Football Media Center: Michigan
Oct. 2, 2009
As the Michigan State football team (1-3, 0-1 Big Ten) prepares to take on No. 22/20 Michigan (4-0, 1-0) Saturday at 12 p.m. in Spartan Stadium, catch up on all the latest information on the Spartans. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
RADIO: The Spartan Sports Network, featuring veteran play-by-play announcer George Blaha, color analyst Jim Miller, sideline reporter Jason Strayhorn and broadcast host Will Tieman, will broadcast the game to 35 affiliates throughout the state. Michigan State football broadcasts can be heard on flagship stations WJIM (AM 1240)/WMMQ (FM 94.9) in Lansing and WJR Radio (AM 760) in Detroit. The MSU-Michigan game also can be heard live on satellite radio: SIRIUS (Channel 153) and XM (Channel 196).
Coach Dantonio Weekly Press Conference
MSU Player Interviews
Thursday Chalk Talk
Spartan Football All-Access
LISTEN TO SPARTAN SPORTS PODCASTS:
FIRST-AND-10 (what you need to know about the MSU-Michigan matchup) -
Since 1953, the winner of the Michigan State-Michigan game has been presented the Paul Bunyan Trophy. The four-foot wooden statue was donated by then-Governor G. Mennen Williams to mark Michigan State's acceptance into the Big Ten. Since '53, Michigan leads the series 34-20-2. The trophy depicts the legendary giant lumberjack astride an axe with feet planted on a map of the state with flags representing the schools.
Michigan State's 2009 roster features 59 players from the state of Michigan, including as many as 14 of the Spartans' 24 projected starters.
You don't have to look far to find the key stat in the Michigan State-Michigan series. The team with the most productive ground attack has won 36 of the last 39 games. Last year, Javon Ringer rushed 37 times for 194 yards and two scores in MSU's 35-21 victory at Michigan, as the Spartans snapped a six-game losing streak in the series and won in Michigan Stadium for the first time since 1990.
Kirk Cousins and Keith Nichol combined to throw for 396 yards at Wisconsin, tying for the second-highest total in school history (396 yards vs. Purdue, 1998). Cousins recorded his second-straight 200-yard passing game, completing 17-of-34 throws for 201 yards, two touchdowns and an interception against the Badgers, while Nichol came off the bench to hit 7-of-12 passes for a career-best 195 yards, two TDs and two interceptions.
Keshawn Martin set career highs for receptions (4), receiving yards (139) and touchdown receptions (2) in Michigan State's 38-30 loss at Wisconsin. Martin scored the first TDs of his career on grads of 15 and 91 yards from Keith Nichol in the fourth quarter. His 91-yard TD reception marked the second-longest passing play in Spartan history (school-record 93-yarder from Tony Banks to Nigea Carter vs. Indiana in 1994). Martin averaged 34.8 yards per catch while recording the first 100-yard receiving game of his career.
Junior linebacker Greg Jones leads the Big Ten and ranks second (tied with Houston's Marcus McGraw) in the NCAA in tackles, averaging 13.0 stops per game. Jones also is listed among the Big Ten leaders in tackles for loss (10th at 1.12 per game). He leads the team in tackles (52 total), tackles for loss (4.5 for 19 yards) and production points (81).
Fifth-year senior Blair White leads the Spartans in receptions (23), receiving yards (350) and touchdown catches (4). The 6-foot-2, 200-pound White leads the Big Ten in TD receptions (tied with Minnesota's Eric Decker) and ranks fourth in both receptions (5.75 per game) and receiving yards (87.5 per game). Seventeen of his 23 catches (74 percent) have produced either a first down or a score, including six gains of 20 or more yards.No. 11). Seventeen of his 22 catches (77 percent) have produced either a first down or a score, including six gains of 20 or more yards.
Sophomore quarterback Kirk Cousins ranks third in the Big Ten and No. 37 in the NCAA in passing efficiency with his 147.6 rating. In four starts, Cousins has completed 63-of-104 throws (.606) for 850 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions. Cousins recorded his second-straight 200-yard passing game, completing 17-of-34 passes for 201 yards, two TDs and an interception in the Big Ten opener at Wisconsin.
Lou Groza Award candidate Brett Swenson ranks first among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision active leaders in scoring, with 308 career points. His 58 career field goals rank second among all-active NCAA FBS kickers, trailing only Alabama's Leigh Tiffin (61 made).
MSU/MICHIGAN SERIES NOTES -
Michigan has won six of the last seven and 13 of the last 18 meetings overall. Four of the last six games in the series have been decided by eight points or less, including back-to-back overtime games in 2004-05. (Note: For a complete list of all-time series scores, please refer to page 148-149 in the 2009 MSU Spring Football Guide.)
THE RIVALRY -
This game marks the 62nd-consecutive sellout in the Michigan State-Michigan series, dating from 1948.
The home team has won 12 of the last 17 meetings between Michigan State and Michigan.
BATTLE FOR THE PAUL BUNYAN TROPHY -
THE LAST MEETING -
THE LAST MEETING IN SPARTAN STADIUM -
BATTLE FOR IN-STATE BRAGGING RIGHTS -
GROUND GAME KEY FACTOR IN THIS SERIES -
SPARTANS RANK SECOND IN ALL-TIME VICTORIES vs. MICHIGAN -
JONES: A MODEL OF CONSISTENCY -
The 6-foot-1, 228-pound Jones reached double-figure tackles for the third time in four games this season, recording 14 stops including nine solo hits in the Big Ten opener at Wisconsin. He has posted double-digit tackles in 10 of his last 11 game overall, averaging 12.5 stops during that stretch. The Cincinnati, Ohio, native has led the team in tackles in 15 of the last 17 games.
Jones made nine stops at Notre Dame, ending his streak of consecutive games with double-figure tackles at nine. He averaged 12.8 tackles during that nine-game stretch, and it marked the longest streak by a Spartan since Chuck Bullough produced double-digit tackles in 15 straight games in 1990-91 (Oct. 20, 1990, game vs. Illinois through Nov. 2, 1991, game vs. Northwestern). Bullough averaged 15.7 tackles during his 15-game streak.
Jones matched his career high with 15 tackles against Central Michigan, including 1.5 for losses (3 yards).
The 2009 Big Ten Preseason Defensive Player of the Year registered 14 tackles in the season opener against Montana State, with three resulting in losses (16 yards) including 1.5 sacks (11).
WHITE KEYS EXPLOSIVE PASSING GAME -
White caught six passes for 75 yards and two scores in Michigan State's 33-30 loss at Notre Dame. He scored on a 30-yard pass from wide receiver Keshawn Martin in the second quarter and a 17-yard strike from Kirk Cousins in the fourth quarter that gave the Spartans a 30-26 lead.
The Saginaw, Mich., native recorded his second-straight 100-yard receiving game with seven catches for 105 yards against Central Michigan.
He had a career-high nine receptions for 162 yards and two TDs in the 2009 season opener against Montana State. White scored on TD grabs of 15 and 24 yards from Cousins against the Bobcats. His 162 receiving yards were just 2 yards shy of his career best (164 vs. Wisconsin in 2008). Almost one-third of his receiving yards (51 of 162) came after the catch against Montana State.
A former walk-on, White has 69 career receptions for 1,034 yards (15.0 avg.) and five TDs. The Saginaw, Mich., native has four career 100-yard receiving games. White has caught at least one pass in 15 consecutive games.
COUSINS OFF TO A SOLID START -
The 6-foot-3, 202-pound Cousins recorded his second-straight 200-yard passing game, completing 17-of-34 passes for 201 yards, two TDs and an interception in the Big Ten opener at Wisconsin. He completed scoring tosses of 14 yards to Mark Dell and 20 yards to B.J. Cunningham.
completed 23-of-35 throws for 302 yards, one TD and one interception in Michigan State's 33-30 loss at Notre Dame. He set career highs for completions, attempts and passing yards against the Irish. His 302 passing yards mark the third-best single-game total by a Spartan quarterback against Notre Dame (Drew Stanton - 327 in 2005; Ed Smith - 306 in 1978).
Cousins hit 13-of-18 passes for 164 yards and a score in MSU's 29-27 loss to Central Michigan. With the score tied at 20, he went 5-for-5 for 59 yards on a 13-play, 80-yard drive as the Spartans took a 27-20 lead on his 35-yard TD strike to Cunningham with 7:33 left in the game.
In his first career start, Cousins completed 10-of-17 throws for 183 yards and a career-best three scores against Montana State in the 2009 season and home opener. He completed TD strikes of 29 yards to Cunningham, and 15 and 24 yards to Blair White. He connected on 7-of-11 passes for 118 yards and two TDs in the first half against the Bobcats.
SWENSON EMERGES AS A TOP CONTENDER FOR THE GROZA AWARD -
The 5-foot-8, 185-pound senior placekicker accounted for 11 points in Michigan State's season-opening 44-3 victory over Montana State, hitting 2-of-2 field-goal attempts and all five extra-point tries.
Swenson ranks first among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision active leaders in scoring, with 308 career points. His 58 career field goals rank second among all-active NCAA FBS kickers, trailing only Alabama's Leigh Tiffin (61 made).
The Pompano Beach, Fla., native currently ranks ninth (tied with MSU's John Langeloh, 1987-90) in kick scoring in Big Ten history. Swenson needs just one more field goals to join the conference's all-time Top 10 in that statistical category.
He ranks among MSU's all-time leaders in scoring (tied for second), field goals (second) and extra points (third with 134 made). With his first two extra points against Notre Dame, Swenson tied Dave Rayner's (2003-04) school record with 76 consecutive PATS; however, his third attempt was blocked by the Irish.
BATES IMPACTS FIELD POSITION -
The 6-foot, 192-pound junior averaged 45.0 yards on three punts at Notre Dame, including two kicks downed inside the Irish 20-yard line.
He averaged 45.6 yards on five punts against Central Michigan, including four kicks downed inside the Chippewa 20.
His 41.3-yard career average ranks seventh in MSU history and 19th among active NCAA FBS punters. Bates has placed 52 of his 154 career punts (34 percent) inside the opponent's 20.
at the official