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Spartans Look to Remain Undefeated in Big Ten Play
 
 
 
Sophomore quarterback Connor Cook ranks second in passing (256.0 yards per game) in Big Ten games.

 
Sophomore quarterback Connor Cook ranks second in passing (256.0 yards per game) in Big Ten games.
 
 

Oct. 18, 2013

Game 7:
Michigan State (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) vs. Purdue (1-5, 0-2 Big Ten)
 Date | Time Saturday, Oct. 19 | 12 p.m.
 Location East Lansing, Mich.
Spartan Stadium (75,005/Natural Grass)
 Televison BTN
 Broadcast Team Eric Collins (play-by-play) | Derek Rackley (analyst)
Eric Crouch (sidelines)
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 Game Notes Michigan State | Purdue
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Purdue Scouting Report

The Last Meeting
Purdue31
Michigan State35
November 20, 2010
East Lansing, Mich.
Spartans Rally Past Purdue, 35-31
Kirk Cousins lunged into the end zone from 3 yards out with 4:32 remaining, and No. 11 Michigan State kept its Rose Bowl hopes alive with a dramatic 35-31 victory over Purdue on Saturday.

FIRST-AND-10 -
• Saturday's game marks the 64th meeting between Michigan State and Purdue. The Spartans lead the all-time series 32-28-3, including a 19-12 record in games played in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State has won four straight in the series, dating back to Mark Dantonio's first season in East Lansing in 2007. Purdue's last win in the series came on Nov. 4, 2006, 17-15, in Spartan Stadium. Six of the last eight games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less, including MSU's 35-31 come-from-behind victory over the Boilermakers in the last meeting on Nov. 20, 2010 in Spartan Stadium.

• Through six games, Michigan State's defense ranks No. 1 in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in total defense (228.3 yards per game) and rushing defense (58.0 ypg.). The Spartans also rank among the national leaders in pass efficiency defense (third with 86.95 rating), first downs defense (third with 13.3 pg.), opponent third-down conversions (fifth at 26 percent; 25-for-95), scoring defense (eighth at 15.8 ppg.) and passing defense (10th at 170.3 ypg.). Michigan State, Florida and Louisville are the only three schools in the FBS to rank in the Top 10 nationally in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and passing defense. The Spartans also lead the Big Ten in five defensive categories (total defense, rushing defense, pass defense, pass efficiency defense, first downs defense). Michigan State and Alabama are the only two schools to rank in the top 15 nationally in total defense, scoring defense, pass defense and rushing defense during both the 2011 and 2012 seasons. In addition, Michigan State's defense has allowed just 3.56 yards per play, which ranks No. 1 in the FBS.

• During the first two games of the Big Ten season, Michigan State ranks among the conference leaders in total offense (third with 442.5 ypg.), passing offense (fourth with 256.0 ypg.), rushing offense (fifth with 186.5 ypg.) and scoring offense (fifth with 34.0 ypg.). The biggest improvement on offense has been the passing game, as the Spartans are averaging 256.0 yards per game during Big Ten play versus 153.8 ypg. in their four non-conference games. In addition, the Spartans have tallied 10 plays of 20 yards or more on offense (four rushing, six passing) in their two league games, compared to just 11 (five rushing, six passing) during their four non-conference games.

• Junior running back Jeremy Langford was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after recording his first career 100-yard rushing game in Michigan State's 42-28 victory over Indiana and setting personal bests for carries (23), rushing yards (109) and rushing touchdowns (3). He scored on runs of 5, 2 and career-long 32 yards. Langford accounted for a career-best four TDs, including his first career TD reception on an 11-yard screen pass from Connor Cook early in the second quarter. He compiled a career-best 120 all-purpose yards against the Hoosiers. The native of Wayne, Mich., leads the team and ranks 10th in the Big Ten in rushing, averaging 70.0 yards per game (420 yards total). Langford also ranks tied for first in the Big Ten with eight total touchdowns (seven rushing, one receiving).

• Junior punter Mike Sadler was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for the third time in his career after averaging a career-best 59.2 yards on four punts in Michigan State's 42-28 victory over Indiana, including a season-long 69-yarder in the fourth quarter. Sadler also placed one kick inside the Indiana 10-yard line. With his 43.8-yard average, Sadler ranks first in the Big Ten and 25th in the Football Bowl Subdivision in punting. He has placed 41 percent of his punts (15-of-34) inside the 20 this season.

• Michigan State's 5-1 start equals its second-best six-game start under head coach Mark Dantonio. The Spartans won their first six games in 2010 en route to an 8-0 start, and were also 5-1 to begin the 2008 and 2011 seasons.

• In six games this season, the Spartans have forced their opponents to go three-and-out on 40 of 82 possessions (49 percent; 6.7 per game), which ranks first in the nation. The Spartans are forcing an average of 6.7 three-and-outs per game, which ranks tied for third in the FBS. [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.]

• After not scoring any defensive touchdowns in 2012, the Spartans have already recorded four this season, which is tied for the most by any team in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in 2013 (Kurtis Drummond 21-yard interception vs. Western Michigan; Shilique Calhoun 16-yard fumble recovery vs. WMU; Calhoun 4-yard fumble recovery vs. South Florida; Calhoun 56-yard interception vs. USF). Michigan State has scored 18 defensive touchdowns under Dantonio, including five each in 2007 and 2011. It marked the first time in Michigan State history (single-game records dating back to 1946) that the Spartans have scored four defensive TDs in the first two games of the season. The four defensive touchdowns are tied for the fourth most in a single season in school history (school-record six in 1999; five in 2007 and 2011).

• The Spartans have won 34 of their last 45 games (.756), dating back to the beginning of the 2010 season. The 34 wins are tied for the most in the Big Ten and tied for 12th most among NCAA FBS teams during that same time period.

• Since 2008, MSU has recorded 29 Big Ten victories, the most of any team in the conference (Note: Ohio State has won 34 games, but had to vacate seven victories following the 2010 season.). The Spartans produced back-to-back 11-win seasons in 2010-11 for the first time in program history, claimed a share of the Big Ten Championship in 2010, and won the inaugural Big Ten Legends Divisions title in 2011.

STAT LEADERS -
Michigan State (after six games):
Rushing - Jeremy Langford (95 carries for 420 yards, 4.4 avg., 7 TDs)
Passing - Connor Cook (90 of 156 for 923 yards, 9 TDs, 2 INTs)
Receiving - Macgarrett Kings Jr. (23 catches for 258 yards, 11.2 avg., 3 TDs)
Tackles - Denicos Allen (35 tackles, 17 solos, 18 assists, 5.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks)

Purdue (after six games):
Rushing - Akeem Hunt (71 carries for 250 yards, 3.5 avg., 0 TDs)
Passing - Rob Henry (81 of 152 for 832 yards, 4 TDs, 6 INTs)
Receiving - Akeem Hunt (21 catches for 203 yards, 9.7 avg., 2 TDs)
Tackles - Will Lucas (33 tackles, 22 solos, 11 assists, 1.5 TFL)

THE LAST MEETING - Nov. 20, 2010, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP): Kirk Cousins lunged into the end zone from 3 yards out with 4:32 remaining, and No. 11 Michigan State kept its Rose Bowl hopes alive with a dramatic 35-31 victory over Purdue.

The Spartans trailed 28-13 after three quarters and 31-20 midway through the fourth, but Cousins threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Mark Dell with 6:54 remaining, and a 2-point conversion made it 31-28. Denicos Allen then blocked a punt, giving Michigan State the ball inside the 5 and setting up Cousins' touchdown.

Purdue then drove to the Michigan State 20, but Rob Henry was intercepted on fourth down with less than a minute to play.

Michigan State trailed 28-13 when Henry's deep pass was intercepted by Chris L. Rucker at the Purdue 40. Rucker returned it to the 20, and Cousins threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to B.J. Cunningham to bring the Spartans within eight.

After a long kickoff return, Purdue's Carson Wiggs made it 31-20 with a 52-yard field goal, but the Boilermakers couldn't hold off Michigan State.

Cousins missed a series in the first half with an apparent injury to his non-throwing arm, and he appeared hobbled throughout the second half. He still went 28 of 37 for 276 yards and three touchdowns.

Michigan State took a 7-0 lead on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Dell, but nothing came easy after that. Purdue needed less than a minute to answer. Keith Carlos ran up the middle, eluded safety Trenton Robinson and then had nothing but open field in front of him for an 80-yard touchdown.

Ricardo Allen then gave the Boilermakers the lead, stepping in front of one of Cousins' passes and returning the interception 35 yards for a touchdown. Cousins would finish the first half 12 of 13 for 105 yards, but his only miss was a costly one.

The Spartans scored early in the second quarter on a 19-yard run by Edwin Baker, who surpassed 1,000 yards rushing on the season.

With the second quarter nearing an end, Purdue went on its first sustained drive of the day, going 85 yards in 14 plays. Henry threw an 8-yard touchdown pass on third down to Antavian Edison with 9 seconds left to make it 21-13.

Purdue made it 28-13 on Henry's 12-yard scoring pass to Cortez Smith in the third quarter.

MSU/PURDUE COACHING CONNECTION -
• Michigan State defensive line coach Ron Burton and Purdue defensive backs coach Jon Heacock worked together at Indiana for three years (1997-99) under Cam Cameron. Burton coached IU's linebackers while Heacock served as the team's defensive coordinator.

SPARTAN DEFENSE RANKS NO. 1 IN THE FBS -
• Through six games, Michigan State's defense ranks No. 1 in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in total defense (228.3 yards per game) and rushing defense (58.0 ypg.). The Spartans also rank among the national leaders in pass efficiency defense (third with 86.95 rating), first downs defense (third with 13.3 pg.), opponent third-down conversions (fifth at 26 percent; 25-for-95), scoring defense (eighth at 15.8 ppg.) and passing defense (10th at 170.3 ypg.).

Michigan State is one of three schools in the FBS, along with Florida and Louisville, to rank among the Top 10 nationally in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and passing defense.


• Michigan State, Florida and Louisville are the only three schools in the FBS to rank in the Top 10 nationally in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and passing defense.

• The Spartans also lead the Big Ten in five defensive categories (total defense, rushing defense, pass defense, pass efficiency defense, first downs defense).

• Michigan State's defense has allowed just 3.56 yards per play, which ranks No. 1 in the FBS. In addition, MSU has given up only 45 plays of 10-plus yards, which also ranks No. 1 in the FBS.

• In their last game, the Spartans limited Indiana to 92 yards rushing on 27 carries. In 85 games as under head coach Mark Dantonio, the Spartans have held their opponents below 100 yards rushing on 41 occasions (48 percent).

• Michigan State and Alabama are the only two schools to rank in the top 15 nationally in total defense, scoring defense, pass defense and rushing defense during both the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

• Michigan State has led the Big Ten in total defense and rushing defense the past two seasons.

• Michigan State returned seven starters and 11 players with starting experience from the Big Ten's top-ranked defense in 2012. The Spartan defense ranked among the NCAA FBS Top 10 in eight categories: touchdowns allowed (second with 16), pass efficiency defense (third at 98.8), total defense (fourth at 274.4 ypg.), pass break-ups (tied for eighth at 4.8 pg.), rushing defense (eighth at 98.6 ypg.), third-down defense (eighth at .305), pass defense (ninth at 175.8 ypg.) and scoring defense (ninth at 16.3 ppg.). In addition, MSU also led the Big Ten in six defensive categories (touchdowns allowed, total defense, scoring defense, pass efficiency defense, rushing defense and third-down defense).

• The Spartans are one of just five NCAA FBS schools, along with Alabama, Florida State, Florida and LSU, to rank among the Top 10 nationally in total defense the past two seasons. Michigan State ranked fourth in total defense in 2012 (274.4 ypg.) and sixth in 2011 (277.4 ypg).

• MSU has also ranked in the NCAA FBS Top 10 the past two seasons in rushing defense (eighth in 2012 at 98.6 yppg.; ninth in 2011 at 100.5 ypg.) and scoring defense (ninth in 2012 at 16.3 ppg.; 10th in 2011 at 18.4 ppg). Michigan State, Alabama and Florida State are the only schools in the nation to rank among the NCAA FBS Top 10 in total defense, rushing defense and scoring defense the past two seasons.

• In addition, MSU has ranked among the NCAA FBS Top 15 in pass defense in 2011 (11th at 176.9 ypg.) and 2012 (ninth at 175.8 ypg.). Michigan State and Alabama are the only two programs in the country to rank in the NCAA FBS Top 15 the past two seasons in total defense, rushing defense, passing defense and scoring defense.

• The Spartans returned five players who received All-Big Ten recognition on defense in 2012, including first-team selections Max Bullough (LB) and Darqueze Dennard (CB). Senior linebacker Denicos Allen, senior strong safety Isaiah Lewis and junior defensive end Marcus Rush earned honorable mention All-Big Ten accolades from the coaches and media.

• Senior linebacker Max Bullough has led the Spartans in tackles the previous two seasons (89 in 2011; career-high 111 in 2012). Bullough was re-elected a team captain and is just the third Spartan to be named a captain at least twice in the Dantonio era (Greg Jones, 2009-10; Kirk Cousins, 2009-11). Bullough is featured on preseason watch lists for the Bednarik (defensive player of the year), Butkus (nation's best linebacker) and Lombardi (nation's best lineman) Awards, and also was named to the Nagurski Trophy (defensive player of the year), Lott IMPACT Trophy and College Football Performance Awards Linebacker Trophy Watch Lists. He was a preseason All-America selection by Phil Steele's College Football Preview (second team) and Athlon Sports (third team).

• In 2012, the Spartans surrendered 16 offensive touchdowns (six rushing, 10 passing) - the second-fewest allowed in the NCAA FBS. Only Notre Dame (15) permitted fewer TDs. Through six games in 2013, the Spartans have allowed 12 touchdowns (four rushing, eight passing), tied for 12th fewest in the FBS.

• Since the beginning of 2011, Michigan State has held opponents under 100 rushing yards in 21 of 32 games (seven in 2011; eight in 2012; six in 2013). In addition, MSU has held 10 opponents under 50 yards rushing (three times in 2011; five in 2012; two in 2013) since 2011.

• Since the beginning of the 2010 season, Michigan State's defense has held 11 opponents to less than 10 points.

• Michigan State has forced at least one turnover in 67 of 85 games over the last seven seasons (79 percent of the games played since 2007).

SPARTANS TIED FOR FBS LEAD IN DEFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS -
• After not scoring any defensive touchdowns in 2012, the Spartans have already recorded four this season, which is tied for the most by any team in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in 2013 (Kurtis Drummond 21-yard interception vs. Western Michigan; Shilique Calhoun 16-yard fumble recovery vs. WMU; Calhoun 4-yard fumble recovery vs. South Florida; Calhoun 56-yard interception vs. USF). Michigan State has scored 18 defensive touchdowns under Dantonio, including five each in 2007 and 2011. It marked the first time in Michigan State history (single-game records dating back to 1946) that the Spartans have scored four defensive TDs in the first two games of the season. The four defensive touchdowns are tied for the second most in a single season in school history (school-record six in 1999; four in 2003).

THREE-AND-OUT -
• In six games this season, the Spartans have forced their opponents to go three-and-out on 40 of 82 possessions (49 percent; 6.7 per game), which ranks first in the nation. The Spartans are forcing an average of 6.7 three-and-outs per game, which ranks tied for third in the FBS. [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.]

INSIDE THE NUMBERS -
• Michigan State's offensive line has only allowed four sacks, which ranks second fewest in the Big Ten and tied for fourth fewest in the FBS.

• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 40-8 (.833) when leading in time of possession, including a 27-5 record (.844) since 2010. The Spartans had nearly a 15-minute advantage in time of possession against Indiana (37:28-22:32), including an 11:04-3:56 edge in the third quarter. The Spartans lead the Big Ten and rank third in the NCAA FBS in time of possession (34:43 per game) in 2013.

• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 45-11 (.804) when outrushing its opponent, including a 29-4 record (.879) since 2010. The Spartans are 19-3 (.864) in games when gaining 200 or more yards under Dantonio.

• Michigan State lost five Big Ten games in 2012 by a combined total of 13 points, including one in double overtime (Iowa) and two within the last 10 seconds of regulation (Michigan, Nebraska). During one stretch, MSU had seven-straight games decided by four points or fewer, the longest such streak in school history and the longest by an FBS team since at least 1996.

• Since the beginning of the 2010 season, Michigan State is 13-7 (.650) in games decided by 10 points or less, including a 4-5 record in 2012. The losses have come against Wisconsin in the 2011 Big Ten Championship Game (42-39), Ohio State (17-16), Iowa (19-16 in 2OT), Michigan (12-10), Nebraska (28-24) and Northwestern (23-20) in 2012, and Notre Dame (17-13) in 2013. Twelve of MSU's last 21 games have been decided by 10 points or less (MSU record: 5-7).

SCOUTING PURDUE -
• Purdue is led by first-year head coach Darrell Hazell, who compiled a 16-10 record in two seasons as the head coach at Kent State (2011-12). Hazell was named the 2012 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Golden Flashes to 11 wins and their first bowl appearance in 40 years. He also spent seven years as an assistant coach at Ohio State (2004-10) under former Buckeye head coach Jim Tressel.

• The Boilermakers are one of the youngest teams in the nation as they started six freshmen on offense last week, including true freshman quarterback Danny Etling, who made his first career start last Saturday against Nebraska. Etling completed 14-of-35 passes for 184 yards and one touchdown against the Huskers.

• Purdue ranks last in the Big Ten in scoring offense (15.3 ppg.), total offense (287.3 ypg.) and rushing offense (77.8 ypg.). The Boilermakers are also giving up 37.8 points per game, which ranks 12th in the conference.

• Junior Akeem Hunt is the team's top offensive threat, leading the team in rushing (250 yards on 71 carries), receiving (21 catches for 203 yards) and all-purpose yards (856). Hunt ranks third in the Big Ten in all-purpose yards, averaging 142.7 per game.

• Senior cornerback Ricardo Allen has earned All-Big Ten honors three times during his career and is on the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given to the nation's best defensive back. Allen holds the Purdue record with four interception returns for touchdowns and has nine career interceptions.

• Senior linebacker Will Lucas leads the team with 33 tackles, while senior defensive tackle Bruce Gaston is the team's top pass rusher with three sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss.

SPARTANS LOOKING FOR FIFTH-STRAIGHT WIN OVER PURDUE -
• Saturday's game marks the 64th meeting between Michigan State and Purdue. The Spartans lead the all-time series 32-28-3, including a 19-12 record in games played in East Lansing, Mich.

• Michigan State has won four straight in the series, dating back to Mark Dantonio's first season in East Lansing in 2007.

• Purdue's last win in the series came on Nov. 4, 2006, 17-15, in Spartan Stadium.

• Michigan State won a school-record six consecutive games over Purdue from 1985-90.

• Six of the last eight games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less, including MSU's 35-31 come-from-behind victory over the Boilermakers in the last meeting on Nov. 20, 2010 in Spartan Stadium.

COOK GROWS IN CONFIDENCE AS STARTING QB -
In his five starts (4-1 record), sophomore quarterback Connor Cook has completed 84-of-140 throws (.600) for 881 yards (176.2 per game), nine touchdowns and two interceptions. In Big Ten play, Cook ranks among the conference leaders in passing yards (second at 256.0 ypg.), total offense (fourth at 270.5 ypg.) and passing efficiency (seventh with a 132.2 rating). Overall, he ranks eighth in the Big Ten in passing yards (153.8 ypg.) and total offense (171.0 ypg).

The 6-foot-4, 218-pound Cook recorded his third career 200-yard passing game, completing 22-of-31 throws for 235 yards, two TDs and an interception in Michigan State's 42-28 Homecoming victory over Indiana. He threw TD passes of 11 yards to Jeremy Langford and 34 yards to Bennie Fowler in the second quarter. He completed passes to 11 different receivers.

Cook set career highs for pass completions (25), pass attempts (44) and passing yards (277) in MSU's 26-14 win at Iowa in his Big Ten debut. His 277 passing yards mark the second-highest single-game total by a Spartan quarterback against Iowa (Brian Hoyer threw for 308 yards at Iowa in 2007). Cook completed scoring strikes of 46 yards to Macgarrett Kings Jr. and 37 yards to Fowler. His 37-yard TD toss to Fowler gave MSU the lead for good at 17-14 early in the third quarter. He completed passes to nine different receivers. Cook also rushed six times for 21 yards to account for a career-best 298 total yards. He attempted 119 passes before throwing his first interception of the 2013 season (fourth quarter at Iowa).

In his first career road start at No. 22 Notre Dame, he hit 16-of-32 passes for 135 yards, including a 12-yard TD toss to Kings midway through the second quarter.

The Hinckley, Ohio, native recorded his first career 200-yard passing game in MSU's 55-17 victory over Youngstown State, completing 15-of-22 passes for 202 yards and a career-best four TDs. Cook became the first Spartan QB to throw four TD passes in a game since Brian Hoyer against Penn State in 2007. He also became the first MSU QB to throw four TD passes in a half since Drew Stanton had four scoring tosses in the first half at Illinois in 2005. Cook threw TD passes of 13 yards to Andre Sims Jr., 12 to Trevon Pendleton, 24 to Kings and 17 to Fowler. He finished with 227 total yards (202 passing and 25 rushing).

PLAYMAKERS BEGIN TO EMERGE IN THE PASSING GAME -
Sophomore Macgarrett Kings Jr. leads the Spartans in receptions (23), receiving yards (258) and touchdown receptions (3). Fourteen of his 23 receptions (61 percent) have resulted in either a TD or a first down.

Bennie Fowler has two TD receptions during the first two games of Big Ten play.


He has caught at least one pass in each of MSU's six games this season, and his three 20-yard receptions rank second on the team. Over his last four games, Kings has 19 catches for 220 yards and three scores.

The 5-foot-10, 186-pound Kings matched his career high with five receptions for 28 yards in Michigan State's 42-28 Homecoming win over Indiana. It marked the third-straight game that Kings had five catches (five for 37 yards and a TD at Notre Dame; and five for 94 yards and a score at Iowa).

In MSU's 26-14 victory at Iowa, Kings tied his career high with five receptions for a career-best 94 yards, including a 46-yard TD grab from Connor Cook in the second quarter. It marked both a career-long reception for Kings as well as the longest offensive play from scrimmage for the Spartans this season. He also returned three punts for 53 yards, including a 30-yard return in the third quarter that set up Michael Geiger's 35-yard field goal. Kings accounted for a career-best 147 all-purpose yards against the Hawkeyes.

Fifth-year senior Bennie Fowler is tied for the team lead with three TD catches and ranks second on the team in receptions (18) and receiving yards (238). Eleven of his 18 receptions (61 percent) have resulted in either a TD or a first down. His four 20-yard receptions lead the team. Over his last four games, Fowler has 15 catches for 204 yards and three TDs.

On a third-and-6 play midway through the second quarter against Indiana, he scored on a 34-yard crossing route from Cook. It marked the second-straight game that Fowler recorded a TD reception of over 30 yards.

The 6-1, 212-pound Fowler had a career-high nine receptions for 92 yards at Iowa, including a 37-yard TD reception from Cook in the third quarter that gave the Spartans the lead for good at 17-14.

TRIO OF BACKS PACE SPARTAN GROUND ATTACK -
Tailbacks Jeremy Langford, Nick Hill and Delton Williams have combined to rush for 763 yards (4.8 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns.

Jeremy Langford leads the team in rushing (70.0 ypg.) and was named the Big Ten Player of the Week after scoring four TDs and rushing for a career-high 109 yards vs. Indiana.


Langford, a 6-foot, 206-pound junior, leads the team in rushing attempts (95), rushing yards (420), rushing TDs (7) and scoring (48 points). In conference games, he leads the Big Ten in scoring (12.0 points per game) and rushing TDs (4) while ranking eighth in rushing (76.0 yards per game). Overall, Langford ranks among the Big Ten leaders in rushing TDs (tied for second with 7), scoring (tied for fifth at 8.0 ppg.) and rushing (10th at 70.0 ypg.). Twenty-six of his 95 carries (27 percent) have resulted in either a TD or a first down.

Langford earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors after recording his first career 100-yard rushing game in Michigan State's 42-28 Homecoming victory over Indiana, setting personal bests for carries (23), rushing yards (109) and rushing touchdowns (3). He scored on runs of 5, 2 and career-long 32 yards. Langford accounted for a career-best four TDs, including his first career TD reception on an 11-yard screen pass from Connor Cook early in the second quarter.

He gained 68 yards on 14 attempts in MSU's 17-13 loss at No. 22 Notre Dame.

Langford rushed 15 times for 68 yards and two scores in MSU's 55-17 victory over Youngstown State. He scored on runs of 3 and 2 yards against the Penguins.

In his first career start at tailback, Langford picked up 94 yards on 20 carries in MSU's 26-13 season-opening win over Western Michigan. Langford also scored his first career offensive touchdown on a 2-yard run late in the first half against the Broncos.

Hill, a 5-8, 198-pound junior, ranks second on the team in carries (42) and rushing yards (219). Twelve of his 42 carries (29 percent) have resulted in either a TD or a first down.

He rushed nine times for a career-high 83 yards against Youngstown State, including a career-long 35-yard TD run early in the third quarter. Hill produced 63 yards on nine carries against South Florida.

Williams, a 6-1, 220-pound true freshman, ranks third on the team in rushing with 124 yards on 21 carries (5.9 avg.). Williams set season highs for carries (12) and rushing yards (92) against Indiana. His season-long 37-yard run set up MSU's final touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

In his collegiate debut at Iowa, Williams rushed for 32 yards on nine carries (3.6 avg.), including an 11-yard gain. All of his carries came in the second half against the Hawkeyes.

DENNARD ESTABLISHES HIMSELF AS ONE OF NATION'S TOP CORNERS -
Senior cornerback Darqueze Dennard leads the Spartans in interceptions (2) and pass break-ups (7) while ranking tied for fifth in tackles with 24. The 5-foot-11, 197-pound Dennard ranks second on the team in production points with 115. He ranks fifth in the Big Ten and 16th in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in passes defended (1.5 per game). Dennard was named a Midseason All-American by CBSSports.com (second team) and Phil Steele (third team), and also was a first-team All-Big Ten Midseason selection by Phil Steele and BTN.com.

He totaled five tackles, a quarterback hurry and a pass break-up in Michigan State's 42-28 Homecoming win over Indiana, as as the Spartans limited IU to season lows in passing offense (259 yards) and total offense (351). The Hoosiers entered the game ranked ninth in the nation in total offense (535.0 ypg.) and 10th in passing offense (346.0 ypg).

Dennard was selected Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after recording career highs in tackles (8) and interceptions (2) in MSU's 26-14 win at Iowa. The Spartan defense limited the Hawkeyes to 264 total yards - 183 yards below their season average. In addition, MSU held Iowa to 23 yards rushing (1.4 yards per carry) - 221 yards below its season average. Michigan State shut out the Hawkeyes in the second half, as Iowa managed just six first downs, 6 rushing yards and 104 total yards in the final two quarters. Dennard's second interception at the 5:25 mark in the fourth quarter helped ice the game, and it marked the third multi-interception game of his career (2012 Outback Bowl vs. Georgia, 2012 vs. Nebraska).

The Dry Branch, Ga., native was credited with five tackles, including a half tackle for loss (2 yards), a QB hurry and two pass break-ups in MSU's 21-6 victory over South Florida. In the season opener, Dennard matched his career-high with three pass break-ups in MSU's 26-13 win over Western Michigan.

ALLEN ANCHORS NATION'S TOP DEFENSIVE UNIT -
Fifth-year senior linebacker Denicos Allen leads the Spartan defense in tackles (35), tackles for loss (5.5 for 16 yards) and production points (142). The 5-foot-11, 218-pound Allen also has been credited with two sacks (8 yards), five quarterback hurries and eight QB hits. He was a Midseason All-Big Ten First Team pick by Phil Steele and BTN.com.

He recorded a team-high eight tackles, including two for losses (5 yards), in Michigan State's 42-28 Homecoming victory over Indiana. Allen also was credited with two quarterback hurries, as the Spartans limited IU to season lows in passing offense (259 yards) and total offense (351). The Hoosiers entered the game ranked ninth in the nation in total offense (535.0 ypg.) and 10th in passing offense (346.0 ypg).

Allen recorded a season-high nine tackles including a half tackle for loss (2 yards), in a 17-3 loss at No. 22 Notre Dame. MSU limited the Irish to 14 first downs, 82 rushing yards on 32 attempts (2.6 avg.) and 224 total yards. Notre Dame's 224 total yards marked the lowest figure in Brian Kelly's tenure as the Irish head coach.

He tallied eight stops, including a 2-yard sack, and two QB hurries in MSU's 21-6 win over South Florida. The Spartan defense allowed 12 first downs, 89 rushing yards, 66 passing yards and 155 total yards against USF, as the Bulls went one-of-13 (.077) on third-down conversions.

Allen produced five tackles, including a 6-yard sack, in MSU's 26-13 victory over Western Michigan in the season opener. The Spartan defense limited WMU to 11 rushing yards on 27 carries (0.4 avg.).

The Hamilton, Ohio, native ranks among MSU's all-time leaders in tackles for loss (tied for sixth with 35) and sacks (seventh with 16). Allen has started 32 consecutive games at linebacker - the second-longest active streak on the team.

CALHOUN EMERGES AS PLAYMAKER ON D-LINE -
Sophomore defensive end Shilique Calhoun leads the Spartans in quarterback hurries (13), QB hits (16) and tackles for loss (5.5 for 30 yards) and is tied for the team lead in sacks (3 for 21). Calhoun ranks third on the defense in production points (106.5). He also ranks fourth in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in fumble recoveries (0.5 per game). Calhoun was added to the 2013 Paul Hornung Award Watch List after Week 3, which is awarded to the nation's most versatile player, and was named a Midseason All-American by SI.com (second team) and Phil Steele (second team). The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Calhoun was credited with three tackles, including a half tackle for loss, four QB hurries and a career-best six QB hits in Michigan State's 26-14 victory at Iowa.

Calhoun collected several weekly honors after scoring two touchdowns and recording two tackles for loss, including a 9-yard sack, in MSU's 21-6 win over South Florida on Sept. 7 at Spartan Stadium. He totaled 43.5 production points against the Bulls.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Calhoun was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week, Chuck Bednarik Award National Defensive Player of the Week, FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week, CBSSports.com National Defensive Player of the Week and College Football Performance Awards National Defensive Performer of the Week. He also was selected CFPA National Defensive Lineman of the Week and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. In additon, Calhoun was listed on the Paul Hornung Award Honor Roll for Week 2.

Calhoun scored two touchdowns against USF, returning a fumble 4 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and his first career interception 56 yards for another score in the third quarter. He was credited with three solo tackles against the Bulls, with two resulting in losses (12 yards) including a 9-yard sack, and two quarterback hurries. Michigan State's defense allowed 12 first downs, 89 rushing yards (2.5 yards per carry), 66 passing yards and 155 total yards against South Florida.

In six games, Calhoun has scored three defensive TDs, as he also returned a fumble 16 yards against Western Michigan. His three defensive TDs tie a modern-day Michigan State single-season record (games dating back to 1946), and he became the first Spartan to accomplish the feat in the first two games of the season. Calhoun is the first Spartan defensive player to score three TDs in one season since linebacker T.J. Turner accounted for three in 12 games in 1999 (88-yard interception return at Purdue; 26-yard fumble return at Northwestern; and 24-yard fumble return vs. Florida in 2000 Florida Citrus Bowl).

Calhoun is the only defensive player in the Football Bowl Subdivision this season to score three touchdowns in the first six weeks of the season.

FORMER ALL-AMERICAN Greg Jones NAMED HONORARY CAPTAIN VS. PURDUE -
• Former Michigan State All-America linebacker Greg Jones has been selected honorary captain for Saturday's game against Purdue. He will address the team during the pre-game meal and join the 2013 captains at midfield for the coin toss.

• A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Jones ranks among MSU's all-time leaders in tackles for loss (second with 46.5), tackles (third with 465) and sacks (tied for sixth with 16.5). He led the team or tied for the team lead in tackles in 31 of his last 39 games, and started 46 of 52 career games, including 40 consecutive starts. Jones produced double-figure tackle games 20 times in his career and led the team in tackles four straight years from 2007-10, becoming only the second Spartan to accomplish that feat.

• Jones was the first Spartan to earn back-to-back consensus first-team All-America honors (2009-10) since Bubba Smith and George Webster in 1965-66, and is only the fourth two-time consensus first-team All-American in program history (Smith, Webster, Lorenzo White: 1985 and 1987). He is one of only two Spartans to earn first-team Associated Press All-American honors twice (Webster) and is just the seventh Spartan to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors three times.

• Jones named to the All-Big Ten First Team for the third straight year in 2010 and earned the Governor's Award (Team MVP) after helping the Spartans to a 11-1 regular-season record and a share of the Big Ten Championship. He was named one of 16 semifinalists for the Bednarik Award, one of 15 semifinalists for the Butkus Award and one of 12 semifinalists for the Lombardi Award.

• Jones ranked third in the FBS with 154 tackles as a junior in 2009 and was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year by the media.

• A sixth-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, Jones was a member of the 2012 Super Bowl Champion Giants that defeated New England in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.

SPARTAN FOOTBALL MILESTONES TO CELEBRATE IN 2013 -
• Spartan Stadium is in its 90th season as home to Michigan State football. Since its opening in 1923, Michigan State has won 69 percent of its games played in Spartan Stadium. Another milestone was reached Oct. 12 against Indiana as Spartan Stadium played host to its 500th game. Michigan State has compiled a 340-147-13 record (.693) since taking up residency in Spartan Stadium (formerly Macklin Field) in 1923.

• Gideon Smith made his Spartan debut 100 years ago in 1913. Gideon became MAC's first African-American football player and one of the first at the major college level.

• The 2013 season also marks the 100th anniversary of Michigan State's first perfect season (7-0; team coached by John Macklin).

• The 2013 season also marks the 60th anniversary of Michigan State's first Big Ten Championship in 1953 and the Spartans' first Rose Bowl appearance (28-20 win over UCLA in 1954).

 

 

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