Spartans Host Iowa for 97th Homecoming Game
Oct. 11, 2012
FIRST-AND-10 (what you need to know about the MSU-Iowa matchup) -
Michigan State is 63-30-3 (.672) in 96 Homecoming games, including a 6-1 record against Iowa. The Spartans have won five straight Homecoming games and 12 of their past 16. MSU has a 49-21-2 (.694) record in Homecoming contests played in October.
Michigan State is coming off a 31-27 victory at Indiana after rallying from a 17-point deficit in the first quarter. The 17-point comeback equaled the largest comeback win for the Spartans under Mark Dantonio (2007 Penn State, 2010 Northwestern). The Hawkeyes had a bye week after defeating previously unbeaten Minnesota, 31-13, at Kinnick Stadium on Sept. 29.
Former legendary Michigan State head coaches and College Football Hall of Famers Clarence "Biggie" Munn and Hugh Duffy Daugherty will have their names added to Spartan Stadium's "Ring of Fame" prior to Saturday's game against Iowa. Munn and Daugherty, who combined to win 163 games and six National Championships, become the first coaches to be added to the "Ring of Fame," joining former Spartan All-Americans and College Football Hall of Famers Don Coleman, George Webster, Charles "Bubba" Smith, Brad Van Pelt, John Pingel and Gene Washington, plus former MSU President John Hannah. Munn and Daugherty will have their names added to the west upper deck of Spartan Stadium, alongside the signage that recognizes Michigan State's six National Championship seasons. The names of the seven other "Ring of Fame" members appear on the east upper deck.
Through the first six weeks of the 2012 season, Michigan State has faced the Big Ten's second-toughest and the nation's 17th-most difficult schedule, according to NCAA figures. The Spartans' first six opponents have a combined record of 15-7 (.682) against other NCAA Bowl Subdivision teams. Iowa has faced the toughest schedule to date in the Big Ten with its FBS opponents owning a 9-4 record (.692), which is tied for 12th overall in the nation.
Wide receiver Aaron Burbridge was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week after becoming just the second freshman - and first true freshman - in Michigan State history to record a 100-yard receiving game, with eight receptions for 134 yards at Indiana. His totals marked season highs for a Spartan wide receiver. Burbridge's 134 receiving yards also set a Spartan single-game freshman record (previous: red-shirt freshman Terry Love had nine catches for 103 yards vs. Iowa in 2004) and are the most by a true freshman in the NCAA this season against an FBS opponent.
Since 2010, Michigan State has won more Big Ten games (15) than any other conference team. Wisconsin is second with 14.
Since 2008, Michigan State has won more Big Ten games (25) than any other conference team. (Note: Ohio State has won 26 games during this same period, but had to vacate seven victories following the 2010 season; Penn State has also won 25, but had to vacate 23 victories from 2008-11.)
Junior running back Le'Veon Bell ranks second in the Big Ten and ninth in the FBS in rushing, averaging 129.3 yards per game. He also ranks third in the nation in carries (171) and 20th in all-purpose yards (154.3 ypg.). The Columbus, Ohio, native has been named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week twice season (vs. Boise State and Eastern Michigan) and owns the top single-game total in the NCAA FBS this season in carries (44 vs. Boise State) and is third in rushing yards (253 vs. Eastern Michigan).
Michigan State is 16-1 (.941) when Le'Veon Bell scores at least one rushing touchdown (2010: 5-0; 2011: 7-1; and 2012: 4-0).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS -
Michigan State has outscored its opponents 74-23 (+51) in the second half this season.
Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State has produced a 31-8 record (.795) in home games. The Spartans have won 16 of their last 18 home games. With its 20-3 victory on Sept. 15, Notre Dame snapped MSU's 15-game home winning streak - the fifth-longest in school history. Prior to the 2012 season, the Sporting News named Spartan Stadium No. 3 on its "Five Toughest Places to Play Right Now" list.
Michigan State is 13-8 (.619) in Big Ten road games under Mark Dantonio, including a 7-2 record (.778) since 2010.
Michigan State hasn't lost consecutive Big Ten games in the same season since October 2009 (vs. Iowa, 13-15; and at Minnesota, 34-42).
Michigan State fell out of the USA TODAY Coaches Poll on Sept. 30 for the first time since the 2010 season. MSU had been ranked in the poll for a school-record 34 consecutive weeks. The Spartans are receiving votes in both The Associated Press and USA TODAY Coaches Polls.
The Spartans have won 26 of their last 33 games (.788), dating back to the beginning of the 2010 season, including a 15-3 record in Big Ten regular-season play.
Michigan State's 26 wins since 2010 are tied for eighth most among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams (South Carolina and Wisconsin also have 26 wins since the beginning of the 2010 season).
Michigan State has won 19 of its last 21 games played in the state of Michigan since the beginning of the 2010 season (16-2 in Spartan Stadium; vs. Florida Atlantic at Ford Field in Detroit in 2010; at Michigan in 2010; at Central Michigan in 2012).
Over the last three seasons, Michigan State is 11-2 in games decided by 10 points or less, including 2-1 in 2012. The only losses have come against Wisconsin in the 2011 Big Ten Championship Game (42-39) and Ohio State in this year's Big Ten opener (17-16).
The Spartans were one of just three teams in the NCAA FBS to play three ranked teams before Oct. 1 (Kentucky and Arizona). It marked the first time MSU has played three ranked teams before Oct. 1 since 1987 (No. 16 USC, No. 9 Notre Dame, No. 7 Florida State).
Michigan State became the first team to play host to three opponents ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 before Oct. 1 since Stanford and Washington in 2007. The Spartans entertained No. 24 Boise State in the 2012 season opener, No. 20 Notre Dame in Week 3 and No. 14 Ohio State in the Week 5 Big Ten opener. Since 1996, only four teams have played host to three AP Top 25 opponents before Oct. 1 (2000 - Notre Dame).
STAT LEADERS -
Iowa (after five games):
CURRENT SPARTANS vs. IOWA -
MSU/IOWA SERIES NOTES -
THE LAST MEETING -
Michigan State took a commanding 31-7 lead with two touchdowns in a 36-second stretch late in the second quarter. Cunningham followed Le'Veon Bell's 25-yard TD run with a 22-yard touchdown catch to put Michigan State up by 24 at the break.
James Vandenberg threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns for Iowa, which lost its first home game of the season. Save for a brief flash of life out of Iowa late in the third quarter, the Spartans coasted to a payback win over the Hawkeyes after getting pounded 37-6 last season in Iowa City.
Iowa quickly cut a 34-7 deficit to 13 points on McNutt's 3-yard TD catch and a 2-yard touchdown run by Marcus Coker. But Iowa got too cute trying a hurry-up sneak on 4th-and-1 and was called for a false start, and Vandenberg's next pass fell incomplete with 10:16 left. Dan Conroy hit a 48-yard field goal with 5:11 left, and Tony Lippett's fumble recovery with 2:53 to go sealed the win for the Spartans.
Cousins found Cunningham alone in the middle of the end zone for a 6-yard TD pass, putting the Spartans ahead 7-0 after their first drive. Cousins then followed a pick by Johnny Adams with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Edwin Baker to give Michigan State a 14-0 lead with 7:37 left in the first quarter.
Iowa's answer came seven seconds into the second, as Vandenberg found sophomore C.J. Fiedorowicz for his first career TD grab from 8 yards out. But safety Tanner Miller went for an interception of Cousins and missed, allowing Keshawn Martin to go 67 yards and set up a 22-yard field goal from Conroy. That put the Spartans ahead 17-7 - and they weren't through yet. Bell, who ran for 112 yards, went straight up the middle of Iowa's defense for a 25-yard touchdown run with 1:57 left in the second quarter, and Jordan Bernstine fumbled the kickoff right back to Michigan State. That set the stage for a leaping touchdown grab by Cunningham, giving Michigan State a 31-7 lead.
THE LAST MEETING IN SPARTAN STADIUM -
Michigan State grabbed a 13-9 lead with 1:37 remaining when Kirk Cousins hit Blair White on a 30-yard touchdown. But the Hawkeyes stormed back with a sharp, game-winning drive led by Stanzi. Stanzi hit Derrell Johnson-Koulianos with a 16-yard pass to move Iowa to the Michigan State 15. A defensive holding penalty wiped out an apparent interception - upsetting a loud Michigan State crowd - and moved the ball to Spartans 7. Stanzi threw three incomplete passes in the end zone, but on fourth down with 2 seconds on the clock, he hit McNutt on a slant pattern in front of Michigan State cornerback Chris L. Rucker.
Adam Robinson had 109 yards on 27 carries for Iowa. Cousins completed 16-of-32 passes for 225 yards for Michigan State.
MSU/IOWA COACHING CONNECTIONS -
Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker, a 1986 Michigan State graduate, was a four-year letterman and three-time first-team All-Big Ten defensive back for the Spartans from 1982-85. Parker was named MVP of the 1984 Cherry Bowl (nine tackles and an interception vs. Army) and also helped lead the Spartans to a trip to the 1985 All-American Bowl. He later served as a graduate assistant under George Perles for the 1987 Big Ten and 1988 Rose Bowl championship team. Parker still ranks third among MSU's career leaders in interceptions with 16.
Michigan State director of personnel/player development Dino Folino and Iowa assistant defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson spent the 1998 season together at Vanderbilt. Folino coached the secondary and served as defensive coordinator under Woody Widenhofer, while Johnson worked as a graduate assistant coach.
NOTES FROM THE INDIANA GAME -
Since 1950, the winner of the Michigan State-Indiana game has been presented the Old Brass Spittoon. The brass spittoon came from one of Michigan's earliest trading posts and is widely believed to be nearly 190 years old. Legend has it that the spittoon was around when both institutions were founded - Indiana in 1820 and MAC in 1855. Since 1950, Michigan State now leads the series 42-12-1.
Michigan State trailed in the first quarter, 17-0, before rallying for the 31-27 win . . . it tied for the largest comeback win for the Spartans under Mark Dantonio (Penn State 2007, Northwestern 2010).
Le'Veon Bell led all players with 121 rushing yards on 37 carries . . . it marked Bell's third 100-yard rushing game this season (253 vs. Eastern Michigan; 210 vs. Boise State) and seventh of his career . . . Bell's 37 carries were the second most in his career (44 vs. Boise State).
Andrew Maxwell threw for a career-high 290 yards; it marked the fourth-most passing yards for a Spartan quarterback against the Hoosiers.
Michigan State led the game in time of possession (37:50 to 22:10) . . . the Spartans held the ball for 13:14 in the fourth quarter compared to just 1:46 for Indiana . . . on the final drive of the game, MSU ran out the last 5:59 on the clock with an 11-play, 58-yard drive; that drive featured 10 rushes by Le'Veon Bell.
MSU outrushed Indiana, 120-35 . . . MSU's defense has limited four opponents this season to under 100 yards rushing (Boise State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Indiana).
Michigan State's defense limited Indiana to a season-low 317 yards of total offense . . . the Spartans shut out the Hoosiers in the second half while allowing just 37 yards of total offense and two first downs.
Red-shirt freshman safety RJ Williamson posted a career-high nine tackles and had a pass break-up.
Junior captain linebacker Max Bullough tied for the team lead with nine tackles, including one for a 1-yard loss.
Sophomore linebacker Taiwan Jones tied his career high with four tackles, including one for a 5-yard loss . . . Jones also had four tackles against Indiana last season.
SPARTAN DEFENSE ONE OF THE TOP IN THE NATION -
The Spartan defense ranks among the NCAA FBS Top 25 in seven categories: third-down defense (seventh at .277), total defense (eighth at 272.3 ypg.), rushing defense (10th at 86.0 ypg.), passes defended (12th at 6.0 pg.), scoring defense (15th at 15.2 ppg.), pass efficiency defense (23rd at 107.4) and pass defense (25th at 186.3 ypg.). In addition, MSU also leads the Big Ten in three defensive categories (total defense, rushing defense and scoring defense).
Through six games, the Spartans have surrendered eight offensive touchdowns (two rushing, six passing). MSU has only allowed one offensive touchdown in the second half in 2012 (Ohio State).
Through six games in 2012, Michigan State has held its opponents scoreless in 13 of 24 quarters (54 percent). In addition, the Spartans have forced their opponents to go three-and-out on 22 of 76 possessions (29 percent).
Michigan State's defense has allowed just 16 points in the second half this season (one touchdown, three field goals). The Spartans have shut out three opponents in the second half (Boise State, Eastern Michigan, Indiana).
In the 17-13 season-opening win over No. 24 Boise State, the Spartans held the Broncos without an offensive touchdown for the first time since 1997. They also limited the nation's highest scoring offense since 2000 to 206 yards of total offense and 37 rushing yards, both lows in the Coach Chris Petersen era at BSU; the 13 points scored are the third fewest under Petersen.
Since the beginning of last season, Michigan State has held 11 opponents under 100 rushing yards (seven in 2011; four in 2012) and seven under 10 points. In addition, MSU has held six opponents under 50 yards rushing (three in 2011; three in 2012) since 2011.
Michigan State has forced at least one turnover in 57 of 72 games over the last six seasons (79 percent of the games played since 2007).
NCAA STAT LEADERS -
Individual Statistics (Top 50)
BELL PACES SPARTAN GROUND GAME -
Bell has produced 38 first downs and 15 runs of 10 or more yards, including five gains of 20 or more yards.
Bell led all players with 121 rushing yards on 37 carries in Michigan State's 31-27 win at Indiana. It marked Bell's third 100-yard rushing game this season (253 vs. Eastern Michigan; 210 vs. Boise State) and seventh of his career. The 37 carries were the second most in his career (44 vs. Boise State).
The 6-foot-2, 237-pound Bell set career highs for receptions (8) and receiving yards (58) against Ohio State and totaled 103 all-purpose yards (58 receiving, 45 rushing) against the Buckeyes.
Bell earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors for the second time this season after rushing for a career-best 253 yards (36 carries) and a TD in Michigan State's 23-7 victory over Eastern Michigan. His 253 yards mark the sixth-highest single-game rushing total in MSU history. It marked Bell's second career 200-yard rushing game and sixth career 100-yard game. With his 15-yard run early in the second, Bell became just the 16th player in Spartan history to reach the 2,000-yard career milestone. He finished with 263 all-purpose yards (253 rushing, -8 receiving, 18 punt return) - the 11th-best single-season total in MSU history.
Bell rushed for 70 yards on 18 carries (3.9 avg.) and scored two touchdowns in the win over Central Michigan.
Bell collected several weekly honors after his career night helped lead Michigan State past No. 24 Boise State, 17-13, in the season-opening win. He was named the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week by the conference office and also the Big Ten Player of the Week by ESPN.com. In addition, he was named the Heisman Player of the Week by CBSSports.com. Bell rushed for 210 yards and set career highs for rushing attempts (44) and all-purpose yards (265) against the Broncos, while also collecting 55 receiving yards on six catches. He outgained the entire Boise State offense, 210-206, and 84 of his 210 yards came after contact. In addition, Bell's 265 all-purpose yards rank as the 10th-highest single-game total in Spartan history, and his 44 carries tied for fourth most in school history.
Bell's 210 rushing yards against Boise State tied for the 23rd-highest single-game total in school history, and he became the first Spartan running back to eclipse the 200-yard mark since Javon Ringer gained 201 yards on 39 rushes against Notre Dame in 2008. The 210 rushing yards were also the most by a Big Ten running back in a season opener since Purdue's Ralph Bolden in 2009 (234 vs. Toledo) and the most by a Spartan in an opener since T.J. Duckett in 2000 (219 vs. Marshall).
Michigan State is 16-1 (.941) when Bell scores at least one rushing TD (2010: 5-0; 2011: 7-1; and 2012: 4-0).
Bell has rushed for 2,329 yards and 28 TDs in 33 career games. He ranks among MSU's all-time leaders in rushing TDs (tied for seventh with 28), rushing yards (12th with 2,329), rushing attempts (14th with 460) and rushing average (20th at 5.06). Bell needs 67 rushing yards to enter MSU's all-time Top 10 rushers in school history (Jehuu Caulcrick No. 10 with 2,395 rushing yards from 2004-07).
MAXWELL TAKES OVER THE REIGNS AS STARTING QUARTERBACK -
Maxwell has a 139.6 passing efficiency rating in the second half of games, as he has completed nearly 60 percent (56-of-96) of his throws for 772 yards, four TDs and no interceptions. His 772 second-half passing yards rank 15th among all NCAA FBS quarterbacks.
Maxwell recorded career highs in completions (24) and passing yards (290) in the 31-27 comeback win at Indiana; the 290 passing yards marked the fourth most by a Spartan quarterback against the Hoosiers. His 36-yard touchdown pass to Bennie Fowler proved to be the game-winning score as Maxwell engineered his second fourth-quarter comeback of the season (Boise State). Maxwell also connected on a 15-yard TD pass to Larry Caper in the second quarter.
He recorded his third 200-yard passing game of the season, completing 22-of-42 throws for 269 yards and one TD against Ohio State. His 269 passing yards are the sixth-best single-game total by a Spartan quarterback against the Buckeyes.
Maxwell hit 16-of-29 passes for 159 yards and one score in MSU's 23-7 win over Eastern Michigan. In the second half, he connected on 7-of-10 tosses for 128 yards, including a 10-yard TD strike to Dion Sims to give the Spartans a 16-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
In a 20-3 loss to No. 20 Notre Dame, Maxwell set career highs for pass attempts (45) and completions (23) while completing throws to eight different receivers for 187 yards.
Maxwell opened the 2012 season with back-to-back 200-yard passing games against No. 24 Boise State and at Central Michigan and became the first Spartan starting quarterback to win his first two starts since Jeff Smoker in 2000 (Missouri, Notre Dame).
In a 41-7 win at Central Michigan, he completed 20-of-31 passes for a career-high 275 yards and two scores. Maxwell had TD tosses of 20 yards to Dion Sims and 7 yards to Bennie Fowler. In the first half, he went 17-of-28 for 213 yards as MSU built a 24-0 halftime lead.
In his first career start against No. 24 Boise State, Maxwell completed 22-of-38 throws for 248 yards and directed a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. He went 3-for-3 for 38 yards during the nine-play, 56-yard fourth-quarter drive as MSU rallied from a 13-10 deficit. His 18-yard completion to Sims on a third-and-6 play from the BSU 25 set up Le'Veon Bell's game-winning 5-yard TD run. Maxwell iced the game by managing a 13-play, 52-yard drive, including two third-down completions for 15 yards, that consumed the final 6:32 off the clock.
Michigan State's last 19 quarterbacks have compiled a 13-6 record (.684) in their first collegiate start, including a 9-2 mark in home games.
SIMS RANKS AMONG NATION'S TOP TIGHT ENDS -
The 6-foot-5, 285-pound Sims ranks ninth in the Big Ten in receptions (4.0 per game). Twenty of his 24 receptions this season (83 percent) have gone for either a first down or a touchdown.
Sims was selected John Mackey and College Football Performance Awards' National Tight End of the Week after recording his first career 100-yard receiving game with six receptions for 112 yards and a score against Eastern Michigan. He had three catches for 73 yards in the fourth quarter, including a 10-yard TD grab from Andrew Maxwell that gave MSU a 16-7 lead.
The Detroit, Mich., native had a team-high six catches for 52 yards against No. 20 Notre Dame. He caught three passes for 48 yards at Central Michigan, including a 20-yard TD reception from Maxwell late in the second quarter. Sims recorded a career-best seven receptions for 65 yards in the season opener against No. 24 Boise State.
BURBRIDGE EMERGES AS RECEIVING THREAT -
Burbridge's 134 receiving yards also set a Spartan single-game freshman record (previous: red-shirt freshman Terry Love had nine catches for 103 yards vs. Iowa in 2004) and are the most by a true freshman in the NCAA this season against an FBS opponent.
The Farmington Hills, Mich., native helped spark MSU's second-half rally against the Hoosiers, with five receptions for 96 yards coming after halftime. He had at least one reception on four of MSU's five scoring drives. In three previous appearances this season, Burbridge had just two catches for 14 yards.
2012 CAPTAINS ELECTED -
An additional captain will be selected each week during the 2012 season (junior linebacker William Gholston vs. Iowa).
HONORARY CAPTAINS VS. IOWA -
at the official