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Spartans Seeking School Record Fifth-Straight Win Over Michigan
 
 
 
Isaiah Lewis and the Spartans are looking for their fifth-straight win over Michigan. Lewis returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown in last season's 28-14 victory over the Wolverines.
 
Isaiah Lewis and the Spartans are looking for their fifth-straight win over Michigan. Lewis returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown in last season's 28-14 victory over the Wolverines.
 
 

Oct. 18, 2012

Game 8:
Michigan State (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten) at No. 23/25 Michigan (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten)
 Date | Time Saturday, Oct. 20 | 3:30 p.m.
 Location Ann Arbor, Mich.
Michigan Stadium (109,901/FieldTurf)
 Televison BTN
 Broadcast Team Matt Devlin (play-by-play) | Glen Mason (analyst) | J Leman (sidelines)
 Internet Coverage Gametracker | Watch (BTN2Go)
 Radio Spartan Sports Network (Listen Live) | Affiliates
 Radio (Mobile) Broadcast available on Spartan Sports Network Mobile App: iPhone/iPad | Android
 Game Notes Michigan State | Michigan
 Statistics Michigan State | Michigan
 Depth Charts Michigan State | Michigan
 Social Media @MSU_Football   |  Facebook

FIRST-AND-10 (what you need to know about the MSU-Michigan matchup) -
• Saturday's game marks the 105th meeting between Michigan State and Michigan. The Wolverines lead the all-time series 67-32-5, including a 48-20-3 record in games played in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Spartans are 18-33-3 in games played in Michigan Stadium, including a 4-11 record since 1982.

• Michigan State has won the last four meetings against the Wolverines, including two straight in Michigan Stadium. MSU's four-game winning streak matches its longest winning streak in series history (1934-37, 1950-53, 1959-62 and 2008-11). The Spartans are seeking their third-straight victory in Michigan Stadium for the first time since the late 1950s and early 1960s (MSU won four consecutive games in Ann Arbor in 1956, 1957, 1959 and 1961). Michigan's last home win over MSU came on Oct. 7, 2006, 31-13.

Mark Dantonio is 4-1 during his tenure against Michigan, including a 2-0 record in Michigan Stadium. Last season, Dantonio joined Charlie Bachman as the only other Michigan State coach to beat Michigan in four of their first five tries. Bachman won four of his first five games against U-M from 1933-37.

• 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 34-23-2. 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 ranks second among opponents in all-time victories over Michigan. Only Ohio State (44) has posted more wins over the Wolverines than the Spartans (32).

• Michigan State's 2012 roster features 55 players from the state of Michigan, including 11 of the Spartans' 24 projected starters for Saturday's game against Michigan.

• 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 39 of the last 42 games. During its current four-game winning streak, the Spartans have outrushed the Wolverines, 826-356 yards (by 470 yards).

• Michigan State's five remaining opponents comprise the nation's 11th-most difficult schedule, according to NCAA figures. The Spartans' future opponents have a combined record of 19-9 (.679) against other NCAA Bowl Subdivision teams.

• Since 2010, Michigan State and Wisconsin have won more Big Ten games (15 each) than any other conference team.

• Junior running back Le'Veon Bell, a Midseason First-Team All-American by Phil Steele, ranks second in the Big Ten and sixth in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing with 130.9 yards per game, has been named. Bell also ranks second in the nation in carries (200) and 17th in all-purpose yards (152.3 ypg.). He produced the top single-game total in the NCAA FBS this season for carries (44 vs. Boise State) and is fourth in rushing yards (253 vs. Eastern Michigan). The Columbus, Ohio, native also is listed among the Big Ten leaders in all-purpose yards (third) and rushing touchdowns (tied for third with eight). Michigan State is 16-2 (.889) when Bell scores at least one rushing TD (2010: 5-0; 2011: 7-1; and 2012: 4-1).

INSIDE THE NUMBERS -
• Since 2008, Michigan State has won more Big Ten games (25) than any other conference team. (Note: Ohio State has won 27 games during this same period, but had to vacate seven victories following the 2010 season; Penn State also has won 25, but had to vacate 23 victories from 2008-11.)

• Under Mark Dantonio: Michigan State is 33-4 (.892) when leading in time of possession, including a 18-1 record (.947) since 2010. The Spartans currently lead the Big Ten and rank No. 6 in the NCAA FBS in time of possession (33:41 per game).

• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 37-9 (.804) when outrushing its opponent, including a 21-2 record (.913) since 2010.

• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 16-2 (.889) when rushing for 200-plus yards in a game.

• Michigan State has outscored its opponents 80-39 (+41) in the second half this season.

Michigan State is 16-2 when Le'Veon Bell scores at least one rushing touchdown.


• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State has produced a 31-9 record (.775) in home games. The Spartans have won 16 of their last 19 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 have won 26 of their last 34 games (.765), dating back to the beginning of the 2010 season, including a 15-4 record (.789) in Big Ten regular-season play.

• MSU is coming off back-to-back 11-win seasons for the first time in program history. The 22 wins in 2010 and 2011 were the highest two-year total in school history and ranked tied for seventh most among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams during that same period.

• Michigan State's 26 wins since 2010 are tied for ninth most among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

• Michigan State has won 19 of its last 22 games played in the state of Michigan since the beginning of the 2010 season (16-3 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 11-3 (.786) in games decided by 10 points or less, including a 2-2 record in 2012. The only losses have come against Wisconsin in the 2011 Big Ten Championship Game (42-39) along with Ohio State (17-16) and Iowa (19-16 in 2OT) in 2012.

• Fifth-year senior Dan Conroy has made 70 consecutive PATs, just six shy of tying the school-record of 76 straight shared by Brett Swenson (2007-09) and Dave Rayner (2003-04).

• 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).

CLASS BREAKDOWN (STARTERS) -
Michigan State Offense: 2 seniors, 3 juniors, 3 sophomores, 3 freshmen
Michigan State Defense: 3 seniors, 5 juniors, 3 sophomores
Michigan Offense: 6 seniors, 5 juniors
Michigan Defense: 4 seniors, 3 juniors, 4 sophomores

STAT LEADERS -
Michigan State (after seven games):
Rushing - Le'Veon Bell (200 carries for 916 yards, 4.6 avg., 8 TDs)
Passing - Andrew Maxwell (139 of 256 for 1,607 yards, 6 TDs, 4 INTs)
Receiving - Keith Mumphery (25 catches for 330 yards, 13.2 avg., 1 TDs)
Tackles - Max Bullough (58 tackles, 31 solos, 27 assists, 5.5 TFL)

Michigan (after six games):
Rushing - Denard Robinson (101 carries for 804 yards, 8.0 avg., 6 TDs)
Passing - Denard Robinson (69 of 126 for 1,101 yards, 9 TDs, 8 INTs)
Receiving - Jeremy Gallon (15 catches for 287 yards, 19.1 avg., 1 TD)
Tackles - Jake Ryan (42 tackles, 26 solos, 16 assists, 7.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks)

CURRENT SPARTANS vs. MICHIGAN -
Career Stat Leaders
Rushing - Le'Veon Bell (2 games: 14 carries for 98 yards, 7.0 avg., 1 TD)
Passing - N/A
Receiving - Larry Caper (3 games: 2 catches for 8 yards, 4.0 avg.)
Tackles - Chris Norman (3 games: 18 tackles)

MSU/MICHIGAN SERIES NOTES -
Saturday's game marks the 105th meeting between Michigan State and Michigan. The Wolverines lead the all-time series 67-32-5, including a 48-20-3 record in games played in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Spartans are 18-33-3 in games played in Michigan Stadium, including a 4-11 record since 1982.

MSU and Ohio State have posted 18 wins each in Michigan Stadium - the most by any Wolverine opponent. Michigan Stadium, which opened in 1927, is in its 86th season. MSU's 20 wins in Ann Arbor also equals the most by a Wolverine opponent (Ohio State).

Mark Dantonio is 4-1 during his tenure against Michigan, including a 2-0 record in Michigan Stadium.

Michigan State has won the last four meetings against the Wolverines, including two straight in Michigan Stadium. MSU's four-game winning streak matches its longest winning streak in series history (1934-37, 1950-53, 1959-62 and 2008-11). The Spartans are seeking their third-straight victory in Michigan Stadium for the first time since the late 1950s and early 1960s (MSU won four consecutive games in Ann Arbor in 1956, 1957, 1959 and 1961). Michigan's last home win over MSU came on Oct. 7, 2006, 31-13.

Since 1950, the Wolverines hold a 34-26-2 advantage over the Spartans. (Note: For a complete list of all-time series scores, please refer to page 127-128 in the 2012 MSU Football Media Guide.)

THE RIVALRY -
• This marks the 105th meeting between Michigan State and Michigan. The series celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1998 and it has gone uninterrupted for 66 years since World War II (1945).

• This game marks the 65th-consecutive sellout in the Michigan State-Michigan series, dating from 1948.

• The home team has won 14 of the last 20 meetings between Michigan State and Michigan.

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 '53, Michigan leads the series 34-23-2. 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 LAST MEETING -
Oct. 15, 2011, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP): Jerel Worthy and his Michigan State teammates charged across the field, holding four fingers in the air while celebrating another sweet victory over their biggest rival. In his four years with the Spartans, Worthy has never lost to Michigan. He and the rest of Michigan State's defensive line helped extend that run, shutting down Denard Robinson and the 11th-ranked Wolverines in a 28-14 victory. The 23rd-ranked Spartans have won four straight against Michigan for the first time since 1959-62, equaling Michigan State's longest streak in the series.

Kirk Cousins, a fifth-year senior, is the first Michigan State starting quarterback to win three straight over Michigan. Keshawn Martin scored twice in the third quarter on similar lunges to the end zone, and Michigan State (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) held off Robinson and the Wolverines during a wild fourth quarter. Michigan (6-1, 2-1) lost for the first time under coach Brady Hoke.

The Wolverines had a chance to tie it, but Robinson was sacked on fourth-and-1 from the Michigan State 9-yard line with 6:16 to play. Robinson later threw an interception, and Isaiah Lewis returned it 39 yards for a touchdown with 4:31 left to make it 28-14.

Edwin Baker ran for 167 yards and a touchdown for the Spartans.

Robinson ran for a first-quarter touchdown but was mostly ineffective through the air, going 9 for 24 for 123 yards and a touchdown on a windy day in East Lansing. Down 21-7, Robinson found Roy Roundtree for a 34-yard touchdown with 9:49 left in the game. Martin then fumbled on an end around, giving Michigan the ball at the Michigan State 32. After converting fourth-and-1 from the 23 with a short run, Robinson faced the same down and distance from the 9. Michigan called a slow-developing play-action attempt, and Johnny Adams sacked Robinson to end the drive. After Michigan got the ball back, Robinson's pass was intercepted by Lewis, who took it back for a touchdown.

THE LAST MEETING IN MICHIGAN STADIUM -
Oct. 9, 2010, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP): With Coach Mark Dantonio back in the stadium, No. 17 Michigan State took advantage of three interceptions by Denard Robinson and scored 24 unanswered points to break open a close game and beat No. 18 Michigan 34-17.

The Spartans trailed midway through the second quarter before their scoring binge, which allowed them to beat their rivals for the third straight time. It marked their longest winning streak over the Wolverines since 1965-67.

Michigan State's Kirk Cousins threw for a touchdown and handed off to Edwin Baker, Le'Veon Bell and Larry Caper for three scores, giving Dantonio a reason to smile. He was back coaching from the press box nearly three weeks after a mild heart attack.

Robinson was 17 of 29 for 215 yards and accounted for two touchdowns, but made the three costly turnovers and ran for a regular-season low 86 yards - with a long of 16 - on 21 carries.

Cousins, meanwhile, avoided turning the ball over and threw for 284 yards and a score. Baker ran for 147 yards, Bell had 78 yards rushing and Caper chipped in enough to help the Spartans roll up 249 yards on the ground, striking a balance that gave Michigan's defense plenty of problems.

SPARTANS RANK SECOND IN ALL-TIME VICTORIES vs. MICHIGAN -
Michigan State ranks second among opponents in all-time victories over Michigan. Only Ohio State (44) has posted more wins over the Wolverines than the Spartans (32).

MSU/MICHIGAN COACHING CONNECTIONS -
• Michigan State defensive line coach Ted Gill served as (Michigan head coach) Brady Hoke's position coach at Ball State from 1978-80. As a senior in 1980, Hoke earned second-team All-MAC honors after finishing sixth in the conference with a team-leading 150 tackles.

• Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi and Michigan offensive line coach Darrell Funk coached two seasons together at Rhode Island (1998-99) and one season at Northern Illinois (2002). Narduzzi was Rhode Island's defensive coordinator from 1998-99, and Funk succeeded him as defensive coordinator of the Rams in 2000-01 following Narduzzi's departure to NIU. When Funk came to Northern Illinois as the tight ends coach in 2002, Narduzzi was the linebackers coach. In addition, Michigan State offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Dan Roushar and Funk also coached one season together at Northern Illinois in 2002. Roushar was the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach that season for the Huskies.

• Michigan associate athletic director for football Mike Vollmar spent 12 years as assistant AD/director of football operations at Michigan State (1996-2007).

• Michigan director of strength and conditioning Aaron Wellman spent three years as assistant strength and conditioning coach at Michigan State (2001-03) under Ken Mannie.

BATTLE FOR IN-STATE BRAGGING RIGHTS -
Michigan State's 2012 roster features 55 players from the state of Michigan, including 11 of the Spartans' 24 projected starters for Saturday's game against Michigan: wide receiver Aaron Burbridge (Farmington Hills/Harrison), center Ethan Ruhland (Lake Orion), right guard Chris McDonald (Sterling Heights/Henry Ford II), wide receiver Tony Lippett (Detroit/Crockett), quarterback Andrew Maxwell (Midland), fullback Lawrence Thomas (Detroit/Renaissance), nose tackle Anthony Rashad White (Battle Creek/Battle Creek Central), defensive end William Gholston (Detroit/Southeastern), linebacker Chris Norman (Detroit/Renaissance), linebacker Max Bullough (Traverse City/St. Francis) and punter Mike Sadler (Grand Rapids/Forest Hills Northern).

Joel Foreman NAMED HONORARY CAPTAIN -
Former Michigan State offensive guard Joel Foreman, who earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as a senior in 2011, has been selected honorary captain for Saturday's game against Michigan. He will address the team during the pre-game meal and join the 2012 captains at midfield for the coin toss.

Joel Foreman - who went 4-0 in his career against Michigan - will be the honorary captain for Saturday's game against the Wolverines.


Foreman was a member of the winningest senior class in Spartan history with 37 victories and helped lead MSU to a 4-0 record against Michigan in his career. The 2011 class was the first to defeat the Wolverines four-straight years since 1959-62.

The four-year letterman played in 52 career games, including 49 starts at left guard, which is tied with Eric Gordon for the most starts in school history. He also started more games (49) than any other offensive lineman in school history (previous record: 44 starts by Shane Hannah, 1991-94, and Tony Mandarich, 1985-88) and was MSU's first four-year starter on the offensive line since Shane Hannah (1991-94).

As a senior, Foreman was elected a captain by his teammates and earned All-America honors from Yahoo! Sports (second team), Phil Steele (third team) and SI.com (honorable mention). A first-team All-Big Ten first-team selection by coaches and media, he became MSU's first All-Big Ten first-team honoree on the offensive line since Sean Poole (tackle) in 2004. One of just 16 players in program history to earn Academic All-Big Ten honors four-straight years, Foreman was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District V Team for his 3.33 GPA in criminal justice and graduated in December 2011.

Foreman closed his career in the 2012 Outback Bowl, as the Spartans defeated No. 18 Georgia in triple overtime, 33-30. He helped lead the Spartans to four postseason bowl appearances in his career (2009 Capital One Bowl, 2010 Alamo Bowl, 2011 Capital One Bowl, 2012 Outback Bowl).

GROUND GAME KEY FACTOR IN THIS SERIES -
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 39 of the last 42 games. During its current four-game winning streak, the Spartans have outrushed the Wolverines, 826-356 yards (by 470 yards).

The only exceptions to that trend came 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; and 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.

UPSET SPECIALS -
Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 7-15 (.467) in 22 games played against teams ranked in The Associated Press Top 25. The Spartans have won six of their last 12 games played against AP Top 25 teams since 2010, including a 1-2 record in 2012 (with a win over No. 24 Boise State on Aug. 31, and losses to No. 20 Notre Dame on Sept. 15 and No. 14 Ohio State on Sept. 29). Four of those seven wins over ranked teams have come while Michigan State was unranked or ranked below its opponent. Eleven of the last 22 games against AP Top 25 teams have been decided by seven points or less. (Note: For a complete list of all-time results against ranked opponents, please refer to pages 132-134 in the 2012 MSU Football Media Guide.)

NOTES FROM THE IOWA GAME -
• Iowa now leads the all-time series against Michigan State, 23-19-2, including a 10-10-1 record in games played in East Lansing, Mich. The Hawkeyes have won 10 of the last 15 meetings, including two in a row in Spartan Stadium (games decided by a combined total of five points).

• Michigan State now has a 5-5 record in 10 overtime games, including an 0-2 record against Iowa. The 19-16 loss ended MSU's three-game winning streak in overtime games. The Spartans' last overtime loss also came at Iowa, 34-27 (2 OT), in 2007.

• Michigan State is now 63-31-3 in 97 Homecoming games, including a 6-2 record against Iowa. The double-overtime loss ended MSU's five-game Homecoming winning streak.

• The Spartans lost the game despite outrushing Iowa, 149-123. Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is now 37-9 when outrushing its opponent, including a 21-2 record since 2010.

Le'Veon Bell recorded his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the 2012 season and eighth of his career, with 29 carries for 140 yards against Iowa. It marked Bell's second-straight 100-yard rushing game against the Hawkeyes (20 rushes for 112 yards in 2011). His 14-yard touchdown run in the first quarter marked the 29th of his career, as he moved into a tie for sixth (T.J. Duckett, 1999-2001) on MSU's all-time list.

Aaron Burbridge led the Spartans in receiving for the second-straight week, with five receptions for 89 yards against Iowa. Over the last two games, Burbridge has 13 catches for 223 yards (111.5 ypg.). His season-long 38-yard grab in the second quarter helped set up Dan Conroy's 24-yard field goal that gave MSU a 10-0 lead.

• Greg Castillo's game-ending pick ended Andrew Maxwell's streak of 233 pass attempts without an interception. Maxwell had not thrown an interception since the first half of the season opener against Boise State.

Denicos Allen recorded a career-high 13 tackles along with his first career interception against Iowa. Allen's interception came off a deflection by William Gholston and set up MSU's only touchdown, a 14-yard run by Le'Veon Bell early in the first quarter.

Max Bullough reached double figures in tackles for the second time in 2012 and fourth time in his career, with 11 stops against Iowa. Over his last four games, Bullough has produced 41 tackles (10.3 per game).

• In his first career start, Taiwan Jones posted a career-best 10 tackles against Iowa. His previous single-game came in last week's game at Indiana: four stops. Jones also was credited with a 1-yard tackle for loss, a pass break-up and quarterback hurry.

• In his first career start, Kurtis Drummond registered a career-high four tackles against Iowa.

Dan Conroy went a perfect 3-for-3 on field-goal attempts against Iowa, converting kicks from 24, 22 and 24 yards. With three made kicks, Conroy moved into a tie for fifth (Paul Edinger, 1996-99) on MSU's all-time list with 46 career field goals. He accounted for 10 points against the Hawkeyes and moved into eighth place on MSU's all-time scoring list with 246 career points. Conroy has converted his last six field-goal attempts (over a three-game span).

• With 68 yards on two runbacks against Iowa, Nick Hill moved into fifth place on MSU's all-time list with 1,400 career kickoff return yards.

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

• The Spartan defense ranks among the NCAA FBS Top 25 in seven categories: total defense (seventh at 270.1 ypg.), rushing defense (eighth at 91.3 ypg.), third-down defense (eighth at .284), passes defended (ninth at 6.0 pg.), pass efficiency defense (12th at 103.0), scoring defense (14th at 15.7 ppg.) and pass defense (17th at 178.9 ypg.). In addition, MSU also leads the Big Ten in three defensive categories (total defense, rushing defense and scoring defense).

• Through seven games, the Spartans have surrendered nine offensive touchdowns (three rushing, six passing). MSU has only allowed two offensive touchdowns in the second half in 2012 (Ohio State, Iowa).

• Through seven games in 2012, Michigan State has held its opponents scoreless in 15 of 28 quarters (54 percent). In addition, the Spartans have forced their opponents to go three-and-out on 30 of 88 possessions (34 percent).

• Michigan State's defense has allowed just 26 points in the second half this season (two touchdowns, four 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 58 of 73 games over the last six seasons (79 percent of the games played since 2007).

NCAA STAT LEADERS -
Here's a glance at how Michigan State ranks among the NCAA individual stat leaders in 2012:

Individual Statistics (Top 50)
Rushing: Le'Veon Bell (6th at 130.9 yards per game)
Punting: Mike Sadler (16th at 43.9 yards per punt)
Field Goals: Dan Conroy (6th at 2.0 made per game)
All-Purpose Runners: Le'Veon Bell (17th at 152.3 yards per game)

BELL NAMED MIDSEASON FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN -
Junior running back Le'Veon Bell, who ranks second in the Big Ten and sixth in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing with 130.9 yards per game, has been named a Midseason First-Team All-American by Phil Steele. Bell also ranks second in the nation in carries (200) and 17th in all-purpose yards (152.3 ypg.). He produced the top single-game total in the NCAA FBS this season for carries (44 vs. Boise State) and is fourth in rushing yards (253 vs. Eastern Michigan). The Columbus, Ohio, native also is listed among the Big Ten leaders in all-purpose yards (third) and rushing touchdowns (tied for third with eight).

According to STATS, Bell has gained 479 of his 916 rushing yards (52 percent) after contact and has broken 15 tackles this season. His totals for rushing yards after contact and broken tackles rank first among all NCAA FBS running backs. In addition, he has produced 44 first downs and 17 runs of 10 or more yards, including six gains of 20 or more yards.

Bell recorded his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the 2012 season and eighth of his career, with 29 carries for 140 yards and a TD against Iowa. It marked his second-straight 100-yard rushing game against the Hawkeyes (20 rushes for 112 yards in 2011).

Bell led all players with 121 rushing yards on 37 carries in Michigan State's 31-27 win at Indiana. 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. 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 16-2 (.889) when Bell scores at least one rushing TD (2010: 5-0; 2011: 7-1; and 2012: 4-1).

Bell has rushed for 2,469 yards and 29 TDs in 34 career games. He ranks among MSU's all-time leaders in rushing TDs (tied for sixth with 29), rushing yards (10th with 2,469), rushing attempts (12th with 489) and rushing average (20th at 5.05). Bell ranks among the Top 20 active NCAA FBS leaders in rushing TDs (14th), carries (15th) and rushing yards (16th).

MAXWELL TAKES OVER THE REIGNS AS STARTING QUARTERBACK -
Fourth-year junior Andrew Maxwell, who spent the past two seasons as Kirk Cousins' understudy, is in his first season as the starting quarterback. The 6-foot-3, 212-pound Maxwell ranks second in the Big Ten in passing (229.6 yards per game) and fifth in total offense (224.3 ypg.). He has completed 139-of-256 throws (.543) for 1,607 yards, six touchdowns, four interceptions and four 200-yard passing games this season. His streak of consecutive pass attempts without an interception ended at 233 when Iowa's Greg Castillo came up with a pick in the second overtime.

Maxwell has a 123.6 passing efficiency rating in the second half of games, as he has completed 53 percent (62-of-117) of his throws for 850 yards, four TDs and one interception. His 850 second-half passing yards rank 14th 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 completed 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) while completing 23 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.

Aaron Burbridge is averaging 111.5 receiving yards his past two games.


BURBRIDGE EMERGES AS RECEIVING THREAT -
True freshman Aaron Burbridge leads the team in receptions (13) and receiving yards (223; 111.5 per game) in Big Ten play. In five games overall, Burbridge has 15 catches for 237 yards (15.8 avg.). Nine of his 15 receptions (60 percent) have resulted in a first down, including four 20-yard grabs.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Burbridge led the Spartans in receiving for the second-straight week, with five receptions for 89 yards against Iowa. His season-long 38-yard grab in the second quarter helped set up Dan Conroy's 24-yard field goal that gave MSU a 10-0 lead.

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 as the Spartans rallied from a 17-point deficit for a 31-27 victory 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 second 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.

SIMS RANKS AMONG THE NATION'S TOP TIGHT ENDS -
Junior tight end Dion Sims, who was named a Fourth-Team Midseason All-American by Phil Steele, leads the Spartans in touchdown catches (2) and ranks second in receptions (24) and receiving yards (313). His 24 catches and 313 receiving yards both represent career highs and also rank among the FBS tight end leaders this season (tied for sixth in receptions and sixth in receiving yards). Sims had 12 catches in 2011 and 133 receiving yards in 2009. He sat out last week's game against Iowa after suffering an ankle injury in the first quarter of MSU's Oct. 6 game at Indiana.

The 6-foot-5, 285-pound Sims ranks 10th 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.

BULLOUGH ANCHORS SPARTAN DEFENSE -
Junior linebacker and captain Max Bullough, a Midseason Third-Team All-America selection by Phil Steele, leads the team in tackles (58), tackles for loss (5.5 for 20 yards) and production points (165). The 6-foot-3, 252-pound Bullough ranks 11th in the Big Ten in tackles, averaging 8.3 per game. Over his last four games, Bullough has produced 41 tackles (10.3 per game).

He ranks third (tied with Wisconsin's Mike Taylor) in tackles in Big Ten games, averaging 10.7 per game. Bullough reached double figures in tackles for the second time in 2012 and fourth time in his career, with 11 stops against Iowa.

He posted a season-high 12 stops against No. 14 Ohio State to go along with two pass break-ups and a forced fumble.

The Traverse City, Mich., native has 170 tackles in 34 career games. Bullough has started every game at middle linebacker since the beginning of the 2011 season (21 consecutive games), a streak that ranks tied for longest on the Spartan defense (strong safety Isaiah Lewis; defensive end Marcus Rush) and second-longest on the team (right guard Chris McDonald, 24-straight starts). He led the team in tackles last season with 89.

Bullough is a third-generation Spartan, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Hank (guard, 1952-54) and father Shane (linebacker, 1983-86) who played football at Michigan State. Max's father, Shane, was also named a team captain in 1986. In addition, his grandfather Jim Morse (halfback, 1954-56) played for Coach Terry Brennan at Notre Dame, and his uncles Chuck Bullough (Michigan State, linebacker, 1988-91), Bobby Morse (Michigan State, running back, 1983-86) and Jim Morse (Notre Dame, cornerback, 1976-77) played college football. Max's brother, Riley, is a freshman linebacker on the Spartan roster.

2012 CAPTAINS ELECTED -
Junior linebacker Max Bullough, junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell and senior linebacker Chris Norman have been elected by their teammates to serve as Michigan State's captains for the 2012 season.

An additional captain will be selected each week during the 2012 season (senior running back Larry Caper vs. Michigan).

 

 

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