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Paul Bunyan Trophy On The Line As Spartans Travel To No. 7 Michigan

Oct. 5, 2017

Game 5: Michigan State (3-1, 1-0 B1G) at No. 7/7 Michigan (4-0, 1-0 B1G)
 Date | Time Saturday, Oct. 7 | 7:42 p.m.
 Location Ann Arbor, Mich.
Michigan Stadium (107,601)/FieldTurf)
 Television ABC
 Broadcast Team Chris Fowler (play-by-play) | Kirk Herbstreit (analyst) | Maria Taylor (sideline)
 Internet Coverage Gametracker
 Radio Spartan Sports Network (Listen Live) | Affiliates
 Satellite Radio Ch. 967 (SiriusXM.com)
 Radio (Mobile) Broadcast available on Spartan Sports Network Mobile App: iPhone/iPad | Android
 Parking/Tailgating/Stadium Information Michigan Gameday Central
 Tickets Available at MGoBlue.com
 Parking Lots will open at 12 p.m. | Michigan Parking Information (PDF)
 Game Notes Michigan State | Michigan
 Series Information Michigan leads, 69-35-5
 Social Media @MSU_Football | Facebook

FIRST-AND-10 --
• Michigan State will look for its eighth win in the last 10 years against Michigan as the Spartans take on the No. 7/7 Wolverines Saturday, Oct. 7 in Ann Arbor. Kickoff is set for 7:42 p.m. in Michigan Stadium as the two teams will meet at night for the first time in series history. The game will be televised nationally on ABC. The Spartans (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) won their Big Ten opener last Saturday at home over Iowa, 17-10, while the Wolverines (4-0, 1-0) are coming off a bye week. This Saturday's game marks MSU's first road game of the season.

• Michigan State has defeated Michigan seven times in the past nine years. In MSU's 7-2 record over Michigan since 2008, the Spartans have outscored the Wolverines by 91 points (247-156, average score: 27-17).

• Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio is 7-3 during his tenure against Michigan, including a 3-1 record in Michigan Stadium. Dantonio's .700 winning percentage is the highest for any Spartan coach against the Wolverines (second: Duffy Daugherty, .579, 10-7-2 record from 1954-72). Dantonio is 5-3 against ranked Michigan teams and owns seven victories over AP Top 10 teams in his tenure at Michigan State (No. 4 Wisconsin in 2011; No. 2 Ohio State in 2013 Big Ten Championship Game; No. 5 Stanford in 2014 Rose Bowl; No. 4 Baylor in 2015 Cotton Bowl; No. 7 Oregon in 2015; No. 2 Ohio State in 2015; No. 4 Iowa in 2015 Big Ten Championship Game).

• The Spartans will be looking for their second straight win at Michigan Stadium. In the last matchup in Ann Arbor in 2015, Jalen Watts-Jackson scored his first career touchdown on a 38-yard fumble return as time expired to give No. 7 Michigan State a 27-23 victory at No. 12 Michigan on Oct. 17. The unforgettable touchdown was named the No. 1 play of the 2015 season at the ESPN College Football Awards Show in Atlanta on Dec. 10.

• Saturday's game marks the 110th meeting between Michigan State and Michigan. The Wolverines lead the all-time series, 69-35-5, including a 49-21-3 record in games played in Ann Arbor; however, since 1950, Michigan holds just a seven-game edge, 36-29-2. 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 1953, Michigan leads the series 36-26-2. The trophy depicts the legendary giant lumberjack astride an axe with feet planted on a map of the state with flags representing the schools.

• The team with the most productive ground attack has won 42 of the last 47 games in the MSU-UM series. Since Mark Dantonio's arrival to MSU in 2007, the Spartans have outrushed the Wolverines by 879 yards (1,765-886). In six of those 10 games, Michigan has been held to 100 rushing yards or fewer, including a school-record low minus-48 yards in 2013. Last season, Michigan entered the game with the No. 1 rushing defense in the FBS, but the Spartans outrushed the Wolverines, 217-192; it marked the second-most rushing yards Michigan allowed during the 2016 season.

• MSU ranks among the Big Ten leaders in several defensive categories, including passing defense (second at 152.3 ypg.), pass efficiency defense (second with 94.05 rating), third-down percentage defense (third at .268), first downs defense (second with 52) and total defense (third at 248.3 ypg.). The Spartans also rank among the FBS leaders in total defense (fifth at 248.3 ypg.), pass efficiency defense (fifth with 94.05 rating), passing defense (ninth at 152.3 ypg.) and third-down defense (12th at .268).

• Sophomore quarterback Brian Lewerke leads the Spartans not only in total offense (1,211 yards; 302.8 ypg.) and passing (963 yards; 240.8 ypg.), but also in rushing (248 yards; 62.0 ypg.) and rushing touchdowns (2). Lewerke has led the Spartans in rushing three times (69 yards vs. Bowling Green; career-high 81 vs. Western Michigan; 42 vs. Iowa) and had 56 yards vs. Notre Dame. Lewerke ranks among the Big Ten leaders in total offense (second at 302.8 ypg.), passing (fourth at 240.8 ypg.) and passing efficiency (seventh with 140.8 rating). He also ranks second among Big Ten quarterbacks in rushing (Ohio State's J.T. Barrett with 263 yards). Against Notre Dame, Lewerke's career-high 396 yards of total offense (340 passing, 56 rushing) was the fourth-highest single-game total in the school record book. He also set career highs for passing yards (340; tied for 18th most in MSU single-game history), completions (31, tied for fifth in MSU single-game history) and passing attempts (51, seventh in MSU single-game history) vs. the Irish.

• Junior wide receiver Felton Davis III was named the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week after recording career highs in catches (9) and receiving yards (114) in the win over Iowa. Davis also tied his career high with two touchdown catches. In the first half alone, Davis had seven receptions for 88 yards. On the first play from scrimmage, Davis had a 31-yard reception to set up his first TD catch later in the drive, a 22-yard scoring strike from Brian Lewerke. Davis also had a 6-yard TD reception later in the first quarter. The 6-4, 195-pound native of Richmond, Virginia, leads the Spartans in receptions (21), receiving yards (256) and touchdown catches (4).

• Now in his 11th season as head coach of the Spartans, Mark Dantonio owns a 93-43 (.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 93 victories, trailing only Hall of Famer Duffy Daugherty (109), Dantonio also ranks first in program history in conference winning percentage (.659, 54-28 record, minimum 10 games), second in Big Ten wins (54), home wins (56) and AP Top 25 victories (17), tied for second in AP Top 25 finishes (six), and fifth in overall winning percentage (.684).

COACHES
Michigan State: Mark Dantonio
MSU Record: 93-43 (11th year)
Overall Record: 111-60 (14th year)
Record vs. Michigan: 7-3

Michigan: Jim Harbaugh
Michigan Record: 24-6 (third year)
Overall Record: 82-33 (10th year)
Record vs. MSU: 1-1

STAT LEADERS --
Michigan State:
Rushing -- Brian Lewerke (38 carries for 248 yards, 6.5 avg, 2 TDs)
Passing -- Brian Lewerke (84-of-133, .632, 963 yards, 8 TDs, 2 INTs)
Receiving -- Felton Davis III (21 catches for 256 yards, 12.2 avg., 4 TDs)
Tackles -- Joe Bachie (34 tackles, 12 solo, 22 assists, 4 TFLs, 1 sacks, 1 FR)

Michigan:
Rushing -- Ty Isaac (57 carries for 356 yards, 6.2 avg, 1 TD)
Passing -- Wilton Speight (44-of-81 for 581 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs)
Receiving -- Grant Perry (13 catches for 163 yards, 12.5 avg, 1 TD)
Tackles -- Devin Bush (33 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks, 4 PBUs)

A QUICK GLANCE AT MICHIGAN (4-0, 1-0 BIG TEN) --
• The seventh-ranked Wolverines bring a 4-0 mark into the battle for the Paul Bunyan Trophy after a bye weekend last week. UM opened the season with a 33-17 win over No. 17 Florida at Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 2. In their home-opener on Sept. 9, the Wolverines beat Cincinnati, 36-14. UM beat Air Force, 29-13, on Sept. 16 in its final non-conference action, before opening B1G play with a 28-10 win at Purdue on Sept. 23.

• Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has a 24-6 record in his third season at the helm of the Wolverines' program. Overall, Harbaugh is in his 10th season as a college head coach, logging an 82-33 ledger, including 53-27 at the FBS level.

• In the win over Purdue on Sept. 23, Michigan rallied from a 10-7 halftime deficit with 21 unanswered second-half points. After senior starting quarterback Wilton Speight went down with an injury in the first quarter, fellow senior, backup John O'Korn came on and rallied the Wolverines. UM totaled 423 yards of offense, while limiting Purdue to 189 yards, including just 10 yards after halftime.

• O'Korn ended the Purdue game 18-of-26 for 270 yards with one TD. Sophomore running back Chris Evans rushed for 97 yards on 14 carries with two TDs, a 49-yarder and a 10-yard scamper, while senior running back Ty Isaac added a 1-yard TD as part of his 20 yards on 10 carries. Sophomore tight end Sean McKeon led UM with five catches for 82 yards, while fellow tight end, junior Zach Gentry had three receptions for 48 yards, including a 12-yard TD catch.

• Senior defensive lineman Chase Winovich led the UM defense with eight tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss with 2.5 sacks, part of UM's five sacks in the game and seven tackles for loss. Sophomore linebacker Devin Bush added seven stops, with one sack and posted three pass break-ups.

• On the season, Michigan is fifth in the B1G in scoring offense (31.5 ppg.), while ranking tied for second in the conference and tied for eighth in the country in scoring defense (13.5 ppg.). The Wolverine defense leads not only the B1G but the FBS in total defense, yielding just 203.3 ypg, also topping the conference and country in rushing defense (69.3 ypg.) and also leads the league and fourth in the nation in passing defense (134.0 ypg.). Offensively, UM is fifth in the B1G in rushing offense (184.3 ypg.) and ninth in passing offense (223.0 ypg.) to rank tied for fifth in total offense (407.3 ypg.).

• Speight is 44-of-81 (54.3 pct) for 581 yards (145.3 ypg) with three TDs and two INTs on the season, while O'Korn is 19-of-27 (70.4 pct) for 307 yards (102.3 ypg) with one TD and one INT.

• Isaac is fifth in the B1G in rushing at 89.0 ypg, totaling 356 yards on 57 carries (6.2 ypc) with one TD. Evans averages 55.0 ypg with 220 yards on 47 carries (4.7 ypg.) with two TDs.

• Junior wide receiver Grant Perry leads the UM receivers with 13 receptions for 163 yards (12.5 ypc) with one TD, while freshman wide receiver Tarik Black adds 149 yards on 11 catches (13.6 ypc) with one score.

• Bush and Winovich are tied for the conference lead with 1.3 sacks per game, ranking second in the nation.

• Bush also tops the Wolverine defense with 32 tackles, ranking eighth in the B1G with 8.0 tackles per game, while Winovich is second in the league with 1.8 tackles for loss per game (7.0 total).

• Sophomore Will Hart and freshman Brad Robbins have split the punting duties. Hart averages 37.9 ypp on 12 punts with a long of 61 yards and six inside the 20, while Robbins has a 40.6 ypp average on seven punts with a long of 45 yards and one inside the 20.

• Sophomore placekicker Quinn Nordin leads the B1G and ranks second in FBS with 2.75 field goals per game, making 11-of-13 FGs with a long of 55 yards, ranking second in the league and 27th in the nation with an 84.6 field goal percentage. Nordin is 13-of-13 on PATs, to also lead the conference and rank seventh in the country in scoring (11.5 ppg).

MSU/MICHIGAN SERIES NOTES --
• Michigan State has defeated Michigan seven times in the past nine years. In MSU's 7-2 record over Michigan since 2008, the Spartans have outscored the Wolverines by 91 points (247-156, average score: 27-17).

• Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio is 7-3 during his tenure against Michigan, including a 3-1 record in Michigan Stadium. Dantonio's .700 winning percentage is the highest for any Spartan coach against the Wolverines (second: Duffy Daugherty, .579, 10-7-2 record from 1954-72). Dantonio is 5-3 against ranked Michigan teams.

• The Spartans will be looking for their second straight win at Michigan Stadium. In the last matchup in Ann Arbor in 2015, Jalen Watts-Jackson scored his first career touchdown on a 38-yard fumble return as time expired to give No. 7 Michigan State a 27-23 victory at No. 12 Michigan on Oct. 17. The unforgettable touchdown was named the No. 1 play of the 2015 season at the ESPN College Football Awards Show in Atlanta on Dec. 10.

• Saturday's game marks the 110th meeting between Michigan State and Michigan. The Wolverines lead the all-time series, 69-35-5, including a 49-21-3 record in games played in Ann Arbor; however, since 1950, Michigan holds just a seven-game edge, 36-29-2.

BATTLE FOR THE PAUL BUNYAN TROPHY --
• 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 1953, Michigan leads the series 36-26-2. The trophy depicts the legendary giant lumberjack astride an axe with feet planted on a map of the state with flags representing the schools.

BATTLE FOR IN-STATE BRAGGING RIGHTS --
• Michigan State's 2017 roster features 48 players from the state of Michigan.

SPARTANS RANK SECOND IN ALL-TIME VICTORIES vs. MICHIGAN --
• Michigan State ranks second among opponents in all-time victories over Michigan. Only Ohio State (49) has posted more wins over the Wolverines than the Spartans (35).

SPARTANS RANK SECOND IN ALL-TIME VICTORIES AT MICHIGAN STADIUM --
• Michigan State ranks second among opponents in all-time victories over Michigan at Michigan Stadium. Only Ohio State (20) has posted more wins over the Wolverines than the Spartans (19) at Michigan Stadium (opened in 1927). In addition, only Ohio State (22) has recorded more wins over Michigan in Ann Arbor than the Spartans (21).

LONG HISTORY OF BIG WINS OVER MICHIGAN --
• Michigan State has defeated Michigan 10 times when the Wolverines were ranked in the AP Top 10, including a 28-27 win over top-ranked UM in 1990. Michigan enters Saturday's game ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll.

GROUND GAME KEY FACTOR IN THIS SERIES --
• The team with the most productive ground attack has won 42 of the last 47 games in the MSU-UM series. Since Mark Dantonio's arrival to MSU in 2007, the Spartans have outrushed the Wolverines by 879 yards (1,765-886). In six of those 10 games, Michigan has been held to 100 rushing yards or fewer, including a school-record low minus-48 yards in 2013. Last season, Michigan entered the game with the No. 1 rushing defense in the FBS, but the Spartans outrushed the Wolverines, 217-192; it marked the second-most rushing yards Michigan allowed during the 2016 season.

• The only exceptions to that trend came in the following years: in 2016 as Michigan threw for 244 yards and held off a late Spartan rally to win 32-23 in East Lansing; in 2015 as Jalen Watts-Jackson scooped up a fumble and ran it back 38 yards for a touchdown on the game's final play to give MSU a 27-23 win; in 2007, when Chad Henne threw for 221 yards and four scores, including two in the fourth quarter, as Michigan rallied from a 24-14 fourth-quarter deficit for a 28-24 victory; on Oct. 30, 2004, when Henne passed for 273 yards and four TDs as the Wolverines rallied from a 27-10 fourth-quarter deficit for a 45-37 triple-overtime win; on Nov. 4, 1995, when Tony Banks threw for 318 yards, including a 25-yard scoring strike to Nigea Carter with 1:24 left in the fourth quarter that gave the Spartans a 28-25 victory over the seventh-ranked Wolverines.

THE LAST MEETING --
Oct. 29, 2016, in East Lansing (AP): Amara Darboh caught eight passes for a career-high 165 yards, and De'Veon Smith ran for two touchdowns to lift No. 2 Michigan to a 32-23 win over rival Michigan State. The Wolverines scored every time they had the ball in the first half, beating the Spartans for only the second time in the last nine meetings. Michigan led 30-10 in the fourth before the Spartans scored a pair of touchdowns, the last of which came with only 1 second on the clock. LJ Scott rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown against the nation's top-ranked defense.

THE LAST MEETING IN ANN ARBOR --
Oct. 17, 2015, in Ann Arbor (AP): After the snap was flubbed on a punt attempt and the ball went flying as the final seconds ticked down, Jalen Watts-Jackson found himself in perfect position to make an unforgettable play. Watts-Jackson grabbed it and raced 38 yards into the end zone for a touchdown on the final play of the game, giving the seventh-ranked Spartans a shocking 27-23 win over No. 12 Michigan in one of college football's most unlikely endings.

With the Wolverines ahead 23-21 and 10 seconds left, Michigan punter Blake O'Neill bobbled a low snap, and spun around to try and make the kick. But he was hit, the ball popped free, Watts-Jackson caught it, avoided a few defenders in the final yards and made it into the end zone. Watts-Jackson hurt his hip on the winning score, was carted off the field and taken to a hospital.

The Wolverines were seconds away from sealing the win after Sione Houma ran for two TDs, Kenny Allen kicked three field goals and forcing the Spartans to turn the ball over on downs with 1:47 left at its 45.

The Spartans had only one timeout left and used it after the next snap. Michigan had two and coach Jim Harbaugh used both, including one with 10 seconds left to set up the final punt.

Michigan State moved the ball up and down the field against a team that had shut out three straight opponents, picking up 386 yards - mostly through the air - and 20 first downs.

Connor Cook was 18-of-39 for 328 yards and a TD and Aaron Burbridge had nine receptions for 132 yards for the Spartans. Michigan's Jake Rudock was 15-of-25 and 168 yards and avoided turning the ball over.

POST-GAME NOTES FROM THE IOWA GAME --
• Michigan State defeated Iowa, 17-10, for MSU's third consecutive win over the Hawkeyes . . . it marked just the second time MSU has defeated Iowa three straight times in series history (1973-75).

• MSU head coach Mark Dantonio improved to 5-4 in his career against Iowa.

• The all-time series is practically even, as Iowa holds a slim 23-22-2 edge . . . MSU leads the series, 11-10, in East Lansing.

Mark Dantonio won his 54th Big Ten game, which is the second most in school history (Duffy Daugherty won 72 Big Ten games from 1954-72).

• Michigan State recognized its five members of the 2017 Hall of Fame Class at halftime (Bob Apisa, football; Joe Baum, soccer; Bob Cassleman, track and field; Kristin Haynie, basketball; Dr. Clarence Underwood, administration).

OFFENSE
Felton Davis III recorded career highs in catches (9) and receiving yards (114), and tied his career high with two touchdown catches . . . Davis had seven receptions for 88 yards in the first half alone.

Brian Lewerke recorded his third 200-yard passing game of the season, completing 18-of-28 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns . . . Lewerke also led the Spartans in rushing with 42 yards on the ground, including a 15-yard scramble on a key third-and-12 late in the fourth quarter . . . Lewerke finished with 254 yards of total offense.

DEFENSE
• MSU held Iowa to just 19 rushing yards, the fewest by the Hawkeyes against the Spartans since 1999 (7 yards) . . . the 19 rushing yards were also the fewest by an Iowa team since Sept. 24, 2005 (-9 against Ohio State) . . . MSU's defense now has two of Iowa's five lowest single-game rushing totals since 2005, as the Spartans limited Iowa to 23 yards on Oct. 5, 2013.

• The Hawkeyes were also limited to 231 yards of total offense . . . MSU held Iowa to 4-of-14 on third downs.

• Iowa's Akrum Wadley was held to 30 yards rushing on 17 carries (1.8 avg.).

• MSU's defense forced two Iowa turnovers (fumble recovery by Joe Bachie; forced fumble by Josiah Scott and fumble recovery by Chris Frey).

Joe Bachie posted a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss (7 yards), including a 3-yard sack . . . he also recovered a fumble in the red zone to prevent an Iowa score.

Khari Willis recorded his first career sack, a 7-yard stop in the second quarter . . . he finished with six tackles and a pass break-up.

• The Spartans forced six three-and-outs in the game.

SPECIAL TEAMS
Jake Hartbarger placed all five of his punts inside the 20, including four inside the 10 . . . he averaged 38.6 yards per punt on five kicks, including a game-long 50-yarder . . . with the game on the line in the fourth quarter and under 1:30 remaining, Hartbarger pinned the Hawkeyes back to their own 16-yard line . . . Iowa didn't have a single punt return yard against Hartbarger.

Matt Coghlin was 1-of-2 on field-goal attempts, connecting on a 38-yarder in the second quarter.

Gerald Holmes AND Matt Morrissey NAMED GAME CAPTAINS AGAINST MICHIGAN --
• Fifth-year senior running back Gerald Holmes and junior safety Matt Morrissey will be the Eagles to rotate as game captains at Michigan on Saturday. In order for all of the Eagles to serve as game captains twice, team captain Chris Frey didn't walk out to midfield for the Western Michigan game, and Brian Allen will not walk out to midfield for the Minnesota game. Holmes also served as a game captain in the season opener against Bowling Green.

YOUTH MOVEMENT --
• Michigan State features one of the youngest teams in the nation with 76 underclassmen on its 2017 roster (36 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).

• Michigan State has already played 13 true freshmen (TE Matt Dotson, RB Connor Heyward, OG Kevin Jarvis, S Dominique Long, WR Laress Nelson, DE Jacub Panasiuk, S Tre Person, OG Jordan Reid, WR Hunter Rison, CB Josiah Scott, LB Antjuan Simmons, WR Andre Welch, WR Cody White), the most ever in one season under Dantonio (previous high: 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.

• 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.

Brian Lewerke PROVING TO BE A DUAL-THREAT QUARTERBACK --
• Sophomore Brian Lewerke leads the Spartans not only in total offense (1,211 yards; 302.8 ypg.) and passing (963 yards; 240.8 ypg.), but also in rushing (248 yards; 62.0 ypg.) and rushing touchdowns (2). Lewerke has led the Spartans in rushing three times (69 yards vs. Bowling Green; career-high 81 vs. Western Michigan; 42 vs. Iowa) and had 56 yards vs. Notre Dame. Lewerke ranks among the Big Ten leaders in total offense (second at 302.8 ypg.), passing (fourth at 240.8 ypg.) and passing efficiency (seventh with 140.8 rating). He also ranks second among Big Ten quarterbacks in rushing (Ohio State's J.T. Barrett with 263 yards).

• Against Notre Dame, Lewerke's career-high 396 yards of total offense (340 passing, 56 rushing) was the fourth-highest single-game total in the school record book. He also set career highs for passing yards (340; tied for 18th most in MSU single-game history), completions (31, tied for fifth in MSU single-game history) and passing attempts (51, seventh in MSU single-game history).

• Lewerke ran for a career-high 81 yards against Western Michigan, the most by a Spartan quarterback since Drew Stanton had 83 against Purdue in Nov. 4, 2006.

• Lewerke scored his first career rushing touchdown on a 61-yard run in the first quarter vs. WMU, the longest TD run by a Spartan quarterback since Charlie Baggett ran for a 69-yard score on Oct. 27, 1973 vs. Purdue. It tied the longest rush by a Spartan QB since Damon Dowdell also had a 61-yard run against Wisconsin on Nov. 13, 2004; the last time a Spartan QB had a longer run was Bobby McAllister at Purdue (70 yards) on Nov. 5, 1988.

• Lewerke also had a 1-yard TD run in the third quarter to become the first Spartan QB to record two rushing TDs in a single game since Drew Stanton in 2006 against Eastern Michigan (Sept. 9). Lewerke finished with 242 yards of total offense agains the Broncos, as he was 13-of-21 passing for 161 yards and one touchdown.

• The native of Phoenix, Arizona, 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.

• The 6-3, 212-pound Lewerke is 84-of-133 passing (.632) for 963 yards, eight touchdowns and two interception in four games this season. He has played in eight career games (six starts; 3-3 record).

• 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).

• In eight career games, Lewerke has completed 61 percent of his passes (115-for-190) for 10 touchdowns and three interceptions.

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.

• 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 last season, 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.

• In 30 career games, including 13 starts, the Hubbard, Ohio, product has rushed for 1,907 yards (63.6 ypg; 4.9 avg.) and 18 touchdowns. Scott already ranks 19th in MSU history in carries (388) and rushing yards (1,907). 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). Scott currently ranks second on the Spartans in rushing with 214 yards on 58 carries (53.5 ypg.).

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 1,120 yards on 243 carries in 32 career games, including 12 starts, while London has 175 carries for 716 career yards in 25 games with six starts. The trio of Holmes, London and Scott own a combined total of 3,743 rushing yards on 806 carries with 37 rushing touchdowns.

Brian Allen NAMED SEMIFINALIST FOR NFF SCHOLAR-ATHLETE CLASS --
• Senior offensive lineman Brian Allen has been named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is widely known as the "Academic Heisman." Allen is also a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Class.

• A two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Allen is an economics major with a 3.24 GPA. He was voted a captain by his teammates entering his senior season and has started a team-best 19 consecutive games. For his career, Allen has played in 42 career games, including a team-high 29 starts (16 at left guard, eight at center, five at right guard). He has been named second-team All-Big Ten the past two seasons and is on watch lists for the Outland Trophy (nation's most outstanding interior lineman) and Rimington Trophy (nation's most outstanding center).

• This marks the sixth time in the past seven years that the Spartans have had a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy. The Spartans had a finalist three of four years from 2011-14 (QB Kirk Cousins in 2011, LB Max Bullough in 2013, P Mike Sadler in 2014). Center Jack Allen (2015) and tight end Josiah Price (2016) were semifinalists the past two seasons.

Felton Davis III NAMED BIG TEN CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK --
• Junior wide receiver Felton Davis III was named the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week after recording career highs in catches (9) and receiving yards (114) in the win over Iowa. Davis also tied his career high with two touchdown catches. In the first half alone, Davis had seven receptions for 88 yards. On the first play from scrimmage, Davis had a 31-yard reception to set up his first TD catch later in the drive, a 22-yard scoring strike from Brian Lewerke. Davis also had a 6-yard TD reception later in the first quarter.

• The 6-4, 195-pound native of Richmond, Virginia, leads the Spartans in receptions (21), receiving yards (256) and touchdown catches (4), all of which are already career highs. Seventeen of his 21 receptions (81 percent) have been for either a first down or a touchdown, highlighted by seven of his nine catches against Iowa.

• In 23 career games, Davis is MSU's active leader in receptions (35), receiving yards (456) and TD catches (5).

DARRELL STEWART EMERGING AS PLAYMAKER FOR SPARTANS --
• Sophomore wide receiver Darrell Stewart leads the Spartans in all-purpose yards (443; 110.8 ypg.), which ranks ninth in the Big Ten. Stewart also ranks first on the team in kick return yards (152), second in receptions (17) and receiving yards (170), and fourth in rushing (101).

• Stewart has proven to be a playmaker the first four games, leading the Spartans with nine explosive plays (20 yards or more). He has six kick returns, two rushes and one reception for more than 20 yards this season.

• Stewart had a career-high six catches for 85 yards in the season opener vs. Bowling Green, then rushed for a career-high 70 yards on three carries against Western Michigan.

• The 6-2, 210-pound Stewart led the Spartans in all-purpose yards for the third consecutive game (122) against Notre Dame. He tied his career high with six receptions for 41 yards, including a 4-yard TD in the first quarter, and also compiled a career-high 79 kick return yards along with 2 rushing yards.

• The Houston, Texas, native was one of 10 Spartans to help volunteer with the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts during the bye weekend (Sept. 15-17) in Houston.

RUNNING GAME KEY FOR SPARTANS UNDER DANTONIO --
• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 76-16 (.826) when outrushing its opponent, including a 60-9 record (.870) since 2010. Conversely, MSU is 17-27 (.386) under Dantonio when being outgained on the ground by its opponent. The Spartans are 35-6 (.854) in games when gaining 200 or more rushing yards under Dantonio.

THIRD-DOWN SUCCESS ON OFFENSE --
• Michigan State ranks second in the Big Ten and 12th in the FBS in third downs, converting on 31-of-63 third-down opportunties (.492). MSU was 11 of 19 on third down against Notre Dame.

SPARTAN DEFENSE OFF TO FAST START IN 2017 --
• MSU ranks among the Big Ten leaders in several defensive categories, including passing defense (second at 152.3 ypg.), pass efficiency defense (second with 94.05 rating), third-down percentage defense (third at .268), first downs defense (second with 52) and total defense (third at 248.3 ypg.).

• The Spartans also rank among the FBS leaders in fifth in total defense (248.3 ypg.), pass efficiency defense (fifth with 94.05 rating), passing defense (ninth at 152.3 ypg.) and third-down defense (12th at .268).

STOPPING THE RUN --
• Michigan State ranks third in the Big Ten and 16th in the FBS in rushing defense (96.0 ypg.). MSU has held two opponents under 100 yards rushing this season (Bowling Green had 67 in season opener on Sept. 2; Iowa had 19 on Sept. 30, 2017).

• MSU held Iowa to just 19 rushing yards, the fewest by the Hawkeyes against the Spartans since 1999 (7 yards) . . . the 19 rushing yards were also the fewest by an Iowa team since Sept. 24, 2005 (-9 against Ohio State) . . . MSU's defense now has two of Iowa's five lowest single-game rushing totals since 2005, as the Spartans limited Iowa to 23 yards on Oct. 5, 2013. • A week after Western Michigan collected 263 yards on the ground at No. 4 USC, the Spartans held the Broncos to 116 yards rushing in Week 2.

• Although Notre Dame rushed for 182 yards against the Spartans, MSU did hold the Fighting Irish 149 yards below their season average (UND entered the game No. 5 in the FBS in rushing at 330.7 ypg.).

• MSU has held 44 opponents under 100 yards rushing since 2011, the 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).

THREE-AND-OUT --
• In four games this season, the Spartans have forced their opponents to go three-and-out on 15 of 45 possessions (.333 percent; 3.8 per game). [Three-and-out: either holding opponent without a first down within its first three plays on a new series or forcing a turnover in the first three plays.]

Joe Bachie TAKING OVER THE REINS AT MIDDLE LINEBACKER --
• Sophomore Joe Bachie has started all four games at middle linebacker for the Spartans and leads the team in tackles (34) and tackles for loss (4 for 10 yards). He also leads the team in production points with 100, including a career-high 38 vs. Iowa in which he led MSU in tackles (9) and tackles for loss (3.5) to go along with a 3-yard sack and fumble recovery in the red zone.

• The 6-2, 233-pound Bachie has led the Spartans in tackles three times this season, including a career-high 11 tackles against Western Michigan and 10 in the season opener vs. Bowling Green.

• Bachie sat out the first six games of the season last year, but had his redshirt removed at Maryland on Oct. 22 and played the final six contests in 2016.

• The Brook Park, Ohio, native emerged as a leader during the offseason and was voted to the team's Eagles Leadership Council in the spring and again in the fall.

SPARTANS MAINTAIN SUCCESS IN BIG TEN PLAY --
• MSU has won nine Big Ten Championships in school history (1953, 1965, 1966, 1979, 1987, 1990, 2010, 2013, 2015), including a school-record three by Mark Dantonio.

• Michigan State has won 27 of its last 37 games against Big Ten opponents (including the Big Ten Championship Game), dating back to the 2012 regular-season finale, including 19 wins by double-figures. MSU has won 25 of its last 35 regular-season Big Ten Conference games. Michigan State is 41-17 (.707) in Big Ten regular-season games since 2010.

• Michigan State's 13-game Big Ten winning streak from Nov. 24, 2012 to Oct. 25, 2014, was the second-longest Big Ten winning streak in school history (16 straight from Oct. 2, 1965 to Oct. 21, 1967). In addition, MSU had won 14 consecutive games against Big Ten opponents (2013 Big Ten Championship Game vs. No. 2 Ohio State).

• Mark Dantonio's .659 winning percentage (54-28) in Big Ten regular-season games ranks first in MSU history (minimum 10 Big Ten games).

• MSU is 26-14 (.650) in Big Ten road games under Dantonio, including a 20-8 record (.714) since 2010. Dantonio has won at least one road game at every Big Ten stadium.

• Since 2008, MSU has recorded 51 Big Ten regular-season victories, third most of any team in the conference.

PLAYING THEIR BEST UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT --
• The Spartans have consistently produced wins against highly ranked teams under Dantonio. MSU is 7-5 in its last 12 games against teams ranked in The Associated Press Top 10, including a 6-5 record since 2013 (beat No. 2 Ohio State and No. 5 Stanford in 2013; lost to No. 3 Oregon and beat No. 4 Baylor in 2014; beat No. 7 Oregon, No. 2 Ohio State and No. 4 Iowa, and lost to No. 2 Alabama in 2015; lost to No. 2 Michigan; No. 2 Ohio State in 2016 and No. 8 Penn State in 2016).

• Michigan State defeated nine bowl teams in 2015, including four wins over AP Top 25 teams (No. 7 Oregon on Sept. 12, No. 12 Michigan on Oct. 17, No. 2 Ohio State on Nov. 21, No. 4 Iowa on Dec. 5). It marked the first time in school history the Spartans beat three AP Top-10 teams (No. 7 Oregon, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 4 Iowa) in the same season. In the final AP rankings, MSU defeated four Top 25 teams (No. 4 Ohio State, No. 9 Iowa, No. 12 Michigan, No. 19 Oregon).

• The win over No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus on Nov. 21, 2015, snapped the defending National Champion Buckeyes' 23-game winning streak, and the last-second victory against No. 12 Michigan on Oct. 17, 2015, marked MSU's seventh win in eight years over the Wolverines.

• Michigan State has won 10 of its last 17 games played against ranked opponents, including six out of the last 11 (wins: No. 4 Baylor in 2014; No. 7 Oregon, No. 12 Michigan, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 4 Iowa in 2015; No. 18 Notre Dame in 2016; losses: No. 2 Alabama in 2015; No. 11 Wisconsin, No. 2 Michigan, No. 2 Ohio State and No. 8 Penn State in 2016).

• Under Mark Dantonio, the Spartans are 17-25 in 42 games played against teams ranked in The Associated Press Top 25; however, MSU is 10-8 against ranked teams since 2013. The 17 wins over AP Top 25 teams rank second among head coaches in MSU history (Duffy Daugherty with 25 from 1954-72). Dantonio is 7-9 against AP Top 10 teams at MSU (7-5 since 2011).

TURNOVER MARGIN THE KEY INGREDIENT FOR SPARTAN SUCCESS --
• Michigan State's record-setting three-year stretch in which it won 36 games from 2013-15 was fueled by creating turnovers and limiting mistakes. The Spartans ranked in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Top 10 and led the Big Ten in turnover margin for three consecutive seasons from 2013-15; however, MSU ranked No. 101 in the FBS and No. 10 in the Big Ten in turnover margin (-0.42) in 2016 (13 turnovers gained; 18 turnovers lost). The Spartans are minus-four in the turnover department in 2017, giving up eight turnovers against four caused (-1.00 margin).

• MSU was No. 4 in the FBS in 2015 with a +1.00 turnover margin. The Spartans forced 28 turnovers (15 interceptions, 13 fumbles) and turned the ball over just 14 times all season (eight interceptions, six fumbles). In addition, MSU scored 108 points off of its opponents' turnovers, while the opposition only scored 20 points on Spartan miscues (+88).

• The Spartans ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in turnover margin (+1.46 per game) in 2014. MSU was +19 in the turnover department and forced 34 turnovers (16 fumbles, 18 interceptions), which ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten and third most in the FBS. Conversely, the Spartans turned the ball over just 15 times (six fumbles, nine interceptions), fewest in the Big Ten.

• Michigan State ranked first in the Big Ten and tied for 10th in the FBS in turnover margin (+13, 0.93 per game) in 2013. The Spartans forced the most turnovers in the Big Ten (28) and also turned the ball over the least amount of times (15) in the conference.

• Michigan State has forced at least one turnover in 108 of 136 games under head coach Mark Dantonio (79 percent of the games since 2007).

• Michigan State is 58-12 (.829) when forcing at least two turnovers in a game under head coach Mark Dantonio.

KIRK GIBSON AND MSU LEGENDS TEAM UP TO TRY AND TAKE DOWN PARKINSON'S DISEASE --
• On the same day his name was added to the "Ring of Fame" at Michigan State University's Spartan Stadium on Sept. 23, College Football Hall of Famer Kirk Gibson and other MSU legends landed a big blow in the fight against Parkinson's disease.

• Gibson, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2015, was joined by former MSU football coach George Perles and MSU Distinguished Professor Dr. James Potchen, in the "Gibby and Friends vs. Parky" fundraising effort, which was highlighted by an event at the Kellogg Center, hours before the Notre Dame football game.

• To date, the "Gibby and Friends vs. Parky" campaign has raised more than $1.2 million for the MSU School of Human Medicine, money that will help MSU researchers in the fight against Parkinson's and other neurological diseases. People who still wish to contribute to the effort can do so by finding the "Gibby and Friends vs. Parky" page on Facebook.

 

 

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