MSU Spartans
Rotating image
Spartans Ready for Northwestern on Senior Day
 
 
 
Captain Chris Norman will be one of 13 seniors making their final appearance in Spartan Stadium on Saturday against Northwestern.
 
Captain Chris Norman will be one of 13 seniors making their final appearance in Spartan Stadium on Saturday against Northwestern.
 
 

Nov. 16, 2012

Game 11:
Michigan State (5-5, 2-4 Big Ten) vs. Northwestern (7-3, 3-3 Big Ten)
 Date | Time Saturday, Nov. 17 | 12 p.m.
 Location East Lansing, Mich.
Spartan Stadium (75,005/Natural Grass)
 Senior Day Pregame recognition begins at 11:47 a.m.
 Televison ESPN2
 Broadcast Team Bob Wischusen (play-by-play) | Danny Kanell (analyst) | Maria Taylor (sidelines)
 Internet Coverage Gametracker | Live Stats (Mobile Users) | WatchESPN.com
 Radio Spartan Sports Network (Listen Live) | Affiliates
 Satellite Radio Sirius: Ch. 85 | XM: Channel 85
 Radio (Mobile) Broadcast available on Spartan Sports Network Mobile App: iPhone/iPad | Android
 Parking/Stadium Information Gameday Answers | Tailgating Information | Tickets
 Food Drive "Help Tackle Hunger" Food Drive Information
 Game Notes Michigan State | Northwestern
 Statistics Michigan State | Northwestern
 Depth Charts Michigan State | Northwestern
 Social Media @MSU_Football   |  Facebook

FIRST-AND-10 (what you need to know about the MSU-Northwestern matchup) -
• Saturday's game marks the 53rd meeting between Michigan State and Northwestern. The Spartans lead the all-time series 36-16, including an 18-6 record in games played in East Lansing. Michigan State, which defeated the Wildcats in Evanston, Ill., last season, 31-17, has won four in a row over Northwestern. NU's last win in the series came on Oct. 6, 2007 at Spartan Stadium, 48-41, in overtime. MSU head coach Mark Dantonio is 4-1 in his tenure against the Wildcats.

• Thirteen seniors will make their final appearance in Spartan Stadium on Saturday against Northwestern. The 2012 senior class has helped Michigan State to a record of 33-17 (.660) since 2009, including three straight bowl bids (2010 Alamo Bowl, 2011 Capital One Bowl, 2012 Outback Bowl). The 33 wins are tied for second most by any senior class in the 116-year history of Michigan State football (record: 37 wins by 2011 class). The 2012 class also owns a home record of 20-7 (.741).

• MSU is 4-1 in Senior Day games under head coach Mark Dantonio.

• The Spartans have won 27 of their last 37 games (.730), dating back to the beginning of the 2010 season, including a 16-6 record (.727) in Big Ten regular-season play. MSU's 27 wins since 2010 are the 13th most among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

• Based on cumulative opposition, Michigan State's 2012 schedule ranks as the Big Ten's toughest and nation's eighth-most difficult, according to NCAA figures. The Spartans' opponents have a combined record of 64-38 (.627) against other NCAA Bowl Subdivision teams.

• A trademark of Mark Dantonio's Michigan State teams has been their ability to produce wins late in the regular season. Under Dantonio, Michigan State has compiled a 13-4 record (.765) in November. His teams have won seven of the last eight games in November (3-0 in 2010; 4-0 in 2011; and 0-1 in 2012). In the four seasons (2003-06) prior to Dantonio's arrival, Michigan State went just 2-11 (.154) in November.

Le'Veon Bell leads the Big Ten in rushing with 124.9 yards per game.


• Michigan State has lost four Big Ten games this season by a combined total of 10 points, including one in double overtime (Iowa) and two within the last 10 seconds of regulation (Michigan, Nebraska). MSU's last six games have been decided by four points or fewer, the longest such streak by an FBS team since at least 1996.

• Over the last three seasons, Michigan State is 12-5 (.706) in games decided by 10 points or less, including a 3-4 record in 2012. The only losses have come against Wisconsin in the 2011 Big Ten Championship Game (42-39) along with Ohio State (17-16), Iowa (19-16 in 2OT), Michigan (12-10) and Nebraska (28-24) in 2012.

• The Spartan defense ranks among the NCAA FBS Top 20 in seven categories: total defense (seventh at 288.0 ypg.), pass efficiency defense (eighth at 102.0), scoring defense (11th at 16.3 ppg.), pass defense (13th at 174.6 ypg.), passes defended (tied for 14th at 5.8 pg.), third-down defense (17th at .313) and rushing defense (20th at 113.4 ypg.). In addition, MSU also leads the Big Ten in two defensive categories (total defense and scoring defense).

• Junior running back Le'Veon Bell, one of 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award, leads the Big Ten and ranks ninth in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing, averaging 124.9 yards per game in 2012. Bell also ranks second in the nation in carries (283), ninth in rushing yards (1,249) and 23rd in all-purpose yards (145.8 ypg.). The Columbus, Ohio, native also is listed among the Big Ten leaders in all-purpose yards (third) and rushing touchdowns (tied for fifth with 10).

"HELP TACKLE HUNGER" FOOD DRIVE INFORMATION -
For the sixth year, the Division of Residential and Hospitality Services and Intercollegiate Athletics have joined forces with the MSU Student Food Bank and the Greater Lansing Food Bank to collect non-perishable food and personal care items to help support individuals and families in our community. The food banks are facing critical shortages as more of our neighbors try to weather today's economic hardships.

View the list of suggested donation items and on-campus collection points. Bring two or three items to donate to IM East or West and get a Fitness for Food free day of access to either one of these Intramural Sports buildings.

Fans can also bring donations of food and personal care items again this year to any of MSU Federal Credit Union's area branches.

Last year, the Help Tackle Hunger Food Drive brought in nearly 3,500 pounds and $800 in cash donations.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS -
• Fifth-year senior Dan Conroy has made 75 consecutive PATs, just one shy of tying the school-record of 76 straight shared by Brett Swenson (2007-09) and Dave Rayner (2003-04).

• Under Mark Dantonio: Michigan State is 33-6 (.846) when leading in time of possession, including an 18-3 record (.857) since 2010. The Spartans currently lead the Big Ten and rank No. 8 in the NCAA FBS in time of possession (32:47 per game).

• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 38-9 (.809) when outrushing its opponent, including a 22-2 record (.917) since 2010.

• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 16-3 (.842) when rushing for 200-plus yards in a game.

• Michigan State has outscored its opponents 113-65 (+48) in the second half this season (includes overtime).

• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State has produced a 31-10 record (.756) in home games. The Spartans have won 16 of their last 20 home games. With its 20-3 victory on Sept. 15, Notre Dame snapped MSU's 15-game home winning streak - the fifth-longest in school history. Prior to the 2012 season, the Sporting News named Spartan Stadium No. 3 on its "Five Toughest Places to Play Right Now" list.

• Michigan State is 14-9 (.609) in Big Ten road games under Mark Dantonio, including an 8-3 record (.727) since 2010.

• Michigan State's 27 wins since 2010 are the 13th most among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

• Michigan State has won 19 of its last 24 games played in the state of Michigan since the beginning of the 2010 season (16-4 in Spartan Stadium; 1-1 at Michigan Stadium; 1-0 vs. Florida Atlantic at Ford Field in Detroit in 2010; 1-0 at Central Michigan in 2012).

STAT LEADERS -
Michigan State (after 10 games):
Rushing - Le'Veon Bell (283 carries for 1,249 yards, 4.4 avg., 10 TDs)
Passing - Andrew Maxwell (193 of 356 for 2,138 yards, 10 TDs, 5 INTs)
Receiving - Keith Mumphery (34 catches for 427 yards, 12.6 avg., 1 TDs)
Tackles - Max Bullough (87 tackles, 44 solos, 43 assists, 10.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks)

Northwestern (after 10 games):
Rushing - Venric Mark (189 carries for 1,176 yards, 6.2 avg., 10 TDs)
Passing - Trevor Siemian (102 of 170 for 1,018 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT)
Receiving - Demetrius Fields (27 catches for 237 yards, 8.8 avg., 1 TD)
Tackles - Damien Proby (95 tackles, 64 solos, 31 assists, 4.5 TFL)

CURRENT SPARTANS vs. NORTHWESTERN -
Career Stat Leaders
Rushing - Le'Veon Bell (2 games: 24 carries for 98 yards, 4.1 avg., 1 TD)
Passing - N/A
Receiving - Le'Veon Bell (2 game: 3 catches for 6 yards, 2.0 avg.)
Tackles - Chris Norman (3 games: 11 tackles)

THE LAST MEETING -
Nov. 26, 2011, in Evanston, Ill. (AP): All week long Michigan State vowed to look straight ahead at Northwestern instead of a week down the road to the Big Ten Championship Game. The Spartans were true to their word, beating Northwestern 31-17 in a competitive tuneup. With a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game secured, Michigan State wasn't about to coast in the regular-season finale.

Michigan State wanted 10 wins and even though the Spartans had already clinched the Legends Division by virtue of a tiebreaker over Michigan, they wanted to ensure the best record in their division. All of it was accomplished on a drizzly day at Ryan Field.

Keshawn Martin returned a punt 57 yards for a TD just before half, Kirk Cousins became the school's career TD pass leader with two more and Michigan State's league-best defense came up with six sacks. Cousins threw a 33-yard TD to B.J. Cunningham in the third quarter and hit him again on a juggling 29-yard TD pass with 5:17 left to complete a 93-yard drive. It was the 62nd career touchdown pass for Cousins, breaking the school record held by Jeff Smoker (61).

Northwestern (6-6, 3-5) had its four-game winning streak snapped in the regular-season finale and now hopes for a bowl bid. The Wildcats closed to 24-17 early in the final quarter on Dan Persa's 12-yard TD pass to Demetrius Fields, set up by a clutch fourth-down pass from Persa to Jeremy Ebert. The Wildcats got the ball back at the MSU 47, but a holding penalty and Jerel Worthy's sack of Persa forced a punt and then MSU went on its long, game-clinching drive.

Cousins completed 14 of 20 for 214 yards and Cunningham had six catches for 120 yards. Persa completed 23 of 32 for 245 yards and two TDs.

Michigan State scored two touchdowns in the final 1:40 of the second quarter, including Martin's punt return, and took a 17-3 lead at the intermission. Instead of being ahead, all of a sudden Northwestern was behind by two touchdowns. With the score tied at 3-3, Northwestern was driving when Treyvon Green fumbled after a hit by Max Bullough and Michigan State's Denzel Drone recovered at the Spartan 3 with just more than five minutes left in the half. Northwestern called a timeout - presumably to have the play reviewed - but Michigan State retained possession. MSU then took off on a 97-yard drive - Cousins hit Brian Linthicum for 15 yards and heaved a 46-yarder to Martin that carried to the NU 7. Le'Veon Bell then carried the final 7 yards for a TD, completing an eight-play march that put the Spartans up 10-3. The Spartans defense then forced a Northwestern punt and Martin fielded Brandon Williams' boot, broke to his right, signaled to blockers and sailed in for a 17-3 lead. The two TDs came just 66 seconds apart.

MSU/NORTHWESTERN COACHING CONNECTIONS -
• Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio and Northwestern defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz spent the 1981 season together at Purdue, working under Jim Young. Dantonio served as a graduate assistant, while Hankwitz coached the outside linebackers.

• Michigan State quarterbacks coach Dave Warner, MSU director of football operations Tim Allen and Northwestern defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz worked together for two years under Glen Mason at Kansas (1995-96).

• Michigan State football video coordinator Matt Harper spent six seasons in a similar position at Northwestern (2002-05 and 2007-08).

• Northwestern associate athletics director/director of athletic training services Tory Lindley earned his bachelor's degree from Michigan State in 1991. Lindley later spent four years as an assistant trainer at Michigan State (1996-2000).

SPARTANS FROM THE LAND OF LINCOLN -
Michigan State's 2012 roster features four players from Illinois: red-shirt freshman offensive lineman Jack Allen (Hinsdale/Hinsdale Central), fifth-year senior quarterback Peter Badovinac (Inverness/Loyola Academy), senior fullback Jeff Bobek (Palatine/William Fremd) and fifth-year senior placekicker Dan Conroy (Wheaton/Wheaton Warrenville South).

2012 SENIOR CLASS BIDS FAREWELL -
Thirteen seniors will make their final appearance in Spartan Stadium this afternoon against Northwestern. The 2012 senior class consists of: Johnny Adams, Peter Badovinac, Jeff Bobek, Larry Caper, Dan Conroy, Doug Curtis, Steve Gardiner, Tyler Hoover, Chris Norman, Chris McDonald, Ethan Ruhland, Anthony Rashad White and Mitchell White. Those 13 seniors, along with David Barrent, Corey Freeman, Zac Hueter, Arthur Ray Jr., and Drew Stevens, who all retired from football prior to the 2012 season due to career-ending injuries, will be recognized in a pregame ceremony.

The 2012 senior class has helped Michigan State to a record of 33-17 (.660) since 2009, including three-straight bowl bids (2010 Alamo Bowl, 2011 Capital One Bowl, 2012 Outback). The 33 wins are tied for second most by any senior class in the 116-year history of Michigan State football (record: 37 wins by 2011 class). The 2012 class also owns a home record of 20-7 (.741).

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

Marcus Rush helps lead a Spartan defense that ranks first in the Big Ten in total defense and scoring defense.


• The Spartan defense ranks among the NCAA FBS Top 20 in seven categories: total defense (seventh at 288.0 ypg.), pass efficiency defense (eighth at 102.0), scoring defense (11th at 16.3 ppg.), pass defense (13th at 174.6 ypg.), passes defended (tied for 14th at 5.8 pg.), third-down defense (17th at .313) and rushing defense (20th at 113.4 ypg.). In addition, MSU also leads the Big Ten in two defensive categories (total defense and scoring defense).

• Through 10 games, the Spartans have surrendered 14 offensive touchdowns (five rushing, nine passing) - tied for the sixth-fewest allowed in the NCAA FBS (with Utah State). Only Notre Dame (8), BYU (12), Alabama (13), Florida (13) and Rutgers (13) have permitted fewer TDs. MSU has only allowed four offensive touchdowns in the second half in 2012 (Ohio State, Iowa and two by Nebraska).

• Michigan State has allowed its opponents just 24 trips into the red zone - tied for the seventh fewest in the NCAA FBS. Of those 24 trips into the red zone, opponents have scored just eight touchdowns - the second-fewest TDs allowed (Notre Dame ranks first with seven).

• Through 10 games in 2012, Michigan State has held its opponents scoreless in 20 of 40 quarters (50 percent). In addition, the Spartans have forced their opponents to go three-and-out on 47 of 125 possessions (38 percent; 4.7 per game).

• Michigan State's defense has allowed just 58 points in the second half/overtime this season (four touchdowns, 10 field goals). The Spartans have shut out three opponents in the second half (Boise State, Eastern Michigan, Indiana).

• Since the beginning of last season, Michigan State has held 12 opponents under 100 rushing yards (seven in 2011; five in 2012) and seven under 10 points. In addition, MSU has held seven opponents under 50 yards rushing (three times in 2011; four in 2012) since 2011.

• Michigan State has forced at least one turnover in 60 of 76 games over the last six seasons (79 percent of the games played since 2007).

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

Individual Statistics (Top 50)
Rushing: Le'Veon Bell (9th at 124.9 yards per game)
Punting: Mike Sadler (21st at 43.3 yards per punt)
Field Goals: Dan Conroy (t-6th at 1.7 made per game)
All-Purpose Runners: Le'Veon Bell (23rd at 145.8 yards per game)

BELL NAMED DOAK WALKER AWARD SEMIFINALIST -
Junior running back Le'Veon Bell, one of 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award, leads the Big Ten and ranks ninth in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing, averaging 124.9 yards per game in 2012. Bell also ranks second in the nation in carries (283), ninth in rushing yards (1,249) and 23rd in all-purpose yards (145.8 ypg.). The Columbus, Ohio, native also is listed among the Big Ten leaders in all-purpose yards (third) and rushing touchdowns (tied for fifth with 10). A complete back, his 29 receptions (145 yards) are fourth on the team.

A Midseason First-Team All-America selection by Phil Steele, Bell has produced the top single-game total in the NCAA FBS this season for carries (44 vs. Boise State) and eighth-most rushing yards (253 vs. Eastern Michigan).

In addition, he has produced 58 first downs and 21 runs of 10 or more yards, including nine gains of 20 or more yards.

Bell recorded his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the 2012 season and ninth of his career, with 36 carries for 188 yards in Michigan State's 28-24 loss to No. 21 Nebraska. For the third time this season, Bell scored two rushing touchdowns, scoring on runs of 11 yards and 1 yard. He also ripped off runs of 23, 40 and 26 yards against the Cornhuskers.

With 77 yards on 21 carries in MSU's 16-13 overtime victory at Wisconsin, Bell eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing milestone for the first time in his career. He became the 13th running back (21 times combined) in Spartan history to record a 1,000-yard rushing season. His first career TD reception came on a 5-yard shovel pass from Andrew Maxwell with 1:08 left in the fourth quarter and sent the game into overtime tied at 10.

Bell carried 29 times for 140 yards and a TD against Iowa. It marked his second-straight 100-yard rushing game against the Hawkeyes (20 rushes for 112 yards in 2011).

Bell led all players with 121 rushing yards on 37 carries in MSU's 31-27 win at Indiana. The 37 carries were the second most in his career (44 vs. Boise State).

The 6-foot-2, 237-pound Bell set career highs for receptions (8) and receiving yards (58) against Ohio State and totaled 103 all-purpose yards (58 receiving, 45 rushing) against the Buckeyes.

Bell earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors for the second time this season after rushing for a career-best 253 yards (36 carries) and a TD in Michigan State's 23-7 victory over Eastern Michigan. His 253 yards mark the sixth-highest single-game rushing total in MSU history. With his 15-yard run early in the second, Bell became just the 16th player in Spartan history to reach the 2,000-yard career milestone. He finished with 263 all-purpose yards (253 rushing, -8 receiving, 18 punt return) - the 11th-best single-season total in MSU history.

Bell rushed for 70 yards on 18 carries (3.9 avg.) and scored two touchdowns in the win over Central Michigan.

Bell collected several weekly honors after his career night helped lead Michigan State past No. 24 Boise State, 17-13, in the season-opening win. He was named the Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week by the conference office and also the Big Ten Player of the Week by ESPN.com. In addition, he was named the Heisman Player of the Week by CBSSports.com. Bell rushed for 210 yards and set career highs for rushing attempts (44) and all-purpose yards (265) against the Broncos, while also collecting 55 receiving yards on six catches. He outgained the entire Boise State offense, 210-206, and 84 of his 210 yards came after contact. In addition, Bell's 265 all-purpose yards rank as the 10th-highest single-game total in Spartan history, and his 44 carries tied for fourth most in school history.

Bell's 210 rushing yards against Boise State tied for the 23rd-highest single-game total in school history, and he became the first Spartan running back to eclipse the 200-yard mark since Javon Ringer gained 201 yards on 39 rushes against Notre Dame in 2008. The 210 rushing yards were also the most by a Big Ten running back in a season opener since Purdue's Ralph Bolden in 2009 (234 vs. Toledo) and the most by a Spartan in an opener since T.J. Duckett in 2000 (219 vs. Marshall).

Michigan State is 16-2 (.889) when Bell scores at least one rushing TD (2010: 5-0; 2011: 7-1; and 2012: 4-1).

Bell has rushed for 2,802 yards and 31 TDs in 37 career games. He ranks among MSU's all-time leaders in rushing TDs (sixth with 31), rushing attempts (eighth with 572) and rushing yards (eighth with 2,802). Bell ranks among the Top 20 active NCAA FBS leaders in carries (10th), rushing yards (12th) and rushing TDs (18th).

MAXWELL TAKES OVER THE REIGNS AS STARTING QUARTERBACK -
Fourth-year junior Andrew Maxwell, who spent the past two seasons as Kirk Cousins' understudy, is in his first season as the starting quarterback. The 6-foot-3, 212-pound Maxwell ranks third in the Big Ten in passing (213.8 yards per game) and sixth in total offense (208.7 ypg.). He has completed 193-of-356 throws (.542) for 2,138 yards, 10 touchdowns, five interceptions and five 200-yard passing games this season. Maxwell's 16 25+-yard completions rank fourth in the Big Ten.

In four road games this season, Maxwell has connected on 89-of-144 passes (.618) for 973 yards, seven TDs and one interception. His road passing totals rank among the best for Big Ten quarterbacks: first in TD passes (7), second in passing yards (243.3 ypg.) and third in passing efficiency (133.2 rating).

Maxwell has a 118.8 passing efficiency rating in the second half of games, as he has completed 53 percent (89-of-168) of his throws for 1,089 yards, seven TDs and two interceptions.

He completed 24-of-39 throws for 216 yards and two TDs to lead Michigan State to a 16-13 overtime victory at No. 25 Wisconsin, as the Spartans recorded their first win in Madison since 2001 while snapping the nation's second-longest active home winning streak at 21 games. Over MSU's last two possessions, Maxwell connected on 9-of-11 passes for 81 yards and two scores. Trailing 10-3 with 6:06 left in the fourth quarter, he hit 8-of-9 throws for 69 yards while leading a game-tying 12-play, 75-yard drive. On third-and-4, his 5-yard shovel pass to Le'Veon Bell tied the score at 10 with 1:08 remaining in regulation. On third-and-8 in overtime, Maxwell fired a game-winning 12-yard TD strike to Bennie Fowler. His 24 completions matched his career high.

His streak of consecutive pass attempts without an interception ended at 233 when Iowa's Greg Castillo came up with a pick in the second overtime.

Maxwell recorded career highs in completions (24) and passing yards (290) in MSU's 31-27 comeback win at Indiana; the 290 passing yards marked the fourth most by a Spartan quarterback against the Hoosiers. His 36-yard touchdown pass to Fowler proved to be the game-winning score as Maxwell engineered his second fourth-quarter comeback of the season (Boise State). Maxwell also connected on a 15-yard TD pass to Larry Caper in the second quarter.

He completed 22-of-42 throws for 269 yards and one TD against Ohio State. His 269 passing yards are the sixth-best single-game total by a Spartan quarterback against the Buckeyes.

Maxwell hit 16-of-29 passes for 159 yards and one score in MSU's 23-7 win over Eastern Michigan. In the second half, he connected on 7-of-10 tosses for 128 yards, including a 10-yard TD strike to Dion Sims to give the Spartans a 16-7 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

In a 20-3 loss to No. 20 Notre Dame, Maxwell set career highs for pass attempts (45) while completing 23 throws to eight different receivers for 187 yards.

Maxwell opened the 2012 season with back-to-back 200-yard passing games against No. 24 Boise State and at Central Michigan and became the first Spartan starting quarterback to win his first two starts since Jeff Smoker in 2000 (Missouri, Notre Dame).

In a 41-7 win at Central Michigan, he completed 20-of-31 passes for a career-high 275 yards and two scores. Maxwell had TD tosses of 20 yards to Sims and 7 yards to Fowler. In the first half, he went 17-of-28 for 213 yards as MSU built a 24-0 halftime lead.

In his first career start against No. 24 Boise State, Maxwell completed 22-of-38 throws for 248 yards and directed a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. He went 3-for-3 for 38 yards during the nine-play, 56-yard fourth-quarter drive as MSU rallied from a 13-10 deficit. His 18-yard completion to Sims on a third-and-6 play from the BSU 25 set up Bell's game-winning 5-yard TD run. Maxwell iced the game by managing a 13-play, 52-yard drive, including two third-down completions for 15 yards, that consumed the final 6:32 off the clock.

Michigan State's last 19 quarterbacks have compiled a 13-6 record (.684) in their first collegiate start, including a 9-2 mark in home games.

MAXWELL SPREADS THE BALL AROUND -
In his first year as the starting quarterback, Andrew Maxwell has done a nice job of spreading the ball around. Six Spartans have more than 20 receptions, including Keith Mumphery (34 for 427 yards), Bennie Fowler (31 for 392), Tony Lippett (30 for 339), Le'Veon Bell (29 for 145), Dion Sims (27 for 345) and Aaron Burbridge (22 for 295). Five different players have led the team in receptions in the first 10 games.

BURBRIDGE EMERGES AS RECEIVING THREAT -
In conference games, true freshman Aaron Burbridge ranks seventh in the Big Ten in receiving yards (56.2 per game) and ninth (tied) in receptions (4.0 per game). In eight games overall, he has 22 catches for 295 yards (13.4 avg.). Eleven of his 22 receptions (50 percent) have resulted in a first down, including four 20-yard grabs.

For the third-straight week, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Burbridge led the Spartans in receptions, with six receptions for 51 yards in MSU's 12-10 loss at No. 23 Michigan. His 19-yard grab from Andrew Maxwell on the opening drive of the third quarter helped set up MSU's only touchdown against the Wolverines. He also had a 12-yard catch on MSU's go-head scoring drive late in the fourth quarter.

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

Burbridge was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week after becoming just the second freshman - and first true freshman - in Michigan State history to record a 100-yard receiving game, with eight receptions for 134 yards as the Spartans rallied from a 17-point deficit for a 31-27 victory at Indiana. His totals marked season highs for a Spartan wide receiver.

Burbridge's 134 receiving yards also set a Spartan single-game freshman record (previous: red-shirt freshman Terry Love had nine catches for 103 yards vs. Iowa in 2004) and are the third most by a true freshman in the NCAA this season against an FBS opponent.

The Farmington Hills, Mich., native helped spark MSU's second-half rally against the Hoosiers, with five receptions for 96 yards coming after halftime. He had at least one reception on four of MSU's five scoring drives. In three previous appearances this season, Burbridge had just two catches for 14 yards.

SIMS RANKS AMONG THE NATION'S TOP TIGHT ENDS -
Despite missing nearly three full games with an ankle injury, junior tight end Dion Sims ranks fifth on the team with 27 receptions for 345 yards (12.8 avg.) and two scores. His 27 catches and 345 receiving yards both represent career highs. He had 12 catches in 2011 and 133 receiving yards in 2009.

Twenty-two of his 27 receptions (81 percent) have resulted in either a first down or a touchdown.

Through the first five games of the 2012 season, Sims led the Spartans in catches (24), receiving yards (313) and TD receptions (2). He sat out entire Iowa game and played only nine snaps at Michigan after suffering an ankle injury early in the first quarter of MSU's Oct. 6 game at Indiana.

The 6-foot-5, 285-pound Sims was named a Fourth-Team Midseason All-American by Phil Steele. Twenty-one of his 26 receptions this season (81 percent) have gone for either a first down or a touchdown.

Sims was selected John Mackey and College Football Performance Awards' National Tight End of the Week after recording his first career 100-yard receiving game with six receptions for 112 yards and a score against Eastern Michigan. He had three catches for 73 yards in the fourth quarter, including a 10-yard TD grab from Andrew Maxwell that gave MSU a 16-7 lead.

The Detroit, Mich., native had a team-high six catches for 52 yards against No. 20 Notre Dame. He caught three passes for 48 yards at Central Michigan, including a 20-yard TD reception from Maxwell late in the second quarter. Sims recorded a career-best seven receptions for 65 yards in the season opener against No. 24 Boise State.

BULLOUGH NAMED BUTKUS AWARD SEMIFINALIST -
Junior linebacker and captain Max Bullough, one of 12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award and 20 quarterfinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, leads the team in tackles (87), sacks (2.0 for 14 yards) and production points (252). His 10.0 tackles for loss (41 yards) rank second on the team. He has posted at least nine tackles in seven consecutive games. In conference games, Bullough ranks third in the Big Ten in tackles, averaging 10.2 per game.

The 6-foot-3, 252-pound Bullough reached double figures in tackles for the fourth time this season and sixth time in his career, with 10 stops against Nebraska. He has now produced at least one tackle for loss in each of the last five games.

Bullough recorded nine tackles while setting career highs for both tackles for loss (2.5 for 15 yards) and sacks (2 for 14) in Michigan State's 16-13 overtime victory at No. 25 Wisconsin, as the Spartans recorded their first win in Madison since 2001 while snapping the nation's second-longest active home winning streak at 21 games. MSU limited Wisconsin to 19 yards rushing (37 carries) - nearly 182 fewer than its season average. The Spartans also held the Badgers to 190 total yards - the first time UW managed fewer than 200 yards total offense since Nov. 20, 2004 (186 vs. Iowa). MSU's produced season highs in both tackles for loss (12 for 59) and sacks (5 for 38).

He posted 10 stops, a career-high two pass break-ups and recorded his first interception of the season at Michigan.

Bullough recorded 11 stops against Iowa and posted a season-high 12 stops against No. 14 Ohio State to go along with two pass break-ups and a forced fumble.

The Traverse City, Mich., native has 199 tackles in 37 career games. Bullough has started every game at middle linebacker since the beginning of the 2011 season (24 consecutive games), a streak that ranks tied for longest on the Spartan defense (strong safety Isaiah Lewis; defensive end Marcus Rush) and second-longest on the team (right guard Chris McDonald, 27-straight starts). He led the team in tackles last season with 89.

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

 

 

SHOP NOW

at the official
Online Store