Football Prepares for Big Ten Showdown Against Purdue

Spartans returns home to face Boilermakers after stunning No. 1 Ohio State last week.

November 10, 1998

DATE: Nov. 14, 1998
SITE: Spartan Stadium (72,027), East Lansing, Mich.
KICKOFF: 12:10 p.m. (EST)
SERIES RECORD: Michigan State leads 27-22-3
FIRST MEETING: Purdue 14, Michigan State 6 (Nov. 9, 1918)
LAST MEETING: Purdue 22, Michigan State 21 (Nov. 8, 1997)


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-Purdue game live with Wayne Larrivee and Randy Wright calling the action and Jim Barbar reporting from the sidelines.


Michigan State's Nick Saban (Kent State '73) is 24-20-1 (.544) in his fourth year with the Spartans and 33-22-1 (.598) 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.

Purdue's Joe Tiller (Montana State '65) is 15-7 (.682) in his second year with the Boilermakers and 54-37-1 (.592) in eight seasons as a college head coach. Tiller earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 1997 after leading Purdue to a second-place finish in the league standings (6-2) and a 9-3 record overall. He compiled a 39-30-1 record (.564) in six seasons at Wyoming (1991-96), including a 10-2 worksheet in 1996. His college coaching credits also include stops as an assistant at Washington State (1989-90 and 1971-73), Wyoming (1987-88), Purdue (1983-86) and Montana State (1964-70).

                                    Michigan State      Purdue
Basic Offense                       Pro Set             One Back, Pro-Set
Basic Defense                       4-3                 4-3
Offensive Starters Returning        5                   4
Defensive Starters Returning        9                   8
Specialists Returning               1                   2

                                        Michigan State      Purdue
Offensive Line & Tight End              6-4, 290            6-4, 283
Offensive Backs & Wide Receivers        6-3, 220            5-11, 200
Defensive Line                          6-4, 285            6-4, 268
Linebackers                             6-3, 234            6-2, 227
Defensive Backs                         6-0, 194            6-0, 193

Michigan State Offense: 2 seniors, 5 juniors, 2 sophomores, 2 freshmen
Michigan State Defense: 3 seniors, 3 juniors, 4 sophomores, 1 freshman
Purdue Offense: 2 seniors, 4 juniors, 4 sophomores, 1 freshman
Purdue Defense: 6 seniors, 4 juniors, 1 freshman

Michigan State (After 9 Games):
Rushing - Sedrick Irvin (207 carries for 910 yards, 4.4 avg., 7 TDs)
Passing - Bill Burke (133 of 246 for 1701 yards, 13 TDs, 6 INTs)
Receiving - Plaxico Burress (45 catches for 675 yards, 15.0 avg., 6 TDs)
Tackles - Aric Morris (90 tackles, 54 solos, 36 assists, 6 for losses, 3 interceptions)

Purdue (After 10 Games):
Rushing -       J. Crabtree (120 carries for 492 yards, 4.1 avg., 2 TDs)
Passing -       Drew Brees (290 of 436 for 3320 yards, 30 TDs, 16 INTs)
Receiving -     Isaac Jones (63 catches for 702 yards, 11.1 avg., 3 TDs)
Tackles -       Willie Fells (90 tackles, 56 solos, 34 assists, 3 for losses)

                            Michigan State      Purdue
Scoring                     27.0                33.0
First Downs                 19.4                24.9
Total Offense               360.6               462.3
Rushing Yards               139.4               111.5   
Passing Yards               221.1               350.8
Time of Possession          30:11               30:23
Third Down Conversions      .252                .457
Points Allowed              23.2                21.1
Total Yards Allowed         361.6               341.3
Rushing Yards Allowed       159.7               159.4
Passing Yards Allowed       201.9               181.9

Michigan State leads it 27-22-3, including a 16-9 record in games played in East Lansing. The Spartans have won 10 out of the last 13 meetings, with the 1995 game ending in a tie (35-35). Purdue's last victory in Spartan Stadium came on Sept. 29, 1984, 13-10. (Note: For a complete list of all-time series scores please refer to page 180 in the 1998 MSU Football Media Guide.)

Ed Watson scored on a 3-yard run with 40 seconds left to give Purdue a 22-21 victory over Michigan State in Ross-Ade Stadium last November. The Boilermakers rallied from 11 points down in the final two minutes to record the win. Michigan State took the opening kickoff and drove 65 yards in 14 plays to take a 7-0 lead as Sedrick Irvin scored on a 2-yard plunge. The Boilermakers put together a six-play, 79-yard drive to tie the game at 7 with Brian Alford scoring on a 33-yard reverse pass from Chris Daniels. Marc Renaud capped an 11-play, 86-yard drive with a 20-yard TD run to give the Spartans a 14-7 lead with 7:47 left in the first half. An interception by Lee Brush led to a 20-yard field goal by Shane Ryan as the Boilermakers pulled to within 14-10 with 11:36 left in the fourth quarter. Michigan State answered quickly as Todd Schultz hooked up with Octavis Long for a 65-yard TD pass to give the Spartans a 21-10 lead with 10:08 to play. With 2:13 to play, Chris Gardner's 39-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by Purdue's Leo Perez and returned 62 yards by Rosevelt Colvin for a touchdown. Purdue trailed, 21-16, after the two-point conversion attempt failed. Daniels recovered the ensuing on-sides kick for the Boilermakers. Billy Dicken completed four-of-five passes for 51 yards on the game-winning drive. Michigan State drove 40 yards in the closing seconds but Gardner mishit a potential game-winning field-goal attempt from 43 yards out with three ticks on the clock. MSU held the nation's 10th-ranked offense 140 yards below its season average as the Spartans outgained Purdue, 420-320, total yards. (Note: For a complete summary of last year's game please refer to page 131 in the 1998 MSU Football Media Guide.)

Michigan State running backs coach Bobby Williams was a four-year letterman for Coach Jim Young at Purdue from 1977-81. Williams, who served as a tri-captain as a senior in 1981, helped the Boilermakers to a combined record of 31-17 (.646) during his five-year career. He began his college career as a running back and ranked as the team's second-leading rusher with 362 yards (99 attempts) as a freshman in '77 before moving to the defensive secondary in '79. Williams had eight career interceptions and 172 tackles.

With its 28-24 upset victory over Ohio State in Columbus, Michigan State recorded its first win over a to-ranked team since 1990. The Spartans are 3-12-1 in games played against the nation's top-ranked team since the Associated Press Poll began in 1936. Here's a look at the 16 meetings against top-ranked teams:

Date            Result                                          Site
Oct. 9, 1948    No. 1 Notre Dame 26, Michigan State 7           South Bend
Nov. 5, 1949    No. 1 Notre Dame 34, Michigan State 21          East Lansing
Nov. 14,1964    No. 1 Notre Dame 34, Michigan State 7           South Bend
Nov. 19,1966    No. 1 Notre Dame 10, No. 2 Michigan State 10    East Lansing
Oct. 11,1969    No. 1 Ohio State 54, No. 19 Michigan State 21   Columbus
Oct. 10,1970    No. 1 Ohio State 29, Michigan State 0           Columbus
Sep. 30,1972    No. 1 Southern Cal 51, Michigan State 6         Los Angeles
Nov. 10,1973    No. 1 Ohio State 35, Michigan State 0           Columbus
Nov. 9, 1974    Michigan State 16, No. 1 Ohio State 13          East Lansing
Oct. 9, 1976    No. 1 Michigan 42, Michigan State 10            Ann Arbor
Oct. 5, 1985    No. 1 Iowa 35, Michigan State 31                Iowa City
Sep. 23,1989    No. 1 Notre Dame 21, Michigan State 13          South Bend
Sep. 22,1990    No. 1 Notre Dame 20, No. 24 Michigan State 19   East Lansing
Oct. 13,1990    Michigan State 28, No. 1 Michigan 27            Ann Arbor
Sep. 7, 1996    No. 1 Nebraska 55, Michigan State 14            Lincoln
Nov. 7, 1998    Michigan State 28, No. 1 Ohio State 24          Columbus

SPARTANS OF THE WEEK - The Michigan State coaching staff selected the following players as Spartans of the Week for their performances Nov. 7 vs. Ohio State:

Offense -       C Jason Strayhorn (graded out 80 percent overall, including 89 percent in his
                pass-blocking assignments) 

Defense -       DE Julian Peterson (11 tackles including MSU single-game record 7 for losses; 49
                production points) 

Special Teams - PK Paul Edinger (tied MSU single-game record with 5 field goals) 

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 Robaire Smith (broken right fibula vs. Ohio State; out for the season); DE Dimitrius Underwood (sprained right ankle; out indefinitely). PROBABLE: FB Leroy McFadden (sprained right shoulder vs. Minnesota; DNP vs. Northwestern).

INJURIES HIT SPARTAN TWO-DEEP HARD - Ten Michigan State players, including seven starters and three key backups, have been sidelined for a combined total of 40 games due to injury in 1998.

Pos.    Player              (injury)                Games Missed
LB      Mike Austin         (fractured ankle)       (4) Indiana, Minnesota, 
                                                    Northwestern, Ohio State
LB      Sean Banks          (pulled hamstring)      (1) Michigan

CB Amp Campbell (cervic-spinal injury) (7) Notre Dame, Michigan, Central Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State PK Paul Edinger (sprained ankle) (1) Central Michigan

FS Sorie Kanu (sprained ankle) (1) Indiana

OG Shaun Mason (ACL/MCL knee) (7) Notre Dame, Michigan, Central Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State FB Leroy McFadden (sprained shoulder) (2) Northwestern, Ohio State

OG Mike Schutz (sprained knee) (6) Colorado State, Oregon, Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State

QB Ryan Van Dyke (sprained shoulder) (2) Notre Dame, Michigan

DE Dimitrius Underwood (sprained ankle) (9) Colorado State, Oregon, Notre Dame, Michigan, Central Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State

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         139.4       6th         66th
Passing Offense         221.1       3rd         45th
Total Offense           360.6       4th         53rd
Scoring Offense         27.0        4th         43rd
Rushing Defense         159.7       9th         69th
Passing Defense         201.9       t-6th       -
Pass Efficiency Defense 105.5       5th         21st
Total Defense           361.6       6th         52nd
Scoring Defense         23.2        7th         46th
Turnover Margin         +0.11       5th         t-46th
Net Punting             38.8        3rd         15th
Punt Returns            14.8        2nd         7th
Kickoff Returns         19.5        10th        81st

NCAA INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS - Here's a brief look at how Michigan State's players rank among the NCAA stat leaders in 1998:

Individual Category
Rushing:                    Sedrick Irvin (20th at 101.1 yards per game)
Passing Efficiency:         Bill Burke (43rd at 124.7 rating) 
Punting:                    Craig Jarrett (4th at 45.3 avg.)
Punt Returns:               Gari Scott (4th at 14.6 avg.)
Scoring:                    Paul Edinger (12th at 9.38 points per game)
Field Goals:                Paul Edinger (1st at 2.38 made per game)
All-Purpose Yards:          Gari Scott (27th at 133.6 yards per game); 
                            Sedrick Irvin (47th at 122.4 ypg)

SECOND-HALF HEADACHES NO LONGER A PROBLEM - In back-to-back wins over Northwestern and Ohio State, Michigan State has outscored its opponents, 28-12, in the second half. That is a dramatic turnaround in the Spartans' second-half fortunes.

In its first seven games, Michigan State was outscored by its opponents,94-65, in the second half, including 44-17 in the third quarter. Through seven games, Michigan State had generated 65 percent of its scoring (121 points) and 56 percent of its total offense (1,349 yards) in the first half.

Here's a quick comparison between Michigan State's 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
Minnesota           13/10   10/5    146/126         5/9     8/12    102/252
Totals              121/86  75/66   1349/1425       65/94   62/73   1080/1361

First Half Second Half MSU vs. PTS FD TOT. YDS. PTS FD TOT. YDS. Northwestern 20/0 13/2 272/43 9/5 9/5 167/72 Ohio State 9/17 7/12 162/217 19/7 9/9 215/136 Totals 29/17 20/14 434/260 28/12 18/14 382/208

BIG PLAYS A DECIDING FACTOR - In its first nine games, Michigan State's offense has been plagued by inconsistency.

Michigan State produced a season-high eight big plays (+20 yards) that totaled 239 yards in its 28-24 upset win over top-ranked Ohio State. Those eight pass completions accounted for 63 percent of MSU's total offense (377 total yards), including Bill Burke's 23-yard touchdown pass to Lavaile Richardson in the third quarter.

Michigan State featured a balanced attack in its 29-5 triumph over Northwestern, picking up 217 yards rushing and 222 yards passing. The Spartans broke five big plays against the Wildcats, with four coming from the passing game.

In its 19-18 loss at Minnesota, MSU was held to 248 total yards - its lowest offensive output since the 1998 season opener. The Spartans had only three big plays vs. Minnesota, including Ryan Van Dyke's 20-yard touchdown toss to Chris Baker late in the second quarter.

In back-to-back wins over Indiana and Central Michigan, Michigan State produced 76 points and 903 total yards. The Spartans delivered seven big plays 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 MSU's 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 Burke's 31-yard pass to Gari Scott setting up Sedrick Irvin's 3-yard TD run in the first quarter and Irvin's 29-yard run leading to Paul Edinger's 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 State's 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 37 plays from scrimmage (672 snaps) which have totaled more than 20 yards, including nine running plays and 28 pass completions. That means Michigan State's offense breaks a long gain (+20 yards) once every 18 snaps. MSU has been held to three plays and a punt 28 times in its first nine games.

Michigan State's defense held Ohio State, the Big Ten's top-ranked offense, 159 yards below its season average. The Buckeyes had seven big plays (+20 yards) against the Spartans but put only 17 points on the scoreboard. Ohio State gained 53 percent (188 yards) of its total yards on those seven plays, with six coming from the passing game, including a 41-yard TD pass from Joe Germaine to John Lumpkin in the first quarter.

Michigan State allowed 115 total yards in a 29-5 win over Northwestern - its best effort since giving up 55 total yards to the Wildcats in 1983. The Spartans held Northwestern to just 6 yards rushing - the fewest rushing yards surrendered since 1990 vs. Purdue. D'Wayne Bates had three 20-yard receptions against the Spartans to account for Northwestern's only big plays.

Minnesota delivered six big plays in its come-from-behind win. The Gophers picked up 103 of their 378 total yards in the final three minutes, including three 20-yard plays. Back-up quarterback Billy Cockerham threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Luke Leverson with 1:47 left then scrambled 25 yards to set up the game-winning field goal in the closing seconds. Despite gaining 422 total yards against Michigan State, Indiana's offense had only three big plays. The Spartan defense permitted only two big plays vs. Central Michigan, including Eric Flower's 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 State's total offense (356 yards).

In 1998, Spartan opponents have produced 40 plays from scrimmage (658 snaps) which have totaled more than 20 yards, including nine running plays and 31 pass completions. That means the Spartans surrender a big play (+20 yards) once every 17 snaps. By contrast, Michigan State allowed only 36 big plays from scrimmage last year (789 snaps).

COLOR THE SPARTAN OFFENSE GREEN - Michigan State's 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.

SPARTAN STADIUM CELEBRATES 75TH ANNIVERSARY - Spartan Stadium is in its 75th season as home to Michigan State football. Another milestone was reached Oct. 31 vs. Northwestern when Spartan Stadium played host to its 400th game.

Michigan State has compiled a 273-114-13 mark (.699) 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.

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 State's 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.

GREAT SCOTT: THE RETURN MAN - Gari Scott leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth nationally in punt returns with his 14.6-yard average. Scott already has set a Michigan State single-season record with 409 yards in punt returns. His 14.6-yard return average ranks as the third-best single-season mark in Spartan history.

The 6-foot-1, 193-pounder from Lake Park, Fla., returned four punts for 89 yards (22.3 avg.) vs. Northwestern. He had five punt returns for 86 yards (17.2 avg.) vs. Central Michigan, including a career-long 39-yarder. Smith was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after accounting for 140 return yards vs. Colorado State (five punt returns for 83 yards and three kickoff returns for 57) in the 1998 season opener.

Scott stands second in the Big Ten and No. 27 nationally in all-purpose yards at 133.6 per game. He has 37 receptions (second on the team) for 487 yards and two touchdowns.

EDINGER BECOMES KEY OFFENSIVE WEAPON - Junior placekicker Paul Edinger leads the Big Ten and ranks No. 1 in the NCAA in field goals at 2.38 made per game. Edinger leads the league and stands No. 12 nationally in scoring at 9.38 points per game (75 total points scored).

The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Edinger has connected on a school single-season record 19-of-22 field goal attempts (.864) in 1998. He has converted a Spartan-record 10-consecutive field goals. The Lakeland, Fla., native has converted eight-of-nine field-goal attempts from 40-plus yards.

He again tied the MSU single-game record with five field goals vs. Ohio State, including a career-long 49-yarder, to earn Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honors for the second-straight week.

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)        27

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


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
140     Northwestern    (28)    10/31/98
137     Iowa            (27)    10/5/96
130     Indiana         (26)    10/10/98
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
101     Minnesota       (25)    10/24/98

Bill Burke Passing
Yards   Opponent        (C-A)   Date
324     Indiana         (24-37) 10/10/98
323     Ohio State      (18-46) 11/7/98
259     Central Mich.   (17-21) 10/3/98
209     Notre Dame      (12-19) 9/12/98


Season Receptions
    1.  Courtney Hawkins (1989) 60
    2.  Andre Rison (1986)      54
    3.  Derrick Mason (1996)    53
        Derrick Mason (1995)    53
    5.  Muhsin Muhammad (1995)  50
    6.  Mill Coleman (1993)     48
    7.  Courtney Hawkins (1991) 47
    8.  Plaxico Burress (1998)  45

Season Touchdown Receptions
    1.  Andre Rison (1988)      8
        Bob Carey (1949)        8
    3.  Gari Scott (1997)       7
        Eugene Byrd (1978)      7
        Kirk Gibson (1978)      7
        Kirk Gibson (1976)      7
        Gene Washington (1966)  7
    8.  Plaxico Burress (1998)  6
        Courtney Hawkins (1991) 6
        Courtney Hawkins (1989) 6
        Kirk Gibson (1977)      6   

Season Field Goals Made
    1.  Paul Edinger (1998)     19
    2.  John Langeloh (1988)    18
    3.  Chris Gardner (1996)    17
        John Langeloh (1987)    17
        Hans Nielsen (1977)     17

Season Punting Average
    1.  Greg Montgomery (1986)  47.8
    2.  Ray Stachowicz (1980)   46.2
    3.  Craig Jarrett (1998)    45.3
    4.  Greg Montgomery (1987)  45.0
    5.  Ralf Mojsiejenko (1984) 44.7

Season Punt Return Yards
    1.  Gari Scott (1998)       409
    2.  Jesse Thomas (1950)     358

Season Punt Return Average
    1.  Jesse Thomas (1950)     19.9
    2.  George Guerre (1946)    15.8
    3.  Gari Scott (1998)       14.8
    4.  Sedrick Irvin (1997)    13.6
        Bill Simpson (1972)     13.6

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.

SPARTAN TRENDS UNDER SABAN - Here's how Michigan State has fared during Nick Saban's tenure (1995-98):

Games played in Spartan Stadium:                        16-7
Games played on the road/neutral site:                  8-13-1
When leading at halftime:                               22-8
When trailing at halftime:                              2-11-1
When scoring first:                                     19-9-1
When opponent scores first:                             5-11
When leading after first quarter:                       18-5-1
When trailing after first quarter:                      4-9
When tied after first quarter:                          2-6
When leading after three quarters:                      21-2-1
When trailing after three quarters:                     3-15
When tied after three quarters:                         0-3
When gaining more first downs than opponent:            20-5
When gaining fewer first downs than opponent:           4-11-1
When gaining same number of first downs as opponent:    0-4
When gaining 200+ yards rushing:                        17-3-1
When opponent gains 200+ yards rushing:                 3-10-1
When outrushing opponent:                               20-5-1
When being outrushed by opponent:                       4-15
When gaining 200+ yards passing:                        14-10-1
When opponent gains 200+ yards passing:                 8-12-1
When gaining more total yards than opponent:            22-5
When gaining fewer total yards than opponent:           2-15-1
When leading in time of possession:                     16-11-1
When trailing in time of possession:                    8-9 

SPARTANS IN THE NFL - Michigan State has 21 former players listed on rosters for National Football League teams in 1998. Here's 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