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Big Ten Champion Spartans Return To Rose Bowl For First Time Since 1988
 
 
 
The Big Ten Champion Spartans are headed to Pasadena, Calif., for the 2014 Rose Bowl.

 
The Big Ten Champion Spartans are headed to Pasadena, Calif., for the 2014 Rose Bowl.
 
 

Dec. 8, 2013

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Big Ten Champion Michigan State (12-1, 8-0 Big Ten) will make its first-ever Bowl Championship Series appearance on Jan. 1, 2014, when the Spartans play Pac-12 Champion Stanford (11-2, 7-2 Pac-12) in the 100th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO at 4:30 p.m. ET in Pasadena, Calif. Michigan State recorded its school-record 12th win of the 2013 season by defeating second-ranked Ohio State, 34-24, in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Stanford earned its second-straight trip to the Rose Bowl with a 38-14 victory at No. 11 Arizona State in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

MSU ranked No. 4 in the final BCS Standings - its highest ranking ever. The Spartans are ranked No. 4 in the latest Associated Press and USA TODAY Polls. It marks MSU's highest ranking in the AP Poll since Sept. 18, 1967, when the Spartans stood No. 3 prior to the season opener against Houston. It also marks MSU's highest ranking since USA TODAY began administering the coaches poll during the 1991-92 season.

The Spartans finished their Big Ten regular-season schedule with a perfect 8-0 record for the first time in school history and claimed their second Legends Division title in three seasons. Michigan State became the 14th Big Ten team to post an 8-0 mark in league play (Ohio State 2013, Ohio State 2006, Ohio State 2002, Iowa 2002, Michigan 1997, Northwestern 1995, Penn State 1994, Michigan 1989, Illinois 1983 [9 games], Michigan 1980, Ohio State 1979, Ohio State 1975, Michigan 1971). The Spartans are the first Big Ten team to win all eight of its conference games by double-digit points since the league went to an eight-game schedule in 1971. In addition, MSU becomes the first undefeated Big Ten team to win all of its league games by double-figure points since Michigan in 1943 (6-0 record).

"The MSU football program, with its consistent focus on character and excellence, is something in which all Spartans can take pride," Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon said. "Mark Dantonio, his fellow coaches and our student-athletes have worked tirelessly this season, and the results are clear both on and off the field. Spartans around the world are looking forward to the 100th Rose Bowl and a spirited contest with Stanford, a great research university colleague with a great tradition of competing in Pasadena."

 

 

"It's an honor to have Michigan State University participate in the 100th Rose Bowl Game," MSU Athletics Director Mark Hollis said. "The Big Ten Conference and Pac-12 Conference have contributed significantly to the pageantry of the Granddaddy of all bowl games. The expectation of participating in the Rose Bowl each and every season is in the fiber of our Michigan State football program. I'm grateful for the former football student-athletes, coaches and administrators that have paved the way for our current team. I'm delighted to see this season's team, led by head coach Mark Dantonio and a talented coaching and support staff, have the opportunity to participate in the special 100th Rose Bowl Game.

"Spartans from across the nation and world will join those that we already have spread across Southern California to participate in this amazing event, the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl Game. Having Stanford as our opponent brings added excitement, as I have the greatest respect for its athletic director and my friend, Bernard Muir, and head football coach David Shaw."

"We're very excited about having the opportunity to represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl against Stanford," MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. "This has been a special season. We have great chemistry on our football team and have a large senior class that has provided outstanding leadership throughout the year.

"Our team has displayed a great resilience throughout the season, and it was no different in the Big Ten Championship Game against Ohio State. Our team showed great poise and maturity and really controlled the fourth quarter.

"We've accomplished our first two goals by winning the Legends Division title and the Big Ten Championship. We now look forward to the challenge of playing the Pac-12 Champion in Stanford.

"Our two teams are very similar in terms of identity and toughness," Dantonio continued. "Stanford has played its best football down the stretch, winning six of its last seven games.

"Stanford has a dynamic offensive attack, led by quarterback Kevin Hogan and running back Tyler Gaffney. Hogan has thrown for nearly 2,500 yards and 20 touchdowns, while Gaffney has rushed for more than 1,600 yards and another 20 scores. Ty Montgomery is an explosive playmaker at wide receiver and as a kick returner, accounting for more than 2,000 all-purpose yards and 21 TDs.

"Defensively, Stanford ranks among the NCAA's Top 20 in rushing defense (third), scoring defense (10th) and total defense (14th). Inside linebacker Shayne Skov leads the team with 100 tackles, including 10 for losses, while outside linebacker Trent Murphy has 21.5 tackles for loss, including 14 sacks."

Michigan State is making its 24th postseason bowl appearance overall, including its fifth trip to the Rose Bowl. The Spartans are 9-14 (.391) in bowl games, including a 3-1 record in previous Rose Bowl appearances (defeated No. 5 UCLA, 28-20, in 1954; defeated No. 4 UCLA, 17-14, in 1956; lost to No. 5 UCLA, 14-12, in 1966; and defeated No. 16 USC, 20-17, in 1988).

MSU has compiled a 33-20-1 record (.639) against current members of the Pac-12 Conference (3-0 vs. Arizona, 1-1 vs. Arizona State, 2-2 vs. California, 3-0 vs. Colorado, 2-2 vs. Oregon, 6-2-1 vs. Oregon State, 3-2 vs. Stanford, 3-3 vs. UCLA, 4-4 vs. USC, 1-2 vs. Washington and 5-2 vs. Washington State). The Spartans are 0-1 against Stanford in postseason bowl games, with a 38-0 loss to the Cardinal in the 1996 Sun Bowl.

Michigan State receives an allotment of approximately 24,000 tickets for the Rose Bowl. Tickets are priced $185 for Spartan Fund and university donors as well as football season-ticket holders and $150 for MSU students, who held football season admissions. Rose Bowl tickets may be ordered online at msuspartans.com (click "tickets" and proceed to the Spartan Online Ticket Office) or by calling the Spartan Ticket Office (open weekdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.), locally at 355-1610 or outside the Lansing area at 1-800-GO-STATE.

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