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Football Preps for Minnesota

Kickoff set for 12:10 p.m. Saturday.

October 20, 1998

The Matchup MICHIGAN STATE (3-3, 1-1 Big Ten) vs. MINNESOTA (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten)

GAME 7: QUICK FACTS
DATE: Oct. 24, 1998
SITE: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (63,669), Minneapolis, Minn.
KICKOFF: 12:10 p.m. (EDT)
ESTIMATED ATTENDANCE: 45,000
SERIES RECORD: Michigan State leads 23-11
FIRST MEETING: Michigan State 27, Minnesota 0 (Nov. 11, 1950)
LAST MEETING: Michigan State 31, Minnesota 10 (Oct. 4, 1997)

BROADCAST COVERAGE: Radio The Spartan Radio Network, featuring veteran play-by-play announcer George Blaha, color analyst Larry Bielat, sideline reporter Harlon Barnett and broadcast host Scott Anderson, will broadcast the game to 30 affiliates throughout the state. Michigan State football broadcasts can be heard locally on flagship station WJIM (AM 1240, FM 97.5).

Television ESPN Plus will televise the Michigan State-Minnesota game live with Wayne Larrivee and Randy Wright calling the action and Jim Barbar reporting from the sidelines. The game can be seen locally on WILX-TV (Channel 10).

THE COACHES Michigan States Nick Saban (Kent State 73) is 22-19-1 (.536) in his fourth year with the Spartans and 31-21-1 (.594) in his fifth season as a college head coach. Saban came to Michigan State following four seasons as the Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator from 1991-94. He previously served as head coach at the University of Toledo where he guided the Rockets to a 9-2 record overall in 1990, including a share of the Mid-American Conference title at 7-1.

Minnesotas Glen Mason (Ohio State 72) is 6-12 (.333) in his second year with the Golden Gophers and 65-76-1 (.461) in 13 seasons as a college head coach. Mason compiled a 47-54-1 record (.466) in nine seasons at Kansas (1988-96), including Aloha Bowl appearances in 1992 and 95. He produced a 12-10 record (.545) in two years at Kent State (1986-87).

 
TEAM COMPARISONS 
                                 Michigan State      Minnesota
Basic Offense                    Pro Set             Multiple I
Basic Defense                      4-3                 4-3
Offensive Starters Returning        5                   6
Defensive Starters Returning        9                   8
Specialists Returning               1                   2

AVERAGE HEIGHTS & WEIGHTS (STARTERS) Michigan State Minnesota Offensive Line & Tight End 6-4, 290 6-5, 289 Offensive Backs & Wide Receivers 6-3, 220 6-0, 192 Defensive Line 6-4, 282 6-3, 266 Linebackers 6-3, 231 6-3, 241 Defensive Backs 6-0, 194 5-11, 181

CLASS BREAKDOWN (STARTERS)
Michigan State Offense: 2 seniors, 5 juniors, 2 sophomores, 2 freshmen
Michigan State Defense: 4 seniors, 4 juniors, 2 sophomores, 1 freshman
Minnesota Offense: 4 juniors, 5 sophomores, 2 freshmen
Minnesota Defense: 4 seniors, 2 juniors, 4 sophomores, 1 freshman

STAT LEADERS
Michigan State (After 6 Games):
Rushing Sedrick Irvin (128 carries for 617 yards, 4.8 avg., 4 TDs)
Passing Bill Burke (97 of 167 for 1196 yards, 12 TDs, 5 INTs)
Receiving Plaxico Burress (32 catches for 453 yards, 14.2 avg., 6 TDs)
Tackles Aric Morris (63 tackles, 39 solos, 24 assists, 5 for losses, 2 interceptions)

Minnesota (After 6 Games):
Rushing Thomas Hamner (111 carries for 429 yards, 3.9 avg., 2 TDs)
Passing Billy Cockerham (43 of 78 for 514 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs)
Receiving Luke Leverson (38 catches for 508 yards, 13.4 avg., 5 TDs)
Tackles Tyrone Carter (95 tackles, 79 solos, 16 assists, 9 for losses, 4 sacks)

STAT COMPARISON 
                    Michigan State      Minnesota
Scoring                      28.0            20.8
First Downs                  19.8            15.7
Total Offense               363.5           297.0
Rushing Yards               156.2           123.0   
Passing Yards               207.3           174.0
Time of Possession           29:26           27:57
Third Down Conversions         .247            .283
Points Allowed               26.8            27.2
Total Yards Allowed         401.3           430.3
Rushing Yards Allowed       198.5           109.3
Passing Yards Allowed       202.8           321.0

MICHIGAN STATE/MINNESOTA SERIES NOTES Michigan State leads it 23-11, including a 10-7 mark in games played in Minneapolis. The Spartans are 6-0 in games played in the Metrodome. Michigan State has won 17-straight games in the series and 18 out of the last 19 meetings. Minnesotas last win in the series came on Oct. 16, 1976, 14-10, in Spartan Stadium. The Gophers last home win in the series came on Nov. 18, 1972, 14-10, in Memorial Stadium. (Note: For a complete list of all-time series scores please refer to page 179 in the 1998 MSU Football Media Guide.)

THE LAST MEETING Todd Schultz completed 19-of-31 passes for a career-high 304 yards and three touchdowns to lead Michigan State to a 31-10 Homecoming victory over Minnesota in East Lansing. It marked Michigan States 17th-consecutive win over the Golden Gophers. The Spartans scored on four of their first five possessions to build a 28-0 halftime lead. Schultz equaled his career-best with first-half TD tosses of 5 yards to Octavis Long, 34 to Sedrick Irvin and 2 to Brad Rainko. Marc Renaud provided a 5-yard TD run in the first quarter. Michigan State produced 13 first downs and 265 total yards in the first half while limiting Minnesota to only four first downs and 47 total yards.

The Spartans took the second-half kickoff and a 10-play, 62-yard drive ended with Chris Gardners 34-yard field goal. Late in the third quarter, Minnesota crossed midfield for the first time and finally got on the scoreboard thanks to Adam Baileys 30-yard field goal. A Spartan turnover deep in Minnesota territory led to the Gophers only touchdown, as back-up QB Billy Cockerham hit Luke Leverson for a 75-yard scoring play. MSUs Gari Scott had five receptions for a career-high 117 yards, including a 43-yarder. (Note: For a complete summary of last years game please refer to page 128 in the 1998 MSU Football Media Guide.)

BATTLE FOR MINNESOTA BRAGGING RIGHTS Michigan States 64-player travel roster features two players from Minnesota, including offensive guard Casey Jensen (Eagan) and fullback Leroy McFadden (Eden Prairie).

MSU/MINNESOTA CONNECTIONS

  • Michigan State head coach Nick Saban and Minnesota head coach Glen Mason worked together under Earle Bruce at Ohio State during the 1980-81 seasons. Saban served as Ohio States secondary coach while Mason held the positon of offensive coordinator.
  • Michigan State associate head coach Charlie Baggett served as receivers coach under Joe Salem at Minnesota from 1981-82.
  • Michigan State defensive coordinator Chris Cosh spent one year as defensive line coach for John Gutekunst at Minnesota (1991). Cosh began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Lou Holtz at Minnesota in 1984.
  • Michigan State offensive line coach Golden Pat Ruel worked for nine years as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach under Glen Mason at Kansas (1988-96).

    SPARTANS OF THE WEEK
    The Michigan State coaching staff selected the following players as Spartans of the Week for their performances Oct. 10 vs. Indiana:
    Offense WR Plaxico Burress (7 catches for a season-high 113 yards and 1 TD)

    Defense FS Lemar Marshall (season-high 12 tackles plus a fourth-down pass break-up in the second OT)
    Special Teams PK Paul Edinger (career-high 3 field goals, including a career-long 48-yarder)

    INJURY REPORT
    OUT: LB Mike Austin (chip fracture left ankle in practice Oct. 7; out indefinitely); CB Amp Campbell (cervic-spinal injury vs. Oregon; out for the season after undergoing spinal-fusion surgery Sept. 5); OG Shaun Mason (ACL/MCL right knee vs. Oregon; out for the season); OG Mike Schutz (sprained left knee vs. Central Michigan; out indefinitely); DE Dimitrius Underwood (sprained right ankle; out indefinitely).

    PROBABLE: FS Sorie Kanu (sprained left knee vs. Central Michigan; DNP vs. Indiana); LB T.J. Turner (bruised right knee vs. Indiana).

    INJURIES HIT SPARTAN TWO-DEEP HARD Nine Michigan State players, including seven starters and two key backups, have been sidelined for a combined total of 23 games due to injury in 1998.

    Pos. Player (injury)                    Games Missed
    LB Mike Austin (fractured ankle)        (1) Indiana
    LB Sean Banks (pulled hamstring)        (1) Michigan
    CB Amp Cambell (cervic-spinal injury)   (4) Notre Dame, Michigan, Central Michigan, Indiana
    PK Paul Edinger (sprained ankle)        (1) Central Michigan
    FS Sorie Kanu (sprained ankle)          (1) Indiana
    OG Shaun Mason   (ACL/MCL knee)         (4) Notre Dame, Michigan, Central Michigan, Indiana 
    OG Mike Schutz (sprained knee)          (3) Colorado State, Oregon, Indiana
    QB Ryan Van Dyke (sprained shoulder)    (2) Notre Dame, Michigan
    DE Dimitrius Underwood (sprained ankle) (6) Colorado State, Oregon, Notre Dame, Michigan, Central Michigan, Indiana
    

    BIG TEN/NCAA STAT LEADERS Here's a glance at how Michigan State ranks among the Big Ten and NCAA stat leaders in 1998:

    Category        Stat Avg.   Big Ten     NCAA
    Rushing Offense     156.2       6th     53rd
    Passing Offense     207.3       4th     53rd
    Total Offense       363.5       t-5th   t-54th
    Scoring Offense     28.0        t-5th   t-42nd
    Rushing Defense     198.5       11th    93rd
    Passing Defense     202.8       8th     
    Pass Effic. Defense 117.3       6th     52nd
    Total Defense       401.3       10th    88th
    Scoring Defense     26.8        9th     t-70th
    Turnover Margin     -0.5        8th     t-71st
    Net Punting         42.4        1st     2nd
    Punt Returns        14.2        2nd     14th
    Kickoff Returns     19.7        8th     73rd

    NCAA INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS Heres a brief look at how Michigan States players rank among the NCAA stat leaders in 1998:

    Individual Category
    Rushing: Sedrick Irvin (24th at 102.8 yards per game)
    Passing Efficiency: Bill Burke (24th at 136.0 rating)
    Pass Receptions: Plaxico Burress (t-41st at 5.3 catches per game)
    Punting: Craig Jarrett (1st at 47.6 avg.)
    Punt Returns: Gari Scott (15th at 13.7 avg.)
    Field Goals: Paul Edinger (30th at 1.2 made per game)
    All-Purpose Yards: Gari Scott (33rd at 133.2 yards per game); Sedrick Irvin (t-37th at 131.0 ypg)

    SECOND-HALF HEADACHES Michigan State has been outscored by its opponents, 85-60, in the second half this season, including 44-14 in the third quarter. Through six games, Michigan State has generated 64 percent of its scoring (108 points) and 55 percent of its total offense (1,203 yards) in the first half.

    Heres a quick comparison between Michigan States first and second half performances in 1998:

                        First Half                       Second Half
    MSU vs.             PTS      FD       TOT. YDS.      PTS       FD   TOT. YDS.
    Colorado State      16/9    10/6     173/142          0/14    4/8     57/214
    Oregon               0/34    7/16    154/359         14/14   12/13   175/231
    Notre Dame          42/3    11/10    273/169          3/20   10/8    178/154
    Michigan            17/20    8/7     180/227          0/9     6/9     88/187
    Central Michigan    17/7    17/13    219/210         21/0    10/10   281/93
    Indiana             16/3    12/9     204/192         22/28   12/13   199/230
    Totals             108/76   65/61    1203/1299       60/85   54/61   978/1109

    BIG PLAYS DECIDE EARLY GAMES
    In back-to-back wins over Indiana and Central Michigan, Michigan States offense has produced 76 points and 903 total yards. The Spartans delivered a season-best seven big plays (+20 yards) vs. Indiana, including two scoring plays, a 25-yard touchdown pass from Bill Burke to Plaxico Burress in the first overtime and a 25-yard TD run by Sedrick Irvin on the first play of the second overtime. The Spartans generated a season-high 500 yards total offense in their 38-7 victory over Central Michigan. Michigan State had five big plays vs. Central Michigan, including two scoring plays, a 62-yard touchdown pass from Burke to Leroy McFadden and a 79-yard TD run by Shawn Foster.

    In a 29-17 loss at Michigan, the Spartans broke two long runs, including a 40-yard run by Irvin on MSUs first touchdown drive and a 21-yard run by Aric Morris off a fake punt in the fourth quarter.

    In its 45-23 victory over 10th-ranked Notre Dame, Michigan State had 451 yards total offense. The Spartans hit three big plays vs. the Irish, including an 86-yard touchdown pass from Burke to Burress. The other two big plays also figured into the scoring, with Burkes 31-yard pass to Gari Scott setting up Sedrick Irvins 3-yard TD run in the first quarter and Irvins 29-yard run leading to Paul Edingers 37-yard field goal.

    The Spartans produced four big plays in a 48-14 loss at Oregon, including a 28-yard TD run by Lloyd Clemons in the fourth quarter. Michigan States offense failed to produce any big plays (+20 yards) in its 23-16 season-opening loss to No. 15 Colorado State.

    Overall, the Spartans have managed 21 plays from scrimmage (436 snaps) which have totaled more than 20 yards, including seven running plays and 14 pass completions. That means Michigan States offense breaks a long gain (+20 yards) once every 21 snaps. MSU has been held to three plays and a punt 17 times in its first six games.

    Despite gaining 422 total yards against Michigan State, Indianas offense had only three big plays (+20 yards). The Spartan defense permitted only two big plays vs. Central Michigan, including Eric Flowers 28-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Michigan produced five big plays, including a 69-yard TD run by Anthony Thomas late in the first quarter and four pass plays. Notre Dame hit five long passes good for 139 yards. Oregon had five big plays that totaled 231 yards, including a 53-yard TD strike from Akili Smith to Tony Hartley and a 75-yard TD jaunt by Reuben Droughns. In the 98 season opener, Colorado State generated four big plays that totaled 161 yards, including two scoring plays, a 57-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Eslinger to Darran Hall and a 32-yard TD run by Kevin McDougal. Those four plays accounted for 45 percent of Colorado States total offense (356 yards).

    In 1998, Spartan opponents have produced 24 plays from scrimmage (437 snaps) which have totaled more than 20 yards, including seven running plays and 17 pass completions. That means the Spartans surrender a big play (+20 yards) once every 18 snaps. By contrast, Michigan State allowed only 36 big plays from scrimmage last year (789 snaps).

    COLOR THE SPARTAN OFFENSE GREEN Michigan States starting offensive lineup has featured seven first-time starters in 1998. True freshman Paul Harker (left guard) and junior college transfer Greg Robinson-Randall (right tackle) made their first career starts against No. 10 Notre Dame. In the 98 season opener against No. 15 Colorado State, five first-time starters were in the lineup, including left tackle Dave Sucura, left guard Casey Jensen, right tackle Matt Bonito, split end Plaxico Burress and tight end Chris Baker. Sucura, Jensen and Bonito were replacing veteran offensive linemen Flozell Adams, Scott Shaw and Dave Mudge, who were responsible for 83 combined starting assignments. In addition, quarterback Bill Burke made only his third career start vs. Colorado State.

    SPARTANS TRY TO REBOUND FROM SLOW START Michigan State got off to an 0-2 start for the 12th time in its 102-year football history and only once have the Spartans rebounded to post a winning record, going 6-5-1 in 1988. The 88 Spartans opened the campaign 0-4-1 before closing out the regular season with six-straight wins while earning a trip to the Gator Bowl.

    SPARTANS PLAY EARLIEST SEASON OPENER EVER It took Michigan State 100 years to play its first football game in the month of August, but now the Spartans have opened their season in August twice in the last three seasons. Michigan States Aug. 26 game vs. Colorado State marked its earliest season opener ever. In its first-ever August game, the Spartans defeated Purdue, 52-10, on Aug. 31, 1996.

    BURKE HAS THE HOT HAND First-year starter Bill Burke has completed nearly 64 percent (70 of 110) of his passes for 950 yards and 10 touchdowns over the last four games, including three Michigan State wins.

    Burke earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors after completing 24-of-37 passes for a career-high 324 yards and two TDs in leading Michigan State to a 38-31 double-overtime victory over Indiana. His 24 pass completions also marked a career best and his 324 passing yards tied the fifth-best single-game total in MSU history.

    With MSU trailing Indiana 24-16 late in the fourth quarter, Burke capped a five-play, 87-yard drive with a 12-yard TD strike to Gari Scott. Burke then scrambled up the middle for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 24 with 5:28 left. Down 31-24 in the first overtime, he hit Plaxico Burress on the first play from scrimmage with a 25-yard TD pass in the right corner of the end zone to again tie the score and force a second OT session.

    Here's a closer look at Burkes passing totals in 1998:

                        Att.  Comp.  Int.  Pct.   Yds.    YPG    TD
    First 2 Games        57   27      2   .474     246   123.0   2
    Last 4 Games        110   70      3   .636     950   237.5   10
    Season Totals       167   97      5   .581    1196   199.3   12

    IRVIN APPROACHES 3,000-YARD MILESTONE
    With his 130-yard effort vs. Indiana (26 carries), All-America and Doak Walker Award candidate Sedrick Irvin moved into fourth place on Michigan States all-time rushing list with 2,954 yards. Irvin has 13 career 100-yard games and needs 46 more rushing yards to reach the 3,000-yard milestone. He also is listed among Michigan States all-time leaders in rushing touchdowns (third at 29), total touchdowns (second at 36), scoring (sixth at 216 points) and all-purpose yards (sixth at 4,177 yards). Irvin currently ranks No. 12 among the NCAAs top active rushers. The Spartans are undefeated in his 10 career multi-TD games.

    Last year, Irvin became the first player in Spartan history to rush for 1,000 yards as both a true freshman and a sophomore. He rushed for 1,270 yards in 1997, the seventh-best single-season total in school history. The 6-foot, 225-pound Miami native ranked among the Big Ten leaders in rushing (fifth at 105.8 yards per game), all-purpose yards (second at 160.8), punt returns (second at 13.6 avg.) and scoring (fifth at 7.0 points).

        NCAAs Top Active Rushing Leaders 
        (Note: NCAA totals dont include bowl games.)
         Player, Team                        Class   Att. Yards   Rushing TDs
         1. Ricky Williams, Texas            Sr.     838  5,380   67
         2. Ron Dayne, Wisconsin             Jr.     699  4,118   45
         3. Denvis Manns, New Mexico State   Sr.     778  4,117   21
         4. Kevin Faulk, LSU                 Sr.     733  3,956   43
         5. Wasean Tait, Toledo              Sr.     731  3,846   33
         6. Autry Denson, Notre Dame         Sr.     711  3,681   36
         7. Joel Thomas, Idaho               Sr.     656  3,503   42
         8. Steve Hoofkin, Ohio              Sr.     645  3,243   22
         9. Damon Washington, Colorado State Sr.     538  3,197   21
        10. Kareem Wilson, Ohio              Sr.     805  3,185   43
        11. Amos Zereoue, West Virginia      Jr.     555  2,976   34
        12. Sedrick Irvin, Michigan State    Jr.     587  2,897   29
        13. DeMond Parker, Oklahoma          Jr.     483  2,848   19

    SPARTANS vs. RANKED TEAMS Since 1988, Michigan State is just 8-34 (.190) in games against Top 25 teams, including a 3-10 mark in its last 13 games against ranked foes. With its 49-14 victory over No. 4 Penn State in the 1997 regular-season finale, the Spartans ended a seven-game losing streak to nationally-ranked opponents. Heres a look at Michigan States games against Top 25 teams since 95:

    Date Result (Associated Press ranking) Site Sept. 9, 1995 No. 2 Nebraska 50, Michigan State 10 East Lansing Nov. 4, 1995 Michigan State 28, No. 7 Michigan 25 East Lansing Nov. 25, 1995 No. 14 Penn State 24, Michigan State 20 East Lansing Sept. 7, 1996 No. 1 Nebraska 55, Michigan State 14 Lincoln Nov. 2, 1996 No. 9 Michigan 45, Michigan State 29 Ann Arbor Nov. 23, 1996 No. 7 Penn State 32, Michigan State 29 University Park Oct. 25, 1997 No. 5 Michigan 23, No. 15 Michigan State 7 East Lansing Nov. 1, 1997 No. 9 Ohio State 37, No. 21 Michigan State 13 East Lansing Nov. 8, 1997 No. 23 Purdue 22, Michigan State 21 West Lafayette Nov. 29, 1997 Michigan State 49, No. 4 Penn State 14 East Lansing Dec. 25, 1997 No. 21 Washington 51, No. 25 Michigan State 23 Honolulu Aug. 29, 1998 No. 15 Colorado State 23, No. 23 Michigan State 16 East Lansing Sept.12, 1998 Michigan State 45, No. 10 Notre Dame 23 East Lansing

    1998 CAPTAINS ELECTED Six Michigan State football players senior fullback Garett Gould, junior tailback Sedrick Irvin, senior center Jason Strayhorn, senior cornerback Amp Campbell, senior free safety Sorie Kanu and senior linebacker Courtney Ledyard were elected team captains by their peers before the teams final preseason scrimmage Aug. 19. It marks the first time in the Spartans 102-year football history that the team will be represented by more than three captains.

    This is an unusual deal, MSU head coach Nick Saban said, but Im pleased with the results. Those six players split the vote so I wasnt going to draw the line between three or four votes.

    It's a good sign that so many players are interested in taking ownership of the team. Those guys have all shown the willingness to become team leaders.

    SPARTAN STADIUM CELEBRATES 75TH ANNIVERSARY Spartan Stadium is in its 75th season as home to Michigan State football. Another milestone will be reached later this year when Spartan Stadium plays host to its 400th game, Oct. 31 vs. Northwestern.

    Michigan State has compiled a 272-114-13 mark (.698) since taking up residency in Spartan Stadium in 1923. The Spartans have gone undefeated at home 15 times since the stadium opened. In addition, Michigan State has suffered only one home loss in 26 seasons. Only six times in the history of the stadium has Michigan State experienced a losing record at home.

    NEW SIGHTS AND SOUNDS IN SPARTAN STADIUM Prior to the 1998 season, a Mitsubishi Diamond Vision was installed in the south end zone in Spartan Stadium and a new scoreboard and message board were added to the north end zone. The CRT video display measures 21 feet x 27 feet and it is operated from a digital production control room in Spartan Stadium. The video display board shows live game action, instant replays and special features. In addition, a concert-quality 50,000-watt sound system was installed.

    RED ZONE UPDATE Michigan State has scored on 17 of its 23 possessions (.739) that penetrated the opponents 20-yard line in 1998. The Spartans scoring drives have produced 13 touchdowns and four field goals. Heres a look at MSUs and its opponents trips inside the Red Zone in 98:

        Michigan State              Red Zone Results
        Colorado State              3-3 (FG, 2 TDs)
        Oregon                      1-2 (lost on downs, TD)
        Notre Dame                  4-6 (3 TDs, lost on downs, fumble, FG)
        Michigan                    2-3 (2 TDs, lost on downs)
        Central Michigan            4-6 (FG, 3 TDs, missed FG, time expired)
        Indiana                     3-3 (2 TDs, FG)
        Totals                     17-23 (.739)
    

    Opponent Red Zone Results Colorado State 1-1 (TD) Oregon 5-5 (FG, 4 TDs) Notre Dame 3-3 (FG, 2 TDs) Michigan 2-2 (2 TDs) Central Michigan 0-1 (blocked FG) Indiana 5-5 (FG, 4 TDs) Totals 16-17 (.941)

    TURNOVER MARGIN A KEY Heres a game-by-game look at MSUs takeaways and giveaways in 1998:

    Michigan State Takeaways Points Colorado State 2 (1 interception, 1 fumble) 7 Oregon 0 0 Notre Dame 3 (2 interceptions, 1 fumble) 7 Michigan 3 (1 interception, 2 fumbles) 10 Central Michigan 2 (1 interception, 1 fumble) 7 Indiana 2 (2 fumbles) 10 Totals 12 (5 interceptions, 7 fumbles) 41

    Opponent Takeaways Points Colorado State 3 (1 interception, 2 fumbles) 0 Oregon 2 (2 interceptions) 10 Notre Dame 2 (2 fumbles) 14 Michigan 2 (1 fumble, 1 interception) 3 Central Michigan 4 (2 interceptions, 2 fumbles) 7 Indiana 2 (1 interception, 1 fumble) 7 Totals 15 (7 interceptions, 8 fumbles) 41

    1998 OPPONENTS UPDATE Date vs. MSU Opponent Last Game Results Next Game Aug. 29 Colorado State (6-2) @New Mexico St. (W 47-28) vs. TCU Sept. 5 @Oregon (5-1) @UCLA (L 38-41 OT) vs. Southern Cal Sept. 12 Notre Dame (4-1) @Arizona State (W 28-9) vs. Army Sept. 26 @Michigan (4-2) @Northwestern (W 12-6) vs. Indiana Oct. 3 Central Michigan (3-3) @Northern Illinois (L 6-16) vs. Western Michigan Oct. 10 Indiana (3-3) vs. Iowa (W 14-7) @Michigan Oct. 24 @Minnesota (3-3) @Ohio State (L 15-45) vs. Michigan State Oct. 31 Northwestern (2-5) vs. Michigan (L 6-12) vs. Ohio State Nov. 7 @Ohio State (6-0) vs. Minnesota (W 45-15) @Northwestern Nov. 14 Purdue (3-4) @Penn State (L 13-31) vs. Illinois Nov. 21 Illinois (2-5) vs. Wisconsin (L 3-37) @Purdue Nov. 28 @Penn State (5-1) vs. Purdue (W 31-13) vs. Illinois (Oct. 31)

    Michigan States 1998 opponents have a combined record of 43-27 (.614). Note: Record doesnt include games played against MSU.

    SPARTANS TOUGH AGAINST THE RUN Michigan State has held 11 out of its last 28 regular-season opponents under 100 yards rushing. In the 1997 season opener vs. Western Michigan, the Spartans allowed 29 yards rushing on 21 attempts. It marked the fourth time during Nick Sabans tenure that Michigan State surrendered fewer than 50 yards on the ground. Heres a look at MSUs top efforts against the run since 1995:

    Date            Opponent            Att.-Yds.       Result
    Sept. 16, 1995  @Louisville             37-50       W 30-7
    Sept. 28, 1996  Eastern Michigan        39-25       W 47-0
    Oct.  12, 1996  Illinois                32-49       W 42-14
    Sept.  6, 1997  Western Michigan        21-29       W 42-10

    GROUND GAME PRODUCES WINS During Nick Sabans tenure, Michigan State has rushed the ball 50 times or more on 12 occasions with the Spartans sporting an 10-2 record in those games.

    Michigan State had 242 yards rushing on 53 attempts in its 45-23 victory over No. 12 Notre Dame Sept. 12, with Sedrick Irvin (119) and Lloyd Clemons (80) accounting for 189 yards.

    In the 1997 regular-season finale, Michigan State produced 452 yards on the ground vs. Penn State, averaging nearly eight yards per carry. It marked the most rushing yards ever allowed by a Penn State team. It also marked only the second time in NCAA history that two players from the same team rushed for over 200 yards as Irvin (238) and Marc Renaud (203) combined for 441 yards against the Nittany Lions.

    Heres a look at Michigan States 12 games with 50-plus rushes since 1995:

    Date            Opponent            Att.-Yds.   Result
    Sept. 16, 1995  @Louisville         56-216      W 30-7
    Oct. 14, 1995   @Illinois           55-239      W 27-21
    Sept. 28, 1996  Eastern Michigan    57-249      W 47-0
    Oct. 5, 1996    @Iowa               52-236      L 30-37
    Oct. 12, 1996   Illinois            52-205      W 42-14
    Oct. 19, 1996   @Minnesota          56-243      W 27-9
    Nov. 9, 1996    Indiana             64-257      W 38-15
    Sept. 6, 1997   Western Michigan    52-150      W 42-10
    Sept. 20, 1997  @Notre Dame         53-222      W 23-7
    Nov. 8, 1997    @Purdue             50-200      L 21-22
    Nov. 29, 1997   Penn State          58-452      W 49-14
    Sept. 12, 1998  Notre Dame          53-242      W 45-23

    MAGIC NUMBER 24 Since 1990, Michigan State is 42-8-1 (.833) when it scores at least 24 points and 7-40-1 (.150) when it scores fewer than 24 points. During that eight-year period, the Spartans have compiled an overall record of 49-48-2 (.505).

    SPARTANS PREFER ARTIFICIAL TURF Michigan States 23-7 victory at Notre Dame Sept. 20, 1997, marked the Spartans first win on natural grass since 1993. The Spartans are just 1-11-1 in their last 13 games played on natural grass. By contrast, Michigan State is 25-17 (.595) in its last 42 games on artificial turf.

    SPARTAN TRENDS UNDER SABAN
    Heres how Michigan State has fared during Nick Sabans tenure (1995-98):
    Games played in Spartan Stadium: 15-7
    Games played on the road/neutral site: 7-12-1
    When leading at halftime: 21-7
    When trailing at halftime: 1-11-1
    When scoring first: 18-8-1
    When opponent scores first: 4-11
    When leading after first quarter: 17-5-1
    When trailing after first quarter: 3-8
    When tied after first quarter: 2-6
    When leading after three quarters: 20-1-1
    When trailing after three quarters: 2-15
    When tied after three quarters: 0-3
    When gaining more first downs than opponent: 19-4
    When gaining fewer first downs than opponent: 3-11-1
    When gaining same number of first downs as opponent: 0-4
    When gaining 200+ yards rushing: 16-3-1
    When opponent gains 200+ yards rushing: 3-10-1
    When outrushing opponent: 19-5-1
    When being outrushed by opponent: 3-14
    When gaining 200+ yards passing: 12-10-1
    When opponent gains 200+ yards passing: 7-11-1
    When gaining more total yards than opponent: 20-5
    When gaining fewer total yards than opponent: 2-14-1
    When leading in time of possession: 15-10-1
    When trailing in time of possession: 7-9

    SPARTANS IN THE NFL Michigan State has 21 former players listed on rosters for National Football League teams in 1998. Heres a complete list of Spartans currently playing in the NFL (team rosters as of Sept. 20):

    Atlanta Falcons: PK Morten Andersen
    Buffalo Bills: DB Ray Hill, TE Duane Young
    Carolina Panthers: WR Muhsin Muhammad
    Chicago Bears: TE Ty Hallock
    Cincinnati Bengals: DB Myron Bell, OG Scott Shaw
    Dallas Cowboys: OT Flozell Adams
    Detroit Lions: LB Rob Fredrickson, FB Travis Reece
    Indianapolis Colts: OG Tony Mandarich
    Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Brian DeMarco, DE Jabbar Threats
    Kansas City Chiefs: WR Andre Rison
    Minnesota Vikings: LB Dixon Edwards
    Philadelphia Eagles: DT Bill Johnson, LB Ike Reese
    Pittsburgh Steelers: WR Courtney Hawkins, TE Mitch Lyons
    St. Louis Rams: QB Tony Banks
    Tennessee Oilers: WR Derrick Mason

    press conferences All media personnel are invited to attend Michigan States weekly football press conferences, held on Mondays in the Clara Bell Smith Student-Athlete Academic Center auditorium. MSU head football coach Nick Saban will be present along with selected Spartan players. The press conference gets underway at 11:30 a.m.

    NICK SABAN CALL-IN SHOW Learfield Sports will produce and distribute Nick Sabans weekly radio show Wednesdays from 7-8 p.m. The Spartan Radio Network, featuring 30 affiliates throughout the state, will broadcast the show live from Trippers (354 Frandor) in Lansing. Coach Saban joins host Terry Braverman for an in-depth look into the Michigan State football program. The Nick Saban Show can be heard locally on flagship station WJIM (AM 1240).

    SPARTAN SPORTSZONE Spartan SportsZone, a weekly 30-minute television show produced and distributed by the Michigan State Athletic Department, will debut this fall on six stations throughout the state. The magazine-format show will be dedicated to in-depth coverage of Michigan State football.

    Michigan State head coach Nick Saban will be featured on the show throughout the football season. WILX-TV Sports Director Tim Staudt serves as studio host for the program.

    Affiliates for the Spartan SportsZone include WILX-TV in Lansing, WWJ-TV in Detroit, WPBN-TV in Traverse City, WTOM-TV in Cheboygan, WXMI-TV in Grand Rapids and WJRT-TV in Flint.

    Spartan SportsZone will be taped at the studios of WILX-TV (Channel 10) in Lansing.

    1998 Spartan Radio Network Affiliates

    City Call Letters
    Adrian WABJ (AM 1490)
    Alma WQBX (FM 104.9)
    Bad Axe WLEW (AM 1340)
    Battle Creek WBCK (AM 930)
    Bay City/Midland/
    Saginaw WIXC (FM 97.3) WIXC (FM 97.3)
    Burton/Flint WFNT (AM 1470)
    Cheboygan WCBY (AM 1240)
    Coldwater WTVB (AM 1590)
    Detroit WXYT (AM 1270)
    Frankenmuth WKNX (AM 1250)
    Fremont WSHN (AM 1550)
    Grand Rapids WBBL (AM 1340)
    Grand Rapids WFGR (FM 98.7)
    Iron Mountain WMIQ (AM 1450)
    Ironwood WJMS (AM 590)
    Jackson WXIK (FM 94.1)
    Kalamazoo WQSN (AM 1470)
    Lansing WJIM (AM 1240) Lansing WJIM (FM 97.5)
    Ludington WKLA (AM 1450)
    Marquette WDMJ (AM 1320)
    Mt. Pleasant WCZY (FM 104.3)
    Muskegon WKBZ (AM 850)
    Petoskey WJML (AM 1110)
    Port Huron WPHM (AM 1380)
    St. Joseph/
    Benton Harbor WSJM (AM 1400)
    Tawas City WKJC (FM 104.7)
    Tawa City WKJZ (FM 94.9)
    Traverse City WLDR (FM 101.9)

    THIS WEEKS POLLS
    (Released Oct. 18)

    Associated Press
    1. Ohio State (6-0)
    2. UCLA (5-0)
    3. Tennessee (5-0)
    4. Kansas State (6-0)
    5. Florida (6-1)
    6. Florida State (6-1)
    7. Nebraska (6-1)
    8. Texas A&M (6-1)
    9. Wisconsin (7-0)
    10. Penn State (5-1)
    11. Georgia (5-1)
    12. Oregon (5-1)
    13. West Virginia (4-1)
    14. Arizona (6-1)
    15. Arkansas (6-0)
    16. Virginia (5-1)
    17. Colorado (6-1)
    18. Notre Dame (4-1)
    19. Missouri (5-1)
    20. Georgia Tech (5-1)
    21. Syracuse (4-2)
    22. Tulane (5-0)
    23. Virginia Tech (5-1)
    24. Mississippi State (5-1)
    25. Texas Tech (6-1)

    USA Today/ESPN Coaches
    1. Ohio State (6-0)
    2. UCLA (5-0)
    3. Kansas State (6-0)
    4. Tennessee (5-0)
    5. Florida (6-1)
    6. Florida State (6-1)
    7. Nebraska (6-1)
    8. Wisconsin (7-0)
    9. Penn State (5-1)
    10. Texas A&M (6-1)
    11. Georgia (5-1)
    12. Arkansas (6-0)
    13. West Virginia (4-1)
    14. Oregon (5-1)
    15. Virginia (5-1)
    16. Arizona (6-1)
    17. Colorado (6-1)
    18. Missouri (5-1)
    19. Georgia Tech (5-1)
    20. Notre Dame (4-1)
    21. Virginia Tech (5-1)
    22. Syracuse (4-2)
    23. Tulane (5-0)
    24. Mississippi State (5-1)
    25. Texas Tech (6-1)

    PRESEASON Polls

    Associated Press
    1. Ohio State (10-3)
    2. Florida State (11-1)
    3. Florida (10-2)
    4. Nebraska (13-0)
    5. Michigan (12-0)
    6. Kansas State (11-1)
    7. UCLA (10-2)
    8. Arizona State (9-3)
    9. Louisiana State (9-3)
    10. Tennessee (11-2)
    11. West Virginia (7-5)
    12. North Carolina (11-1)
    13. Penn State (9-3)
    14. Texas A&M (9-4)
    15. Colorado State (11-2)
    16. Virginia (7-4)
    17. Syracuse (9-4)
    18. Washington (8-4)
    19. Georgia (10-2)
    20. Wisconsin (8-5)
    21. Southern Miss (9-3)
    22. Notre Dame (7-6)
    23. Michigan State (7-5)
    24. Arizona (7-5)
    25. Auburn (10-3)

    USA Today/ESPN Coaches
    1. Ohio State (10-3)
    2. Florida State (11-1)
    3. Nebraska (13-0)
    4. Florida (10-2)
    5. Michigan (12-0)
    6. Kansas State (11-1)
    7. UCLA (10-2)
    8. Louisiana State (9-3)
    9. Arizona State (9-3)
    10. Tennessee (11-2)
    11. North Carolina (11-1)
    12. West Virginia (7-5)
    13. Penn State (9-3)
    14. Syracuse (9-4)
    15. Texas A&M (9-4)
    16. Colorado State (11-2)
    17. Washington (8-4)
    18. Georgia (10-2)
    19. Virginia (7-4)
    20. Wisconsin (8-5)
    21. Southern Miss (9-3)
    22. Auburn (10-3)
    23. Michigan State (7-5)
    24. Notre Dame (7-6)
    25. Arizona (7-5)

    SPARTAN STREAKS Here are some current streaks Michigan State players are working on in 1998:

    Consecutive Games Started
    Gari Scott, WR 18
    Robaire Smith, DE 18
    Jason Strayhorn, C 18
    Robert Newkirk, DT 13

    MSU ALL-TIME LEADERS

    Career Rushing Yards
        1.  Lorenzo White (1984-87) 4,887
        2.  Tico Duckett (1989-92)  4,212
        3.  Blake Ezor (1986-89)    3,749
        4.  Sedrick Irvin (1996-98) 2,954
    

    Career Rushing Touchdowns 1. Lorenzo White (1984-87) 43 2. Blake Ezor (1986-89) 34 3. Sedrick Irvin (1996-98) 29 Lynn Chandnois (1946-49) 29

    Career Touchdowns 1. Lorenzo White (1984-87) 43 2. Sedrick Irvin (1996-98) 36 Career Points Scored 1. John Langeloh (1987-90) 308 2. Chris Gardner (1994-97) 281 3. Morten Andersen (1978-81) 261 4. Lorenzo White (1984-87) 258 5. Hans Nielsen (1974-77) 230 6. Sedrick Irvin (1996-98) 216

    Career All-Purpose Yards 1. Lorenzo White (1984-87) 5,152 2. Derrick Mason (1993-96) 5,114 3. Tico Duckett (1989-92) 4,511 4. Blake Ezor (1986-89) 4,475 5. Eric Allen (1969-71) 4,446 6. Sedrick Irvin (1996-98) 4,177 Career Quarterback Sacks 1. Larry Bethea (1975-77) 33 2. Kelly Quinn (1982-85) 24 Travis Davis (1986-89) 24 4. Mark Nichols (1983-87) 15 Mel Land (1975-78) 15 6. Carl Banks (1980-83) 14 Ron Curl (1968-71) 14 7. Robaire Smith (1997-98) 13 D. Underwood (1995-98) 13 9. Larry Savage (1976-79) 12 10. Courtney Ledyard (1995-98) 10

    Career Passes Broken Up 1. Amp Campbell (1996-98) 30 Ray Hill (1995-97) 30 3. James Burroughs (1977-81) 28 4. Sorie Kanu (1995-98) 25

    Career Punting Average (Min. 50 punts) 1. Greg Montgomery (1985-87) 45.2 2. Ralf Mojsiejenko (1981-84) 43.8 3. Ray Stachowicz (1977-80) 43.3 4. John Pingel (1937-38) 42.1 5. Josh Butland (1988-91) 40.7 6. Paul Edinger (1996-98) 40.0

    TOP SINGLE-GAME PERFORMANCES

    Sedrick Irvin Rushing Yards Opponent (Att.) Date 238 Penn State (28) 11/29/97 178 Indiana (16) 10/11/97 159 Illinois (33) 11/22/97 158 Indiana (33) 11/9/96 154 Minnesota (32) 10/19/96 130 Indiana (26) 10/10/98 137 Iowa (27) 10/5/96 125 Wisconsin (17) 10/26/96 120 Colorado St. (30) 8/29/98 119 Notre Dame (24) 9/12/98 112 Eastern Mich. (16) 9/28/96 107 Michigan (21) 9/26/98 106 Notre Dame (26) 9/20/97

    FUTURE SCHEDULES

    1999
    Sept. 4 Oregon
    Sept. 11 Eastern Michigan
    Sept. 18 @Notre Dame
    Sept. 25 @Illinois
    Oct. 2 Iowa
    Oct. 9 Michigan
    Oct. 16 @Purdue
    Oct. 23 @Wisconsin
    Nov. 6 Ohio State
    Nov. 13 @Northwestern
    Nov. 20 Penn State

    2000
    Sept. 9 Marshall
    Sept. 16 @Missouri
    Sept. 23 Notre Dame
    Sept. 30 Northwestern
    Oct. 7 @Iowa
    Oct. 14 Wisconsin
    Oct. 21 @Michigan
    Oct. 28 Illinois
    Nov. 4 @Ohio State
    Nov. 11 Purdue
    Nov. 18 @Penn State

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