Sept. 12, 1998 MSU 45, No. 10 Notre Dame 23 East Lansing Aug. 29, 1998 No. 15 Colorado State 23, No. 23 MSU 16 East Lansing Dec. 25, 1997 No. 21 Washington 51, No. 25 MSU 23 Aloha Bowl Nov. 29, 1997 MSU 49, No. 4 Penn State 14 East Lansing

SPARTANS OWN 15 WINS OVER RANKED IRISH TEAMS -
Michigan State has compiled a 15-23-1 record (.397) against ranked Notre Dame teams, according to Associated Press Polls since 1948. Nine of those 15 victories have come in East Lansing, Mich.

The Spartans have won five of the last six games played against ranked Irish teams.

Here's a look at MSU's 39 games played against ranked Notre Dame teams (MSU wins in bold type):

Year ND Rank MSU Result Site 2005 No. 10 W, 44-41 (OT) Notre Dame Stadium 2002 No. 12 L, 17-21 Spartan Stadium 2001 No. 23 W, 17-10 Notre Dame Stadium 2000 No. 16 W, 27-21 Spartan Stadium 1999 No. 24 W, 23-13 Notre Dame Stadium 1998 No. 10 W, 45-23 Spartan Stadium 1994 No. 8 L, 20-21 Spartan Stadium 1993 No. 4 L, 14-36 Notre Dame Stadium 1992 No. 7 L, 31-52 Spartan Stadium 1991 No. 11 L, 10-49 Notre Dame Stadium 1990 No. 1 L, 19-20 Spartan Stadium 1989 No. 1 L, 13-21 Notre Dame Stadium 1988 No. 8 L, 3-20 Spartan Stadium 1987 No. 9 L, 8-31 Notre Dame Stadium 1986 No. 20 W, 20-15 Spartan Stadium 1983 No. 4 W, 28-23 Notre Dame Stadium 1982 No. 11 L, 3-11 Spartan Stadium 1980 No. 7 L, 21-26 Spartan Stadium 1979 No. 15 L, 3-27 Notre Dame Stadium 1977 No. 14 L, 6-16 Notre Dame Stadium 1976 No. 18 L, 6-24 Spartan Stadium 1975 No. 8 W, 10-3 Notre Dame Stadium 1974 No. 7 L, 14-19 Spartan Stadium 1973 No. 8 L, 10-14 Notre Dame Stadium 1972 No. 7 L, 0-16 Spartan Stadium 1971 No. 4 L, 14-2 Notre Dame Stadium 1970 No. 4 L, 0-29 Spartan Stadium 1968 No. 5 W, 21-17 Spartan Stadium 1966 No. 1 T, 10-10 Spartan Stadium 1965 No. 4 W, 12-3 Notre Dame Stadium 1964 No. 1 L, 7-34 Notre Dame Stadium 1961 No. 6 W, 17-7 Spartan Stadium 1957 No. 15 W, 34-6 Spartan Stadium 1955 No. 4 W, 21-7 Macklin Field 1954 No. 8 L, 19-20 Notre Dame Stadium 1952 No. 6 W, 21-3 Macklin Field 1951 No. 11 W, 35-0 Macklin Field 1949 No. 1 L, 21-34 Macklin Field 1948 No. 1 L, 7-26 Notre Dame Stadium

SPARTANS RETURN TO PRIME TIME -
Saturday's Michigan State-Notre Dame game marks just the sixth night game in the 83-year history of Spartan Stadium. The Spartans are 3-2 in their five previous prime-time TV appearances in Spartan Stadium, including two wins over ranked opponents. Michigan State is 1-1 in home night games played against the Fighting Irish.

Here are brief recaps of the previous five night games played in Spartan Stadium:

Sept. 7, 1987 (Michigan State 27, No. 19 Southern Cal 13)
In their first prime-time appearance, the Spartans upset No. 19 Southern Cal, 27-13, in the 1987 season opener, played on Labor Day. Lorenzo White rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns while Bobby McAllister accounted for 163 total yards, including a 9-yard TD run, to pace the Spartan attack. Michigan State produced 13 points off five Southern Cal turnovers.

Sept. 9, 1998 (Michigan State 45, No. 10 Notre Dame 23)
Bill Burke completed 12-of-19 passes for 209 yards and three scores as Michigan State stunned No. 10 Notre Dame, 45-23. The Spartans got out of the gate early as Notre Dame's first possession ended in a blocked punt that Richard Newsome returned 25 yards for a touchdown. Michigan State scored TDs on its first four possessions. Julian Peterson's 23-yard interception return for a touchdown gave the Spartans a 42-3 halftime lead.

Sept. 2, 1999 (Michigan State 27, Oregon 20)
Michigan State battled back from a 17-7 third-quarter deficit to post a 27-20 victory over Oregon in the 1999 season opener. The Ducks built a 17-7 lead on A.J. Feeley's 18-yard touchdown strike to Tony Hartley with 9:30 left in the third quarter. The Spartans pulled even at 17 on Bill Burke's 12-yard TD toss to Gari Scott with 3:03 remaining in the third quarter. Michigan State took the lead for good at 24-17 on Amp Campbell's 85-yard fumble return for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Burke threw for 205 yards and two TDs while Lloyd Clemons gained 121 yards on 18 rushes.

Oct. 26, 2002 (Wisconsin 42, Michigan State 24)
Brooks Bollinger accounted for 193 total yards and five touchdowns to lead Wisconsin to a 42-24 victory over Michigan State in Spartan Stadium. Wisconsin jumped out to a 21-0 lead, scoring on three-straight possessions in the first quarter. Bollinger scored on a 1-yard sneak, a 7-yard bootleg around right end and flipped a 3-yard TD pass to Mark Bell in the first quarter. Bollinger completed 10-of-18 throws for 135 yards and three scores. Wisconsin's ground game amassed 313 yards, with Anthony Davis (29 for 170) and Smith (14 for 110) each posting 100-yard rushing games. In his second career start for the Spartans, Damon Dowdell hit 14-of-24 passes for 162 yards, including TD tosses of 7 yards to BJ Lovett and 26 yards to Charles Rogers.

Sept. 18, 2004 (Notre Dame 31, Michigan State 24)
Brady Quinn threw for one touchdown and ran for another score to lead Notre Dame to a 31-24 victory over Michigan State in Spartan Stadium. The Fighting Irish parlayed six takeaways into 17 points. Notre Dame took the lead for good at 14-7 with :07 remaining in the first quarter as Tom Zbikowski stripped the ball from Jason Teague and returned the fumble 75 yards for a score. The Irish built a 21-7 halftime lead on Quinn's 35-yard TD strike to Matt Shelton with 8:52 to play in the first half. Notre Dame extended its lead to 28-7 on Ryan Grant's 6-yard TD run late in the third quarter. Drew Stanton came off the Spartan bench to account for 159 total yards (110 passing, 49 rushing) in the second half, including a 4-yard TD run in the closing seconds. Quinn completed 11-of-24 throws for 215 yards, while Shelton caught three passes for 123 yards.

BIG TEN/NCAA STAT LEADERS -
Here's a glance at how Michigan State ranks among the Big Ten and NCAA stat leaders in 2006:

Category Stat Avg. Big Ten NCAA Rushing Offense 258.0 1st 5th Passing Offense 248.3 3rd 30th Total Offense 506.3 1st 3rd Scoring Offense 39.0 3rd 7th Rushing Defense 78.7 3rd 22nd Passing Defense 220.7 10th 85th Total Defense 299.3 7th 49th Scoring Defense 20.0 t-7th t-50th Passing Efficiency 167.8 2nd 9th Pass Efficiency Defense 119.4 7th 54th Turnover Margin +0.33 t-4th t-39th Net Punting 45.2 1st (48.5) 1st Punt Returns 2.4 11th 104th Kickoff Returns 20.2 5th 58th

NCAA STAT LEADERS -
Here's a glance at how Michigan State ranks among the NCAA individual stat leaders in 2006:

Individual Statistics (Top 50)
Rushing: Javon Ringer (12th at 118.7 yards per game)
Passing Efficiency: Drew Stanton (21st with 156.9 rating)
Total Offense: Drew Stanton (10th at 290.0 yards per game)
Receptions: Matt Trannon (17th at 6.3 catches per game); Kerry Reed (44th at 5.3 cpg.)
Kickoff Returns: Javon Ringer (48th at 21.2 yards per return)
Field Goals: Brett Swenson (t-19th at 1.3 field goals made per game)
Scoring: Brett Swenson (t-32nd at 9.0 points per game)
All-Purpose Yards: Javon Ringer (7th at 161.3 yards per game)

STANTON: A MODEL OF CONSISTENCY -
Fifth-year senior Drew Stanton ranks among the Big Ten leaders in total offense (No. 2 at 290.0 yards per game), passing efficiency (No. 3 at 156.9 rating) and passing yards (No. 3 at 225.7 ypg.). He also is listed among the NCAA leaders in total offense (No. 10) and passing efficiency (No. 21).

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Stanton accounted for 303 total yards and three touchdowns to lead Michigan State to a 38-23 victory at Pittsburgh. Stanton completed 16-of-25 passes for 198 yards, ending his school-record streak of consecutive 200-yard passing games at 14. He threw scoring strikes of 2 yards to Kellen Davis and 12 yards to Kerry Reed, extending his school-record streak on consecutive games with at least one TD pass to 15. Stanton also recorded his third career 100-yard rushing game, gaining 105 yards on 13 carries against the Panthers. He capped an eight-play, 75-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run late in the third quarter as MSU took a 24-10 lead.

He produced 287 total yards and five TDs in MSU's 52-20 victory over Eastern Michigan. Stanton completed 24-of-32 throws for 254 yards, three TDs and one interception. He hooked up with Matt Trannon for scoring plays of 17 and 7 yards, and hit T.J. Williams with an 8-yard TD strike. With his 254 yards, Stanton moved into fifth place on MSU's all-time list with 5,196 career yards. He also rushed nine times for 33 yards and two TDs against EMU, scoring on runs of 1 and 6 yards.

In the 2006 season opener against Idaho, he completed 16-of-25 passes for 225 yards, including a 27-yard scoring toss to Kerry Reed in the first quarter.

STANTON EARNS HERBIE AWARD -
Fifth-year senior Drew Stanton has been ranked among the nation's best quarterbacks, according to a preseason list compiled by ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit. Stanton is rated as the second-best "New School (run and pass like Michael Vick)" quarterback by Herbstreit, behind Ohio State's Troy Smith.

STANTON RUNS OFFENSE AT FULL THROTTLE -
In Drew Stanton's 21 career starts at quarterback, Michigan State is averaging 229.2 rushing yards, 268.2 passing yards, 497.4 total yards and 33.9 points per game.

Here's a complete breakdown of Michigan State's offensive production in Stanton's 21 career starts (11-10 record):

Opponent (MSU Result) Rushing Yds. Passing Yds. Total Yds. Points 2004 @ Indiana (W) 241 172 413 30 @ Iowa (L) 204 245 449 16 Illinois (W) 253 234 487 38 Minnesota (W) 324 312 636 51 @ Michigan (L) 368 167 535 37 @ Penn State (L) 161 177 338 13 @ Hawaii (L) 268 330 598 38

2005 Kent State (W) 354 331 685 49 Hawaii (W) 198 301 499 42 @ Notre Dame (W) 161 327 488 44 @ Illinois (W) 376 329 705 61 Michigan (L) 173 282 455 31 @ Ohio State (L) 116 340 456 24 Northwestern (L) 189 291 480 14 Indiana (W) 237 256 493 46 @ Purdue (L) 103 248 351 21 @ Minnesota (L) 145 312 457 18 Penn State (L) 168 233 401 22

2006 Idaho (W) 175 225 400 27 Eastern Michigan (W) 264 322 586 52 @ Pittsburgh (W) 335 198 533 38 21-Game Totals 4,813 5,632 10,445 712 21-Game Averages 229.2 268.2 497.4 33.9

SPARTANS FEATURE BALANCED GROUND ATTACK -
Michigan State leads the Big Ten and ranks fifth in the NCAA in rushing offense, averaging 258.0 yards per game.

In its 38-23 victory at Pittsburgh, MSU's ground game amassed 335 yards and produced two 100-yard rushers, with Javon Ringer gaining 156 yards on 15 carries and Drew Stanton picking up 105 yards on 13 attempts. It marked the first time that two Spartan ball carriers had reached the century mark in the same game since Jehuu Caulcrick (146 yards) and Jason Teague (112) combined to rush for 258 yards against Wisconsin on Nov. 13, 2004.

Ringer, who has recorded back-to-back 100-yard rushing games against Eastern Michigan and Pittsburgh, paces a well-balanced ground attack with 356 yards on 46 carries. The 5-foot-9, 198-pound sophomore ranks third in the Big Ten and No. 12 nationally in rushing, averaging 118.7 yards per game. He rushed 15 times for 130 yards against Eastern Michigan.

Stanton ranks as the team's second-leading rusher with 193 yards on 30 carries. He posted his third career 100-yard rushing game against Pittsburgh (13 rushes for 105 yards). Stanton capped an eight-play, 75-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter as MSU took a 24-10 lead over the Panthers.

The fifth-year senior quarterback rushed nine times for 33 yards and two TDs against EMU, scoring on runs of 1 and 6 yards. Stanton rushed eight times for 55 yards (6.9 avg.) in the 2006 season opener against Idaho.

Caulcrick, who sat out the Eastern Michigan game with a sprained foot, ranks third on the team in rushing with 114 yards on 29 carries. The 6-0, 260-pound junior scored two rushing TDs (1 and 2 yards) against Pittsburgh. Caulcrick rushed 12 times for 50 yards in the season opener against Idaho, including a 2-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter.

Red-shirt freshman A.J. Jimmerson has added 89 yards on 13 attempts while playing in two games. Jimmerson came off the bench to account for 127 all-purpose yards and two TDs in his collegiate debut against Eastern Michigan. Jimmerson gained 70 yards on 10 rushes against the Eagles, including a 31-yard run that set up a score in the fourth quarter. He also caught three passes for 48 yards, including TD grabs of 35 yards from Trannon and 6 yards from Brian Hoyer.

Michigan State's backfield features three career 1,000-yard rushers: Stanton (252 carries for 1,260 yards), Caulcrick (231 for 1,211) and Ringer (168 for 1,173). That trio has combined to rush for 3,644 career yards and 34 career TDs.

TRANNON PACES TALENTED RECEIVING CORPS -
Fifth-year senior Matt Trannon leads the Spartans in receptions with 19 for 190 yards (10.0 avg.). He ranks second in the Big Ten in receptions (6.3 per game) and eighth in receiving yards (63.3 per game). Trannon also is listed among the NCAA leaders in receptions (No. 17). He leads the team in yards after the catch (70), and 11 of his 19 catches (58 percent) have resulted in first downs.

The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Trannon was selected Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after catching a school-record 14 passes for a career-best 151 yards and two touchdowns in MSU's 52-20 victory over Eastern Michigan. He broke the single-game mark previously held by Plaxico Burress, who had 13 receptions (185 yards) against Florida in the 2000 Florida Citrus Bowl. Trannon scored on TD grabs of 17 and 7 yards from Drew Stanton. It marked his second career 100-yard receiving game. Trannon also threw a 35-yard scoring pass to A.J. Jimmerson in the second quarter that gave the Spartans a 24-3 lead.

Trannon, who ranks eighth on MSU's career list with 123 receptions, needs just 24 more catches to overtake Andre Rison (146, 1985-88) and become the school's all-time leader. The Flint, Mich., native has caught at least one pass in 23-consecutive games.

REED EMERGES AS STEADY PLAYMAKER IN PASSING GAME -
Senior flanker Kerry Reed has emerged as one of the Spartans' top playmakers in the passing game. Reed ranks second on the team in receptions with 16 for 208 yards (13.0 avg.). He is listed among the Big Ten leaders in receptions (fourth with 5.3 per game) and receiving yards (tied for fifth at 69.3 yards per game).

The 6-foot-2, 198-pound Reed recorded the first 100-yard receiving game of his career against Pittsburgh, with a career-best seven catches for 103 yards including a 12-yard touchdown grab from Drew Stanton early in the fourth quarter.

He caught five passes for 42 yards against Eastern Michigan. Reed had four receptions for 63 yards (15.8 avg.) in the 2006 season opener against Idaho, including a 27-yard scoring pass from Stanton in the first quarter.

Seventy-four percent of his career receptions (35 of 47) have come over the last eight games. Reed has 35 catches for 430 yards and five scores during that stretch.

SAFETIES MAKE A SPLASH -
Michigan State's starting safeties - sophomore Otis Wiley and junior Nehemiah Warrick - have combined for 49 tackles, five tackles for losses and five pass break-ups in the first three games of the 2006 season.

The 6-foot-2, 209-pound Wiley leads the team in tackles (26 total), tackles for losses (4 for 8 yards), pass break-ups (4: tied with Demond Williams) and production points (62). He ranks seventh in the Big Ten in tackles, averaging 8.7 per game.

Wiley recorded eight tackles, including seven solo hits, against Eastern Michigan. He also produced two tackles for losses (3 yards) against the Eagles.

In his first career start at free safety, Wiley recorded 12 tackles, including a 4-yard sack, and three pass break-ups against Idaho. He also forced a fumble against the Vandals, accounting for four of his 36 production points.

The 6-1, 203-pound Warrick ranks second on the team in tackles (23: 16 solos, 7 assists) and third in production points (30). He registered a team-high eight tackles against Pittsburgh, including seven solo hits.

Warrick produced 12 stops and a pass break-up in his Spartan debut against Idaho while compiling 20 production points from his strong safety position.

STARTING LINEUP FEATURED 10 FIRST-TIME STARTERS -
Michigan State's starting lineup for the 2006 season opener against Idaho featured 10 first-time starters, including four on the offensive side of the football, five on defense and one specialist.

First-time starters on offense included: left guard Pete Clifford (6-7, 300, Jr.), right guard Roland Martin (6-5, 325, So.), right tackle Jesse Miller (6-6, 306, So.) and running back Javon Ringer (5-9, 198, So.). For fourth-year Spartan head coach John L. Smith, the toughest challenge on offense has been retooling an offensive line that lost three veterans in (left tackle) Stefon Wheeler, (center) Chris Morris and (right guard) Gordon Niebylski, who were responsible for 83 combined starting assignments.

First-time starters on defense included: stud end Justin Kershaw (6-4, 254, So.), defensive tackle Ogemdi Nwagbuo (6-4, 297, Jr.), rush end Ervin Baldwin (6-2, 252, Jr.), strong safety Nehemiah Warrick (6-1, 203, Jr.) and free safety Otis Wiley (6-2, 209, So.).

In his debut as the starting placekicker, true freshman Brett Swenson (5-8, 151) converted 2-of-3 field-goal attempts against Idaho, including a 23-yarder with 30 seconds left that iced the game.

2006 CAPTAINS ELECTED -
Four fifth-year seniors - center Kyle Cook, linebacker David Herron Jr., defensive tackle Clifton Ryan and quarterback Drew Stanton - were elected captains by their peers during a Friday, Aug. 11 team meeting. It marked the first time during John L. Smith's four-year tenure that the Spartan captains were selected solely by a team vote.

In its 109-year football history, eight Michigan State players have been named multi-year captains as Ryan (2005-06) and Stanton (2005-06) join center Robert McCurry (1946-47-48), quarterback John Leister (1981-82), linebacker Carl Banks (1982-83), linebacker Ike Reese (1996-97), linebacker Josh Thornhill (2000-01) and linebacker Ronald Stanley (2003-04).

RETURN TO SENDER -
During John L. Smith's tenure as head coach, Michigan State's special teams have produced seven touchdowns, including five kickoff returns and two blocked punts that have resulted in scores.

2005
Oct. 29 vs. Indiana: Demond Williams returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a TD.

2004
Sept. 18 vs. Notre Dame: Jerramy Scott recovered a blocked punt (by Marshall Campbell) in the back of the end zone for a score early in the first quarter. DeAndra Cobb returned a kickoff 89 yards for a TD late in the third quarter. Nov. 13 vs. Wisconsin: Travis Key recovered a blocked punt (by Marshall Campbell) at the goal line for a score midway through the first quarter.

2003
Sept. 6 vs. Rutgers: DeAndra Cobb returned a kickoff 94 yards for a TD late in the second quarter. Oct. 18 vs. Minnesota: DeAndra Cobb returned a kickoff 100 yards for a TD with 48 seconds left in the first half. Nov. 8 vs. Ohio State: DeAndra Cobb returned a kickoff 93 yards for a score early in the third quarter.

WINNING IN THE CLASSROOM -
In three seasons under head coach John L. Smith, 41 student-athletes have been named Academic All-Big Ten, the highest three-year total in football program history. In 2005, a school-record 18 Spartans earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, tying for the most selections by any conference institution.

SPARTAN FOOTBALL SEASON TICKETS SOLD OUT -
Michigan State Athletics Department officials reported Monday, Aug. 28 that football season-ticket sales have exceeded 60,000 for the second year in a row and just the fifth time in school history and as a result, season-ticket sales have been suspended for both the general public and MSU students.

The MSU Athletics Department Ticket Office reports that 61,227 football season tickets have been sold - the second-highest total in MSU history. That figure reflects an increase in the demand for student season tickets with 12,722 sold, an increase of 685 from 2005. It marks the highest number of student season tickets purchased since 1991 (13,360). Since the late 1990s, the MSU Athletics Department had allocated approximately 10,500 football season tickets for students. In 2005, MSU Athletics Director Ron Mason approved measures to meet the increased ticket demand from the student body.

Spartan football season-ticket sales topped the 60,000 mark for three straight years from 1999-2001, with an all-time record 61,479 season tickets purchased in 2000.

The Spartans have ranked among the NCAA's top 20 in attendance each of the last 50 years, including No. 20 in 2005, averaging 75,183 fans per game.

All-Time Football Season-Ticket Sales Rank Season Tickets Sold 1. 2000 61,479 2. 2006 61,227 3. 2001 61,198 4. 2005 60,692 5. 1999 60,109

SPARTANS TOUGH ON HOME TURF -
Spartan Stadium is in its 83rd season as home to Michigan State football. Michigan State has compiled a 305-131-13 record (.694) since taking up residency in Spartan Stadium in 1923. With its 49-14 victory over No. 4 Wisconsin in the 2004 home finale, Michigan State recorded its 300th win in Spartan Stadium. The Spartans have gone undefeated at home 16 times since the stadium opened, including a perfect 6-0 mark in 1999. It marked Michigan State's first undefeated home record since 1966 (5-0-1) and its first unbeaten and untied home slate since 1965 (5-0-0).

MAGIC NUMBER 24 -
Since 1990, Michigan State is 85-21-1 (.799) when it scores at least 24 points and 13-69-1 (.163) when it scores fewer than 24 points. During that 17-year period, the Spartans have compiled an overall record of 98-90-2 (.521).

SPARTAN SINGLE-GAME BESTS UNDER SMITH -
Here's a look at the top single-game totals produced by Michigan State during head coach John L. Smith's tenure (2003-06; 39 games):

Rushing Yards: 430 vs. Wisconsin, 2004
Passing Yards: 382 vs. Indiana, 2003
Total Yards: 705 vs. Illinois, 2005
First Downs: 35 vs. Kent State, 2005
Fewest Rushing Yards Allowed: minus 2 by Rutgers, 2003
Fewest Passing Yards Allowed: 93 by Central Michigan, 2004
Fewest Total Yards Allowed: 238 by Penn State, 2003
Fewest First Downs Allowed: 12 by Eastern Michigan, 2006; Ohio State and Indiana, 2004; Rutgers, 2003
Sacks By: 6 vs. Indiana and Western Michigan, 2003
Turnovers Forced: 5 vs. Louisiana Tech, 2003
Points (Game): 61 vs. Illinois, 2005
Points (Half): 38 (1st) vs. Illinois, 2005
Points (Quarter): 28 (2nd) vs. Illinois, 2005
Victory Margin: 47 vs. Illinois, 2005

COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAMER "MUDDY" WATERS PASSES AWAY AT AGE 83 -
Former Spartan letterman and head football coach Frank "Muddy" Waters died in Saginaw, Mich., on Wednesday, Sept. 20. He was 83.

Waters, born Jan. 30, 1923, in Chico, Calif., earned four letters as a halfback and fullback at Michigan State from 1946-49, playing one season for Charlie Bachman and three years for Biggie Munn.

He compiled a 163-72-7 record (.688) in 25 seasons as a small college coach, including a 138-46-5 worksheet in 20 seasons at Hillsdale (1954-73) and a 25-26-2 mark in five years at Saginaw Valley State (1975-79). Twelve of his Hillsdale teams were nationally ranked and from 1953-57, the Chargers won 34-straight games. Hillsdale won seven-straight Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) championships from 1954-60. His 1955 team earned an invitation to the Tangerine Bowl, but when bowl officials informed Waters that black players would not be allowed to participate, he withdrew his team from the game. In 1957, Waters was named NAIA Coach of the Year after producing a 9-1 record.

He left Hillsdale in 1974 to build the Saginaw Valley football program from scratch. Waters returned to his alma mater as head coach in 1980, serving in that capacity for three seasons. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000 in recognition for his contributions to small college football in Michigan.

Following Michigan State's 2003 season, he was presented the Duffy Daugherty Award. The award, named in honor of MSU's legendary head coach, has been presented annually since 1975 to a Spartan football alumnus who has distinguished himself both on and off the field following his graduation.

Waters was preceded in death by his wife Mary Lou and son Larry. He is survived by three sons: Frank Jr. ("Murky"), John and Bill.