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Archive for October 5th, 2019

A look at #25 Michigan State: Taking on #4 Ohio State in Big Ten East battle tonight

 

Game 6: No. 25/23 Michigan State (4-1, 2-0 B1G) at No. 4/5 Ohio State (5-0, 2-0 B1G)

Date: Saturday, Oct. 5
Kickoff: 7:44 p.m. EDT
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Stadium: Ohio Stadium (102,092)
Surface: FieldTurf
TV/Web/Mobile: ABC/Watch ESPN
Announcers: Chris Fowler (play-by-play), Kirk Herbstreit (analyst), Maria Taylor (sideline)
Radio: Spartan Sports Network (George Blaha, Jason Strayhorn)Affiliate Listings
Satellite Radio: Ch. 83 (Sirius), Ch. 83 (XM), Ch. 83 (SiriusXM.com)
National Radio: ESPN Radio
National Radio Announcers: Sean Kelley (play-by-play), Barrett Jones (analyst), Ian Fitzsimmons (sideline)
Satellite: Ch. 84 (Sirius), Ch. 84 (XM), Ch. 84 (SiriusXM.com)
Live Stats: msuspartans.comOhio State Live Stats
All-Time Series: OSU leads, 32-15
Series in Columbus: OSU leads, 15-9
Last Meeting: OSU 26, MSU 6 (2018)
Current Series Streak: 3 by OSU (2016-)

COACHES:
MSU Head Coach: Mark Dantonio
MSU Record: 111-52 (13th year)
Overall Record: 129-69 (16th year)
Record vs. OSU: 3-9 (3-7 at MSU)

OSU Head Coach: Ryan Day
OSU Record: 8-0 (first year)*
Overall Record: 8-0 (first year)*
Record vs. MSU: 0-0
* served as interim head coach for first three games in 2018

FIRST-AND-10 –
• No. 25/23 Michigan State heads to No. 4/5 Ohio State on Saturday, Oct. 5 for a Big Ten East Division showdown in Columbus, Ohio, at 7:30 p.m. in Ohio Stadium. The game will be broadcast nationally on ABC for Saturday Night Football with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Maria Taylor on the call. Both the Spartans and Buckeyes are tied atop the Big Ten East Division standings at 2-0. MSU topped Indiana, 40-31, last Saturday in Spartan Stadium, while Ohio State beat Nebraska in Lincoln, 48-7.

• Saturday’s game is the 48th meeting between Michigan State and Ohio State, and for the sixth time in the last seven matchups, both teams enter the contest ranked in the AP Top 25 (OSU fourth, MSU 25th). The Buckeyes lead the all-time series, 32-15, including a 15-9 record in Columbus. Dantonio is 2-2 against Ohio State in Columbus during his tenure at MSU.

• The Spartans have defeated the Buckeyes three times since 2011, the most of any team in the Big Ten.  Michael Geiger hit a 41-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 9 Michigan State a 17-14 victory over No. 2 Ohio State in 2015 in Columbus en route to winning the Big Ten Championship, while also snapping the Buckeyes’ 23-game winning streak. The Spartans held the Buckeyes to 132 yards of total offense in that game, the fewest ever by an Urban Meyer-coached team. In the 2013 Big Ten Championship Game, No. 10 MSU snapped No. 2 Ohio State’s school-record 24-game winning streak with a 34-24 win as the Spartans clinched their first Rose Bowl berth in 26 years. Dantonio’s first win over the Buckeyes came in 2011 as MSU beat the Buckeyes, 10-7, in Ohio Stadium.

• The Spartans have defeated Ohio State 10 times when the Buckeyes entered the game ranked in the AP Top 25, including five times when the Buckeyes were ranked in the top five (No. 5 in 1972, No. 1 in 1974, No. 1 in 1998, No. 2 in 2013, No. 2 in 2015) and seven in the top 10 (previous five games listed plus No. 7 in 1951 and No. 9 in 1971). Mark Dantonio has defeated 10 AP Top 10 teams in his tenure and nine since 2013, including wins over No. 2 Ohio State in 2013 and 2015.

• With the triumph over Northwestern on Sept. 21, Mark Dantonio became Michigan State’s all-time winningest coach, passing Hall of Famer Duffy Daugherty, who collected a 109-69-5 record in East Lansing from 1954-72 (19 seasons). Dantonio owns a 111-52 (.681) record at Michigan State and has won the most Big Ten Championships (three) and bowl games (five) of any Spartan head coach and also ranks first with 11 bowl appearances. He is the only active Big Ten coach to win multiple Big Ten Championships (2010, 2013, 2015), claim a victory in the Rose Bowl (2014), and coach in the College Football Playoff (2015). Dantonio also ranks first in program history in conference winning percentage (.663, 67-34 record, minimum 10 games); tied for first in AP Top 25 finishes (seven); second in Big Ten wins (67), home wins (66) and AP Top 25 wins (21); and fifth in overall winning percentage (.681). Dantonio is 11th in Big Ten history in conference wins (67) and tied for 12th in overall victories (111).

• Defensively, the Spartans continue to rank among the national leaders in rushing defense (No. 4 at 55.8 ypg), total defense (No. 7 at 253.8 ypg), turnovers gained (tied for No. 13 with 10), scoring defense (No. 14 at 15.0 ppg) and sacks (No. 18 at 3.2 pg).

• Fifth-year senior wide receiver Darrell Stewart leads the Big Ten in receptions (35) and receiving yards (556) and is second in the conference in receiving yards per game (111.3 ypg) and third in receptions per game (7.0 pg). He also ranks among the FBS leaders in total receptions (tied for sixth with 35), total receiving yards (fourth with 556), receiving yards per game (seventh with 111.2 ypg) and receptions per game (tied for 10th with 7.0 pg). Stewart has three 100-yard receiving games and put together back-to-back 100-yard receiving games (career-high 185 yards vs. Western Michigan on Sept. 7 and 121 vs. Arizona State on Sept. 14) for the first time at MSU since Aaron Burbridge had four straight 100-yard games in 2015 (156 vs. Rutgers on Oct. 10; 132 vs. Michigan on Oct. 17; 128 yards vs. Indiana on Oct. 24; 164 at Nebraska on Nov. 7). Stewart opened Big Ten play with five catches for 77 yards at Northwestern and had five grabs for 117 yards and a career-high two touchdowns vs. Indiana. Stewart’s impressive performance to start the season has made him a late add to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List.

• Fifth-year senior quarterback Brian Lewerke leads the Big Ten in total passing yards (1,325), completions (104) and attempts (174), and also ranks tied for second in touchdown passes (10), third in total offense (294.4 ypg) and fourth in passing (265.0 ypg). The Phoenix, Arizona, native has completed 104-of-174 passes (.598) for 1,325 yards, 10 touchdowns and one interception. In the win over Indiana, Lewerke became just the second Spartan quarterback to eclipse 6,000 yards passing (6,539) and 1,000 yards rushing (1,039) in his career, joining Drew Stanton (6,524 passing yards and 1,512 rushing yards from 2003-06). Lewerke also ranks among the school leaders in pass attempts (fourth with 987), passing yards (fourth with 6,539 yards), pass completions (fourth with 565), passing yards per game (fifth with 198.2 ypg) and passing TDs (eighth with 40).

• Although Michigan State ranked in the FBS Top 10 in several defensive categories in 2018, this season the Spartans are emphasizing turnovers after finishing 28th in the FBS with 23 turnovers caused last season. After five games, MSU ranks tied for 13th in the FBS with 10 turnovers caused (four fumbles, six interceptions). The six interceptions are tied for eighth most in the FBS.

• Senior linebacker and first-team preseason All-American Joe Bachie leads the Big Ten with 46 overall tackles and ranks sixth in tackles per game (9.2 avg.). Bachie was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career following his performance in the win at Northwestern on Sept. 21. He recorded a career-high 14 tackles (13 solo, one assist) against the Wildcats, marking his 11th career game with double-figure tackles. Bachie also has 4.5 tackles for loss, four pass break-ups, 1.5 sacks and one interception this season.

STAT LEADERS –
Michigan State:

Rushing – R-Fr. Elijah Collins (78 carries for 413 yards, 5.3 avg., 3 TDs)
Passing – Sr.-5 Brian Lewerke (104-of-174, .598, 1,325 yards, 10 TDs, 1 INT)
Receiving – Sr.-5 Darrell Stewart (35 catches for 556 yards, 15.9 avg., 3 TDs)
Tackles – Sr. Joe Bachie (46 tackles, 23 solos, 23 assists, 4.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, 4 PBUs, 1 INT)

Ohio State:
Rushing – Jr. J.K. Dobbins (92 carries for 654 yards, 7.1 avg., 5 TDs)
Passing – So. Justin Fields (81-of-116, .698, 1,092 yards, 16 TDs, 0 INTs)
Receiving – Sr. K.J. Hill (20 catches for 218 yards, 10.9 avg., 4 TDs)
Tackles – Sr. Malik Harrison (25 tackles, 14 solos, 11 assists, 8 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, 1 FR)

CURRENT SPARTANS VS. OHIO STATE –
Career Stat Leaders:

Rushing – Rocky Lombardi (1 game, 3 carries for 49 yards, 16.3 avg, 0 TD)
Passing – Brian Lewerke (2 games, 29-of-64, .453, 259 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs)
Receiving – Cody White (2 games, 13 catches for 157 yards, 12.1 avg., 0 TDs)
Tackles – Kenny Willekes (2 games, 22 tackles, 4.5 TFLs, 1 sack)

MSU/OHIO STATE SERIES NOTES –
• Saturday’s game is the 48th meeting between Michigan State and Ohio State, and for the sixth time in the last seven matchups, both teams enter the contest ranked in the AP Top 25 (OSU fourth, MSU 25th). The Buckeyes lead the all-time series, 32-15, including a 15-9 record in Columbus. Dantonio is 2-2 against Ohio State in Columbus during his tenure at MSU.

• Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio is 3-7 during his tenure against Ohio State and 3-9 overall (0-2 at Cincinnati). Dantonio was the only Big Ten coach to defeat Urban Meyer twice during his tenure at OSU (2013 Big Ten Championship Game, 2015 at Ohio State).

• The Spartans have defeated the Buckeyes three times since 2011, the most of any team in the Big Ten.  Michael Geiger hit a 41-yard field goal as time expired to give No. 9 Michigan State a 17-14 victory over No. 2 Ohio State in 2015 in Columbus en route to winning the Big Ten Championship, while also snapping the Buckeyes’ 23-game winning streak. The Spartans held the Buckeyes to 132 yards of total offense in that game, the fewest ever by an Urban Meyer-coached team. In the 2013 Big Ten Championship Game, No. 10 MSU snapped No. 2 Ohio State’s school-record 24-game winning streak with a 34-24 win as the Spartans clinched their first Rose Bowl berth in 26 years. Dantonio’s first win over the Buckeyes came in 2011 as MSU beat the Buckeyes, 10-7, in Ohio Stadium.

• The Spartans have defeated Ohio State 10 times when the Buckeyes entered the game ranked in the AP Top 25, including five times when the Buckeyes were ranked in the top five (No. 5 in 1972, No. 1 in 1974, No. 1 in 1998, No. 2 in 2013, No. 2 in 2015) and seven in the top 10 (previous five games listed plus No. 7 in 1951 and No. 9 in 1971).

SPARTANS FROM THE BUCKEYE STATE –
• Michigan State’s 2019 roster features 28 players from Ohio, including 10 potential starters: Sr. LB Joe Bachie (Brook Park/Berea-Midpark), Jr. LG Luke Campbell (Lewis Center/Olentangy), So. RG Matt Carrick (Minerva/Perry), Jr. PK Matt Coghlin (Cincinnati/Archbishop Moeller), Jr. TE Matt Dotson (Kenwood/Archbishop Moeller), Sr. S David Dowell (North Ridgeville/St. Edward), Sr. P Jake Hartbarger (Waterville/Anthony Wayne), So. S Xavier Henderson (Reynoldsburg/Pickerington Central), Fr. LS Jude Pedrozo (Westerville/Westerville South) and Jr. CB Josiah Scott (Hamilton, Ohio/Fairfield).

THE LAST MEETING –
Nov. 10, 2018, in East Lansing, Mich. (AP):
Drue Chrisman kept Michigan State pinned back with a sensational second half of punting, and eighth-ranked Ohio State eventually pulled away for a 26-6 victory over the 24th-ranked Spartans.

In a tight defensive struggle, the Buckeyes enjoyed a huge advantage in field position during the second half. Chrisman’s punts forced Michigan State to start its first five drives after halftime from its own 5, 6, 3, 1 and 2-yard line. On the fourth of those possessions, the Spartans had to punt from their own end zone. They took a safety that appeared intentional, giving Ohio State a 9-6 lead.  The ensuing free kick went out of bounds, giving the Buckeyes the ball at the 50, and then Chrisman pinned Michigan State back again. Ohio State capitalized on that punt when a shotgun snap by Michigan State hit the man in motion. Dre’Mont Jones recovered the fumble for the Buckeyes in the end zone, giving Ohio State a 16-6 advantage.

Chrisman’s day actually started in an unusual way, with his first punt going for only 4 yards, but Michigan State couldn’t take advantage. Ohio State opened the scoring late in the second quarter on a 1-yard pass from Dwayne Haskins to Parris Campbell. The Spartans trailed only 7-3 at halftime, but had a third-quarter touchdown called back for a penalty. They settled for a field goal on that drive to make it 7-6, but that was as close as they got.

MSU/OHIO STATE CONNECTIONS –
• Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio spent three years as the defensive coordinator at Ohio State (2001-03) where he served under Jim Tressel. During Dantonio’s tenure at Ohio State, the Buckeyes posted a combined record of 32-6 (.842), including the 2002 National Championship. Dantonio also was a graduate assistant at Ohio State under Earle Bruce in 1983-84.

• Michigan State offensive line coach Jim Bollman served as Ohio State’s offensive coordinator for 11 seasons (2001-11).

• Michigan State assistant head coach/defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Mike Tressel is the nephew of former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel. Mike spent two years as a graduate assistant coach at Ohio State, working for his uncle from 2002-03.

• Michigan State tight ends coach Mark Staten served as a graduate assistant for Jim Tressel at Ohio State from 2002-03.

• Michigan State secondary coach Paul Haynes was at Ohio State from 2005-2011, holding the position of co-defensive coordinator/secondary coach in 2011 after being the secondary coach from 2005-10. He helped the Buckeyes win six Big Ten Championships while coaching in six BCS Games, including two BCS National Championship Games (2007, 2008).

• Michigan State director of personnel/player development and relations Dino Folino began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under legendary Coach Woody Hayes at Ohio State, where the Buckeyes won two straight Big Ten championships in 1974-75 and made back-to-back Rose Bowl appearances (1975-76).

POST-GAME NOTES: INDIANA
• With the 40-31 win over Indiana, Michigan State improved to 4-1 on the season and 2-0 in Big Ten play . . . Mark Dantonio is 10-1 against the Hoosiers . . . MSU kept the Old Brass Spittoon for the third year in a row year and is 48-16-2 all-time against Indiana . . . MSU is 48-13-1 against Indiana since 1950, the first year the two schools played for the Old Brass Spittoon . . . the Spartans are 26-6-1 against the Hoosiers in East Lansing, winning the last eight in Spartan Stadium.

• Mark Dantonio, already the winningest coach in Michigan State history, tied Ohio State’s John Cooper for 12th place on the all-time Big Ten wins list with 111 victories.

OFFENSE
• Brian Lewerke finished with 378 total yards of offense (300 passing, 78 rushing), the ninth-highest single-game total in school history and fourth highest of his career (475 vs. Northwestern in 2017; 425 vs. Penn State in 2017; 396 vs. Notre Dame in 2017) . . . he completed 18-of-36 passes for 300 yards for his seventh career 300-yard passing game . . . Lewerke’s team-high 78 rushing yards were the third-highest total of his career (career-high 81 vs. Western Michigan in 2017; 79 vs. Maryland in 2016) . . . Lewerke is just one of two Spartan quarterbacks in school history to pass for more than 6,000 yards (6,539) and rush for more than 1,000 yards (1,039), joining Drew Stanton (6,524 passing yards, 1,502 rushing yards).

• Darrell Stewart posted his third 100-yard receiving game of the season with five catches for 117 yards . . . his career-long 44-yard reception late in the fourth quarter set up MSU’s game-winning field goal later in the drive . . . he recorded two touchdown receptions for the first time in career (5 yards and 26 yards, both in second quarter) . . . his 556 receiving yards this season are already a career high (previous: 501 in 2017) . . . he also has 35 catches, including three for TDs . . . he has now caught a pass in 29 straight games, including 11 consecutive with at least three receptions . . . Stewart finished with 159 all-purpose yards (42 kick return).

• Michigan State finished with 442 yards of total offense (300 passing, 142 rushing).

• Elijah Collins rushed for his third TD of the season on a 4-yard run in the first quarter . . . he had a team-high 17 carries for 56 yards.

• Matt Seybert recorded his third touchdown in the past two games with a 10-yard reception with 12:12 left in the fourth quarter that gave MSU a 28-24 lead . . . Seybert finished with three catches for 43 yards.

DEFENSE
• Michigan State’s streak of not allowing 30 points was snapped at 16 games, as Indiana scored 31 against the Spartans . . . the last team to score 30 points on the Spartans was Utah State in the 2018 season opener (31 points).

• Michael Dowell recovered a fumble in the end zone on the last play of the game on a failed Indiana lateral attempt . . . it marked MSU’s second defensive TD of the season and 32nd of the Dantonio era.

• Kenny Willekes tallied a season-high 12 tackles, the second-highest total of his career (career-high 13 vs. Ohio State in 2018).

• Antjuan Simmons tied a career high with 2.5 tackles for loss (10 yards) and nine stops overall.

• Raequan Williams had a season-high five tackles . . . for the third consecutive game, he recorded a sack . . . he had 1.5 TFLs overall.

• Although MSU allowed a season-high 356 yards of offense, the Hoosiers were held to 70 yards on the ground . . . the Spartans have held four of their five opponents under 100-yards rushing in 2019.

SPECIAL TEAMS
• Jake Hartbarger averaged a career-best 54.2 yards per punt (four punts for 217 yards) . . . he boomed a 60-yarder in the second quarter and placed two inside the 20 . . . he has a Big Ten-best 10 punts of 50-plus yards this season.

• Matt Coghlin kicked the game-winning field goal, a 21-yarder, with five seconds remaining . . . although Coghlin missed his first field goal (43 yards) of the day, he connected on a 44-yarder with 3:33 left that extended MSU’s lead to 31-24.

SPARTAN ROSTER FULL OF EXPERIENCE –
• On defense, the Spartans return 18 letterwinners and eight starters in 2019 from a unit that finished ranked No. 1 in the FBS in rushing defense (77.9 ypg), No. 8 in scoring defense (17.2 ppg) and No. 10 in total defense (303.2 ypg). Out of a possible 143 starting positions last season over the course of 13 games, the Spartans returned 105 of those starts (73 percent). Five of those eight returning starters started in all 13 games last season (LB Joe Bachie, S David Dowell, DT Mike Panasiuk, NT Raequan Williams, DE Kenny Willekes), while linebacker Tyriq Thompson started 12 games and defensive end Jacub Panasiuk started 11 games.

• The Spartan defense features seven seniors and a combined 236 career starts among the projected starters on the depth chart (Mike Panasiuk and Williams, 34 starts each; Bachie, 31 starts; Willekes, 30 starts; Dowell, 28 starts; Scott, 22 starts; Thompson, 17 starts; Jacub Panasiuk, 16 starts; Butler, 14 starts; Simmons and Henderson, five starts each). Five players (Mike Panasiuk, Williams, Bachie, David Dowell, Willekes) have started 23 consecutive games together, and seven players (those previous five plus Thompson and Jacub Panasiuk) have started 15 straight games together.

STOPPING THE RUN –
• After leading the FBS in rushing defense last season, the Spartans are ranked No. 4 through the first five games in 2019, allowing a total of 279 yards rushing (55.8 ypg).

• Michigan State posted a dominant defensive performance in the victory over Tulsa on Aug. 30. The Spartans held the Golden Hurricane to -73 yards rushing, a school-record low for a Spartan opponent (previous: -63 yards by Pittsburgh in 1950). That mark also tied a Big Ten single-game record (Iowa held Purdue to -73 yards rushing in 1989) and it’s the fewest rushing yards by any FBS team since 2000, when Mississippi State held Florida to -78 yards rushing. MSU also limited Tulsa to 80 yards of total offense, the lowest output by a Spartan opponent since 2011 (Florida Atlantic, 48).

• MSU has held four of its five opponents in 2019 below 100 yards rushing (-73 by Tulsa; 67 by Western Michigan; 76 by Arizona State; 70 by Indiana). In 163 games under Dantonio, Michigan State has held its opponent under 100 yards rushing 84 times (.515). MSU is 71-13 (.845) in those games, including a 61-8 (.884) record since 2010.

• Michigan State ranked first in the FBS in rushing defense in 2018, allowing just 77.9 yards per game, the fifth-lowest in school history and the lowest since 1999 (76.2 ypg). MSU’s 77.9 ypg average was the lowest by a non-Alabama team since 2009 (Texas, 72.4 ypg). The Spartans held their opponents to under 100 yards rushing eight times. MSU also ranked first in the Big Ten in conference games in rushing defense (93.8 ypg). MSU only gave up 30 rushes of 10-plus yards in 2018, tied for second fewest in the FBS.

• Stopping the run has been the main theme for MSU on defense in the Dantonio era, and it led to ranking No. 1 in the NCAA FBS in rushing defense in 2014 (88.5 ypg) and 2018 (77.9 ypg). In addition, MSU has led the Big Ten in rushing defense six times (2011-14, 2017-18) under Dantonio. Since the Big Ten began awarding stat champions in all games in 1985, Michigan State (2011-14) became only the second team in conference history to lead the league in rushing defense four years in a row (Michigan, 1990-93). The Spartans have been ranked in the Top 25 in rushing defense eight times in the last 10 seasons, including a run of five straight years in the top 11 (2011-15). MSU has led the Big Ten in rushing defense the past two seasons and ranked No. 1 in the FBS in 2018 (77.9 ypg) and No. 2 in 2017 (95.3 ypg).

MSU KEEPING OPPONENTS OFF THE SCOREBOARD –
• Michigan State’s streak of not allowing 30 points was snapped at 16 games last Saturday, as Indiana scored 31 against the Spartans. Previously, the last team to score 30 points on the Spartans was Utah State in the 2018 season opener (31 points). MSU is currently 14th in the FBS in scoring defense (15.0 ppg).

• For the third time under Dantonio, Michigan State led the Big Ten in scoring defense in 2018, allowing just 17.2 points per game, which tied for eighth fewest in the FBS. The Spartans also ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten in scoring defense in 2012 (16.3 ppg) and 2013 (13.2 ppg). MSU also ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten in conference games in scoring defense (16.6 ppg) in 2018.

• MSU has allowed 20 or fewer points under Dantonio 82 times (51 percent); MSU’s record in those games is 72-10 (.878).

• MSU has allowed 17 or fewer points under Dantonio 77 times (48 percent); MSU’s record in those games is 68-9 (.883).

• MSU has only given up 30 or more points under Dantonio 38 times (23 percent; record: 11-27).

PUTTING PRESSURE ON THE QB –
• Michigan State ranks fifth in the Big Ten and tied for 18th in the FBS with 3.20 sacks per game (16 total). Kenny Willekes leads the way for MSU with four, followed 3.5 from Raequan Williams and two each from Jacub Panasiuk and Shakur BrownJoe Bachie (1.5), Antjuan Simmons (1.5), Chase Kline (1.0) and Tyriq Thompson (0.5) have also contributed sacks for the Spartans.

• MSU also ranks tied for fourth in the Big Ten and ninth in the FBS with 41 tackles for loss (8.2 pg).

SPARTANS FORCE 10 TURNOVERS IN FIRST FIVE GAMES –
• Although Michigan State ranked in the FBS Top 10 in several defensive categories in 2018, this season the Spartans are emphasizing turnovers after finishing 28th in the FBS with 23 turnovers caused last season. After five games, MSU ranks tied for 13th in the FBS with 10 turnovers caused (four fumbles, six interceptions). The six interceptions are tied for eighth most in the FBS.

• In the first game against Tulsa, the Spartans forced three turnovers, including two fumble recoveries by Kenny Willekes, one which resulted in a touchdown, and an interception by Antjuan Simmons. In addition, the Spartans caused six Tulsa fumbles overall. MSU forced three more turnovers against Western Michigan, with two interceptions (Xavier HendersonTyriq Thompson) and a fumble recovery (Davion Williams). MSU recorded three picks at Northwestern (Josiah ScottDrew BeesleyJoe Bachie).

LINEBACKER JOE BACHIE LEADS SPARTAN DEFENSE IN THE MIDDLE –
• Joe Bachie, who has started 31 consecutive games at middle linebacker, was named a first-team preseason All-American by The Associated Press and is featured on watch lists for the Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year), Butkus Award (nation’s best linebacker), Nagurski Trophy (nation’s most outstanding college defensive player) and Lott IMPACT Trophy. Bachie led the Spartans in tackles for the second year in a row in 2018 with 102 and currently owns the team lead with 46 through five games, which ranks sixth in the Big Ten at 9.2 per game. He became the third Spartan middle linebacker under Mark Dantonio, joining Greg Jones and Max Bullough, to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors (coaches, ESPN.com, Phil Steele).

• Bachie leads the Spartans and ranks first in the Big Ten in total tackles (46) and sixth in tackles per game (9.2 avg.). He also is tied for the team lead with four pass break-ups in addition to 4.5 tackles for loss (15 yards) and 1.5 sacks (10 yards).
• Bachie was voted a team captain for the second year in a row in 2019 and is one of just six Spartans in the Dantonio era to serve as a captain twice (Greg Jones, 2009-10; Kirk Cousins, 2009-11; Max Bullough, 2012-13; Shilique Calhoun, 2014-15).

• For the fourth time in his career, Bachie was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week following his performance at Northwestern on Sept. 21. He recorded a career-high 14 tackles (13 solo, one assist) to lead the Spartan defense, marking his 11th career game with double-figure tackles. Bachie had a 9-yard sack in the first quarter to set the tone for the Spartans, and finished with two tackles for loss (10 yards) overall. The native of Brook Park, Ohio, also picked off his fifth career pass and returned it 19 yards in the fourth quarter. In addition, Bachie had two pass break-ups and one quarterback hurry. Bachie compiled a Dantonio-era record 50 production points in the game (unofficial team stat).

• Bachie was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week last season against Maryland on Nov. 3, 2018. Bachie forced a career-high three fumbles, recovering one, and also had seven tackles, two tackles for loss (5 yards) and tied a career-high with two pass break-ups.

• Bachie, who started all 13 games at middle linebacker as a sophomore for the Spartans in 2017 and led the team in tackles (100; 7.7 avg.), was named the recipient of the 2017 Governor’s Award, which is given annually to the program’s most valuable player as voted on by the team. He was the first Spartan sophomore to win the Governor’s Award since quarterback Drew Stanton in 2004.

• A third-team All-Big Ten choice by the coaches and media in 2017, Bachie was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week twice in 2017. In the win at No. 7 Michigan, Bachie became just the second Big Ten linebacker and fifth in the FBS in the last five years to record double-digit tackles (10) and at least one interception, one forced fumble, one sack and one pass break-up in the same game. He also had 13 tackles in the victory against Indiana to earn Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors.

• In 37 career games, including 31 consecutive starts, Bachie has 260 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, five interceptions, 11 pass break-ups, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He has recorded double-figures in tackles 11 times in his career.

KENNY WILLEKES LEADS ALL ACTIVE FBS PLAYERS IN TACKLES FOR LOSS –
• Preseason All-American and 2018 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year Kenny Willekes, who led the Big Ten in tackles for loss last season with 20.5, is back at it again in 2019 for the Spartans. Willekes is tied for fifth in the conference and tied for 20th in the FBS with 6.5 tackles for loss, and third in the league with four sacks. His 41.5 tackles for loss ranks first among active FBS players and his 1.30 tackles for loss per game average ranks second. He is also second on the team with 34 tackles, most among Spartan defensive linemen. Last year against Ohio State, Willekes tied a career-high with 3.5 tackles for loss.

• Willekes was named the National Defensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and also the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for his impressive performance in the season opener vs. Tulsa. Willekes scored his first career touchdown after teaming up on a sack with Raequan Williams and pouncing on the fumble in the end zone to give MSU a 22-0 lead with 4:49 left in the second quarter. Earlier in the second quarter, he recovered a fumble after a bad Tulsa snap to set up an MSU field goal. He also had a 1-yard tackle for loss in the second quarter and a 2-yard sack in the fourth quarter. Overall, Willekes led the Spartans with seven tackles, including 2.5 TFLs (6 yards) and 1.5 sacks (5 yards).

• After leading the Big Ten with 20.5 tackles for loss, Willekes was named the 2018 Smith-Brown Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year and a first-team All-American by The Athletic. Willekes became the second Spartan to win the award (Shilique Calhoun in 2013), which is named after MSU’s Bubba Smith and Penn State’s Courtney Brown and given to the Big Ten’s most outstanding defensive lineman, and was the first Spartan defensive end to earn first-team All-America honors since Robaire Smith in 1998. Willekes was also named to the All-Big Ten First Team by the coaches, media, Associated Press, Athlon Sports, ESPN.com, Phil Steele and Pro Football Focus, and earned second-team All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Phil Steele, Sporting News and Walter Camp Football Foundation.

• Willekes, who entered the program as a walk-on linebacker for the 2015 season, has emerged as one of the top pass rushers in the nation. Unfortunately, he suffered a broken fibula in the Redbox Bowl against Oregon, but he fully recovered in time for the 2019 season. He was named a first-team preseason All-American by numerous media outlets (Athlon Sports, CBS Sports, Lindy’s, Phil Steele, Sporting News and Street & Smith’s) and is featured on watch lists for the Walter Camp Award (college player of the year), Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year), Nagurski Trophy (nation’s most outstanding college defensive player) and Hendricks Award (nation’s best defensive end).

• A 6-4, 260-pound native of Rockford, Michigan, Willekes collected a league-best 20.5 tackles for loss in 2018, good for second most in a Spartan single season and eighth most in the FBS in 2018. He also led the Spartans with 8.5 sacks, which ranked tied for fifth in the Big Ten. He registered a career-high 78 tackles to rank first among all defensive lineman in the nation, including a career-high 13 against Ohio State on Nov. 3.

• Willekes was credited with a tackle for loss in 10 of MSU’s 13 games in 2018, including a career-high 3.5 against Ohio State and Nebraska in back-to-back games. He opened the season with six tackles, two sacks (19 yards) and a forced fumble in the win over Utah State, and also posted multiple TFLs against Indiana (2.0), Michigan (2.0) and Maryland (2.5).

• According to Pro Football Focus, Willekes led all edge rushers in the FBS in 2018 with 23 quarterback hits and ranked sixth with 39 QB hurries. Willekes was also the highest-ranked Big Ten edge rusher with a 90.3 grade.

• At the Spartan Football Awards banquet on Nov. 25, 2018, Willekes was named the recipient of the Governor’s Award (MVP), becoming the first Spartan defensive end to win the honor since its inception in 1931.

• A chemistry major, Willekes earned a scholarship in the spring of 2017 and hasn’t looked back since. The native of Rockford, Michigan, is MSU’s active leader in sacks (tied for seventh in school history with 19.5) and tackles for loss (sixth in school history with 41.5). His 41.5 tackles for loss ranks first among active FBS players and his 1.30 tackles for loss per game average ranks second.

• After playing in just one game as a redshirt freshman in 2016, Willekes earned third-team All-Big Ten honors in 2017 with a team-leading 14.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks.

• Willekes has recorded two sacks in a game six times in his career (2017: Michigan, Minnesota, Maryland; 2018: Utah State, Maryland; 2019: Western Michigan).

MIKE PANASIUK & RAEQUAN WILLIAMS CONSISTENT IN THE MIDDLE OF SPARTAN D-LINE –
• Defensive tackles Mike Panasiuk and Raequan Williams have started alongside each other on the interior of the defensive line for 34 consecutive games, dating back to the Ohio State game on Nov. 19, 2016. The duo is a big reason why MSU ranked No. 1 in the FBS in rushing defense in 2018 and ranked No. 2 in 2017.

• Williams, a first-team All-Big Ten selection by The Associated Press, recorded career bests in tackles (53), tackles for loss (10.5) and pass break-ups (5) in 2018. The Chicago native ranks second among active Spartans with 26.5 career tackles for loss, including 10.0 career sacks, in 42 career games. Williams currently ranks second on the Spartans in sacks (3.5) and tied for third in tackles for loss (5.0).

• Panasiuk, a stalwart on the Spartan defensive line with 34 straight starts at defensive tackle, was named honorable mention All-Big Ten for the second year in a row in 2018. Panasiuk’s numbers are hard to measure in terms of impact, but the Roselle, Illinois, native is a big reason why MSU ranked No. 1 in the FBS in rushing defense in 2018, allowing just 77.9 yards per game. Panasiuk had a career-high 6.0 tackles for loss and two pass break-ups, and led the Spartan defensive tackles unit in production points. He recorded an interception and blocked a field goal in the fourth quarter in the victory over Purdue.

• In 43 career games, Panasiuk has 73 tackles, including 12.0 for losses with two sacks. This season, Panasiuk has three tackles for loss and nine stops overall. He tied a career high with two tackles for loss in the season opener against Tulsa.

SIMMONS MAKING THE MOST OUT OF HIS STARTING OPPORTUNITY –
• Junior Star (weakside) linebacker Antjuan Simmons has burst onto the scene in his first year as a starter for the Spartans, leading the team in tackles for loss (7.5 for 27 yards) and ranking third in tackles (33). He also has 1.5 sacks (6 yards), two pass break-ups and one interception. He ranks second on the team in production points (unofficial team stat) with 110.

• Simmons played behind former three-year starting Star linebacker Andrew Dowell in 2017 and 2018. Simmons has 99 career tackles, including 9.5 for losses, in 31 games of action.

BRIAN LEWERKE IN HIS THIRD SEASON AS STARTING QB –
• Quarterback Brian Lewerke is in his third season as the starting quarterback for the Spartans. He is just the second Spartan quarterback under Mark Dantonio to be named a captain twice (Kirk Cousins, three times, 2009-11). After a record-setting sophomore season in 2017, Lewerke’s junior year was hampered by a shoulder injury he suffered in the win at No. 8 Penn State on Oct. 13, but he is back and healthy for his senior season.

• Lewerke leads the Big Ten in total passing yards (1,325), completions (104) and attempts (174), and also ranks tied for second in touchdown passes (10), third in total offense (294.4 ypg) and fourth in passing (265.0 ypg). The Phoenix, Arizona, native has completed 104-of-174 passes (.598) for 1,325 yards, 10 touchdowns and one interception.

• In the win over Indiana, Lewerke became just the second Spartan quarterback to eclipse 6,000 yards passing (6,539) and 1,000 yards rushing (1,039) in his career, joining Drew Stanton (6,524 passing yards and 1,512 rushing yards from 2003-06). Lewerke also ranks among the school leaders in pass attempts (fourth with 987), passing yards (fourth with 6,539 yards), pass completions (fourth with 565), passing yards per game (fifth with 198.2 ypg) and passing TDs (eighth with 40).

• Lewerke ranks third in MSU history among quarterbacks with 1,039 rushing yards.

• Lewerke finished with 378 total yards of offense against Indiana (300 passing, 78 rushing), the ninth-highest single-game total in school history and fourth highest of his career (475 vs. Northwestern in 2017; 425 vs. Penn State in 2017; 396 vs. Notre Dame in 2017).

• Lewerke has thrown for more than 300 yards passing seven times in his career and more than 200 yards passing 16 times (fifth in MSU history).

• In his first full year as the starter in 2017, Brian Lewerke became the first quarterback in school history to throw for more than 2,500 yards and rush for more than 500 yards in the same season. Lewerke finished 2017 with the second-most yards of total offense in an MSU season with 3,352 (Drew Stanton with 3,415 in 2005). He also finished the 2017 campaign ranked among MSU’s single-season leaders in passing completions (third with 246), passing attempts (fourth with 417), passing yards (seventh with 2,793) and touchdown passes (tied for eighth with 20). He rushed for 559 yards on 124 carries with five TDs. In 10 games in 2019, Lewerke rushed 90 times, gaining 351 yards and losing 167 for a net total of 184.

• In 2017, Lewerke set MSU sophomore records for total offense (3,352 yards), passing yards (2,793), passing attempts (417) and passing completions (246). He also finished the season with 559 yards rushing on 124 carries, the fourth most by a Spartan quarterback in a single season and the most since Drew Stanton had 687 in 2004.

• Lewerke was named the 2017 Holiday Bowl Offensive MVP after finishing with 286 yards of total offense against Washington State. He was 13-of-21 passing for 213 yards and three touchdowns, and set a Spartan bowl record for most rushing yards by a quarterback (14 carries for 73 yards). Lewerke was 9-of-10 passing for 162 yards and two TDs in the second quarter alone. Lewerke’s three touchdown passes tied a Spartan bowl record (accomplished three previous times).

• A week after setting numerous school records at Northwestern on Oct. 28, 2017, Lewerke had another impressive game against Penn State on Nov. 4, becoming the first Spartan quarterback to throw for 400 yards in back-to-back games. He threw for a school-record 445 yards at Northwestern, and for 400 against Penn State; the 400 yards tied for the second-most yards by a Spartan QB in a single game (Bill Burke with 400 in win over Michigan in 1999). Lewerke became one of just three Big Ten quarterbacks in the last 20 years to throw for 400 yards in two consecutive games (Drew Brees, Purdue, 1998; C.J. Bacher, Northwestern, 2007).

• Lewerke set school single-game records for passing yards (445), total offense (475) and completions (39) in the triple-overtime loss at Northwestern on Oct. 28, 2017. His 57 passing attempts also marked a career high and tied for the second most in school history (record: 61 by Brian Hoyer vs. Penn State in 2006); MSU’s previous single-game records were 400 passing yards (Bill Burke vs. Michigan, 1999), 416 yards of total offense (Connor Cook vs. Indiana, 2015) and 35 completions (Jeff Smoker vs. Ohio State, 2003). Lewerke also threw a career-high four touchdowns against the Wildcats, tied for the second most in school history (accomplished 13 previous times). Lewerke’s 445 yards passing and 475 total yards against Northwestern were both the most by a Big Ten quarterback in a single game in 2017.

• Lewerke played in four games and started twice (Northwestern, Maryland) as a redshirt freshman in 2016 before suffering a season-ending injury (broken tibia) in the fourth quarter of the Michigan game on Oct. 29. He bounced back quickly from the injury and fully participated in all of spring practice in 2017. In 2016, Lewerke became the first Spartan freshman quarterback to start a game (Northwestern) since 2004 (Stephen Reaves vs. Central Michigan).

DARRELL STEWART: MR. CONSISTENCY –
• Fifth-year senior wide receiver Darrell Stewart leads the Big Ten in receptions (35) and receiving yards (556) and is second in the conference in receiving yards per game (111.3 ypg) and third in receptions per game (7.0 pg). He also ranks among the FBS leaders in total receptions (tied for sixth with 35), total receiving yards (fourth with 556), receiving yards per game (seventh with 111.2 ypg) and receptions per game (tied for 10th with 7.0 pg). Stewart’s 556 receiving yards are already a career high.

• Stewart has three 100-yard receiving games and put together back-to-back 100-yard receiving games (career-high 185 yards vs. Western Michigan on Sept. 7 and 121 vs. Arizona State on Sept. 14) for the first time at MSU since Aaron Burbridge had four straight 100-yard games in 2015 (156 vs. Rutgers on Oct. 10; 132 vs. Michigan on Oct. 17; 128 yards vs. Indiana on Oct. 24; 164 at Nebraska on Nov. 7). Stewart opened Big Ten play with five catches for 77 yards at Northwestern and had five grabs for 117 yards and a career-high two touchdowns vs. Indiana. Stewart’s impressive performance to start the season has made him a late add to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List.

• Stewart leads MSU with 13 catches of 20-plus yards; although he led MSU in receptions in 2018 with 48, he had just two catches of 20-plus yards last season.

• Stewart had a career-high 185 yards receiving on 10 catches against Western Michigan on Sept. 7; the 185 receiving yards are tied for the 12th-most by a Spartan in a single game (Plaxico Burress, 13 catches for 185 yards vs. Florida on Jan. 1, 2000). In addition, Stewart’s 10 catches were the second most in his career (11 at Northwestern in 2017); he had eight catches for 152 yards and one TD in the first half alone. Stewart had four catches of 20-plus yards (42 yards for TD; 33 yards, 22 yards, 21 yards) and also threw a 17-yard pass to Brian Lewerke. Stewart also had two kick returns for 41 yards to compile a career-high 226 all-purpose yards.

• Stewart led Michigan State in 2018 with 48 receptions and ranked third on the team with 413 receiving yards. Stewart missed two games (Central Michigan, Penn State) with an ankle injury.

• The Houston, Texas, native is seventh in the school record book with 136 career receptions and leads all active Spartans with 1,499 receiving yards (24th in MSU history) and six TDs in 39 career games, including 17 starting assignments.

• Stewart has MSU’s longest active streak with at least one reception in 29 consecutive games, including 11 straight games with at least three receptions.

ELIJAH COLLINS FLASHES IN FIRST CAREER START –
• In his first career start at tailback on Sept. 7 against Western Michigan, redshirt freshman Elijah Collins recorded 192 rushing yards on 17 carries, the second most by a Spartan freshman in a single game (Javon Ringer had 194 yards at Illinois in 2005). In addition, Collins’ 192 rushing yards were the most by a freshman starting running back in school history. Collins had three rushes of 20-plus yards (career-long 58-yarder in third quarter; 29-yarder on second play from scrimmage; 24-yarder in second quarter).

• Collins is averaging a team-best 82.6 yards rushing per game (78 carries for 413 yards; 5.3 avg.), which ranks fourth in the Big Ten. His 82.6 ypg also ranks first in the conference and fourth in the country for freshman running backs. A native of Detroit, Collins has rushed for a touchdown in three consecutive games (Arizona State, Northwestern, Indiana).

• Collins redshirted in 2018 and played a total of six offensive snaps in three games.

CODY WHITE RANKS SECOND ON TEAM IN RECEIVING –
• Junior Cody White ranks second on the team with 20 catches for 257 yards and two touchdowns in the first five games.

• White was having a sensational start to his second season in the Green and White with 20 catches for 300 yards in the first four games of the 2018 season, but unfortunately White suffered a broken left hand in the second quarter of the Central Michigan game on Sept. 29 while diving for a catch in the end zone. White was forced to sit out four games but returned to action on Nov. 3 at Maryland; although he missed four games, he still led the Spartans in receiving yards (555; 61.7 ypg) and ranked second in receptions (42).

• White has three career 100-yard receiving games (nine catches for 113 yards and one TD at Arizona State in 2018; eight for 115 vs. Ohio State in 2018; nine for 165 at Northwestern in 2017).

• White, a BTN All-Freshman Team selection in 2017, closed his first year in the Green and White with the most receiving yards by a true freshman in school history with 490. His 35 catches were second most by a true freshman (Sedrick Irvin with 40 in 1996) and most by a true freshman wide receiver (B.J. Cunningham had 41 catches for 528 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2008). White recorded 30 of his 35 catches in the second half of the season.

• In his first career start, White was named the Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week after setting a Spartan freshman single-game record with 165 receiving yards at Northwestern on Oct. 28, 2017. That total was also the 20th-most overall by an MSU player in a single game and the third most by a Spartan against Northwestern.

• In 27 career games, including 19 starts, White has 97 catches for 1,302 yards and eight touchdowns.

PLACEKICKER MATT COGHLIN NAMED FIRST-TEAM ALL-BIG TEN IN 2018 –
• A 2018 Lou Groza Award semifinalist and first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media, junior Matt Coghlin is back for the Spartans in 2019 and is featured on the Lou Groza Award Watch List. Coghlin has the fourth-highest field-goal percentage of any kicker in MSU history through his two-plus seasons (.768, 43-of-56).

• Coghlin also ranks among MSU’s all-time leaders in PAT percentage (first at 100 percent; 80-of-80), field goals made (10th with 43), PATs (10th with 80) and points scored (13th with 215).

• Through five games, Coghlin ranks among the Big Ten leaders in field goals (tied for first with 10), kick scoring (third at 9.4 ppg) and scoring (fourth with 9.4 ppg).

• In the 2019 season opener against Tulsa, Coghlin tied a career high with four field goals (38 yards, 47 yards, 44 yards, 40 yards) and was named one of the Lou Groza Three Stars of the Week; he also kicked four field goals against Rutgers in 2017. He made three more against Western Michigan (38, 23, 20) and connected on seven straight to open the season.

• Coghlin kicked the game-winning field goal vs. Indiana on Sept. 28, a 21-yarder, with five seconds remaining. Although he missed his first field goal (43 yards) of the game, Coghlin connected on a 44-yarder with 3:33 left that extended MSU’s lead to 31-24.

• In 2018, Coghlin ranked among the Big Ten leaders in field goals made (tied for second with 18), field-goal percentage (tied for fourth at .818) and scoring (ninth at 6.5 ppg). He made 18 of his 22 field-goal attempts in 2018 (5-of-5 from 20-29 yards; 9-of-10 from 30-39 yards; 4-of-5 from 40-49 yards; 0-2 from 50-plus yards).

• Coghlin was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week against Indiana in 2018 after he scored on a 6-yard TD run on a fake field goal in the third quarter and made all five of his point-after attempts. He became the first Spartan to score an offensive touchdown and then kick the PAT on his own TD since Sam Williams in 1958 against Wisconsin.

• Coghlin set a new school record with 18 consecutive field goals, stretching from the 2017-18 season, before a kick was blocked in the Purdue game on Oct. 27, 2018. That streak was also tied for the fourth longest in Big Ten history.

• Coghlin became the sixth Spartan placekicker to earn first-team All-Big Ten honors, and the third under Dantonio (Brett Swenson in 2009; Dan Conroy in 2012). The Cincinnati, Ohio, native currently ranks first in MSU history in field-goal percentage (33-of-41, .805).

• Coghlin also was named the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after kicking the game-winning 34-yard field goal as time expired against No. 7 Penn State in 2017.

JAKE HARTBARGER NAMED TO RAY GUY AWARD WATCH LIST –
• Michigan State punter Jake Hartbarger was granted a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA for the 2019 season. Hartbarger injured his right leg in the second game of the 2018 season at Arizona State on Sept. 8 and was forced to miss the remainder of the year. A three-year starter, Hartbarger entered the 2018 season as a candidate for the Ray Guy Award. Hartbarger’s injury led to MSU starting four punters in 2018, the most of any team in the FBS, and a total of five Spartans punted.
• Hartbarger leads the Big Ten and is ranked sixth in the FBS with his 47.9-yard average through five games (20 punts for 958 yards). He also leads the league lead for punts of 50-plus yards with 10 and has placed eight inside the 20. Hartbarger’s impressive start has made him a late add to the Ray Guy Award Watch List.

• Hartbarger got off to a great start in his return, averaging 47.4 yards per punt (237 yards on five punts) including two inside the 20, against Tulsa in the 2019 season opener. He only punted once against WMU.

• A native of Waterville, Ohio, Hartbarger averaged 42.0 yards per punt and placed a career-high 28 punts inside the 20 to earn honorable mention All-Big Ten accolades as a junior in 2017. He is ranked sixth in MSU history in punting average (42.7), eighth in punting yards (8,791) and ninth in punts (206).

• Hartbarger, who has earned Academic All-Big Ten honors four times, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality business in December 2018. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in marketing research.

MARK DANTONIO ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL COACHES IN BIG TEN HISTORY –
• Now in his 13th season as head coach of the Spartans, Mark Dantonio owns a 111-52 (.681) record. Dantonio has won the most Big Ten Championships (three) and bowl games (five) of any Spartan head coach and also ranks first with 11 bowl appearances. He is the only active Big Ten coach to win multiple Big Ten Championships (2010, 2013, 2015), claim a victory in the Rose Bowl (2014), and coach in the College Football Playoff (2015).

• The winningest coach in school history with 111 victories, Dantonio also ranks first in program history in conference winning percentage (.663, 67-34 record, minimum 10 games); tied for first in AP Top 25 finishes (seven); second in Big Ten wins (67), home wins (66) and AP Top 25 wins (21); and fifth in overall winning percentage (.681). Dantonio has 10 winning seasons in his 12 years in East Lansing, including a school-record 11 bowl bids (Daugherty owns school record with 11 winning seasons from 1954-72).

• With the triumph over Northwestern on Sept. 21, Dantonio became Michigan State’s all-time winningest coach, passing Hall of Famer Duffy Daugherty, who collected a 109-69-5 record in East Lansing from 1954-72 (19 seasons). Daugherty won four National Championships (1955, 1957, 1965, 1966), two Big Ten Championships (1965, 1966) and the 1956 Rose Bowl. A two-time National Coach of the Year (1955, 1965), Daugherty coached 29 different players to first-team All-America honors and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984.

• Dantonio’s incredible run at Michigan State ranks among the best in Big Ten history. Dantonio is one of just six Big Ten coaches to have at least six 10-win seasons on their resume (Bo Schembechler, Michigan; Jim Tressel, Ohio State; Joe Paterno, Penn State; Lloyd Carr, Michigan; Urban Meyer, Ohio State) and one of four to have at least five 11-win seasons (Tressel, Paterno, Meyer).

• Dantonio is one of just 14 coaches in Big Ten history to record 100 victories. He is currently tied for 12th in Big Ten history with 111 wins.

• Overall, Dantonio owns a 129-69 (.652) record in his 15-plus seasons as a head coach (18-17 in three seasons at Cincinnati; 111-52 in 12-plus seasons at MSU). Dantonio’s 129 career wins rank 10th among active FBS coaches and second most in the Big Ten (Kirk Ferentz; 168).

• Dantonio won his 71st game at MSU on Oct. 25, 2014, against Michigan to move into second place all-time in victories in school history (record: Duffy Daugherty, 109). Dantonio won his 100th career game as a head coach on Oct. 17, 2015, at Michigan Stadium as the Spartans rallied to defeat the Wolverines, 27-23, on a 38-yard fumble return as time expired. His career record stands at 129-69 (.652) in 15-plus seasons.

• Dantonio’s .663 winning percentage (67-34) in Big Ten games ranks first in MSU history (minimum 10 Big Ten games). He ranks second in school history in conference wins (Duffy Daugherty, 72), which also ranks 11th in Big Ten history.

• Dantonio led the Spartans to the 2015 Big Ten Championship with a 16-13 victory over previously undefeated and fourth-ranked Iowa. It marked Dantonio’s third Big Ten Championship (2010, 2013, 2015), establishing a school record (previous: Daugherty and George Perles with two each).

• A two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (2010, 2013), Dantonio has led Michigan State to Top 25 finishes seven times (2008: No. 24 in both polls; 2010: No. 14 in both polls; 2011: No. 10 USA TODAY/No. 11 AP; 2013: No. 3 in both polls; 2014: No. 5 in both polls; 2015: No. 6 in both polls; 2017: No. 15 AP/No. 16 USA TODAY). His seven AP Top-25 finishes are tied for the most in school history. Duffy Daugherty’s teams posted seven Top-25 finishes during his 19-year tenure from 1954-72.

• Michigan State extended its school record by playing in a bowl game for the ninth consecutive season in 2015 (2007 Champs Sports Bowl, 2009 Capital One Bowl, 2010 Alamo Bowl, 2011 Capital One Bowl, 2012 Outback Bowl, 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, 2014 Rose Bowl, 2015 Cotton Bowl, 2015 College Football Playoff Semifinal at Cotton Bowl).

• Dantonio also ranks first in school history with 11 bowl appearances, including a school-record streak of nine straight bowl games from 2007-15. He is 5-6 in bowl games at Michigan State, including a school-record four-game winning streak (2012 Outback, 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings, 2014 Rose, 2015 Cotton). Dantonio has led his teams to 13 bowl berths in 15 seasons as a head coach (11 at MSU, two at Cincinnati).

• Dantonio is one of just four Spartan head coaches to coach in at least 100 games at MSU and ranks second in Spartan history with 163 games coached at Michigan State (Duffy Daugherty: 183; Dantonio: 163; George Perles: 139; Charlie Bachman: 114).

• Dantonio is the third-longest tenured coach in the Big Ten (Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: 21st season; Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern: 14th season) and eighth-longest in the FBS at the same school.

DECADE OF SUSTAINED EXCELLENCE –
• Michigan State is in the midst of its winningest decade in school history based on total wins, as the Spartans are 89-35 (.718) since the beginning of the 2010 season. The 89 wins this decade are third most in the Big Ten and tied for 12th most in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision. During that span, MSU has won five bowl games (2012 Outback, 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings, 2014 Rose, 2015 Cotton, 2017 Holiday), three Big Ten Championships (2010, 2013, 2015) and three Big Ten Division titles (2011, 2013, 2015). MSU’s .718 winning percentage this decade is third best in school history. MSU was the only school to finish in the top-six of the national polls from 2013-15 (No. 3 in 2013, No. 5 in 2014, No. 6 in 2015) and the 36 wins from 2013-15 marked the winningest three-year stretch in the history of the program.

• In addition, the Spartans have earned 11 bowl bids since 2007, including a school-record four consecutive bowl victories (2012 Outback against No. 18 Georgia, 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings against TCU, 2014 Rose Bowl Game against No. 5 Stanford, 2015 Cotton Bowl Classic against No. 4 Baylor), which also tied a Big Ten record.

• MSU’s highest winning percentage by decade is currently the 1950s (.766, 70-21-1 record), but the 89 wins this current decade are already the most of any previous decade in school history (previous: 70 in 1950s).

• The Spartans have had sustained success in the Big Ten Conference under Dantonio. MSU has won two of the past six Big Ten Championships (2013, 2015) and three overall this decade, also claiming a championship in 2010. Dantonio is second in school history and 11th in Big Ten history with 67 conference wins. The Spartans are 54-23 (.701) in regular-season Big Ten play since 2010.

SCORING TRENDS UNDER DANTONIO –
• Since 2010, Michigan State is 54-5 (.915) when scoring 30-plus points in a game (only losses: 2011 Big Ten Championship Game to Wisconsin; 2014 to eventual National Champion Ohio State; 2015 at Nebraska; 2016 vs. Northwestern; 2017 at Northwestern). Overall, MSU is 66-12 when scoring 30-plus points under Dantonio.

• MSU has allowed 20 or fewer points under Dantonio 82 times (51 percent); MSU’s record in those games is 72-10 (.878).

• MSU has allowed 17 or fewer points under Dantonio 77 times (48 percent); MSU’s record in those games is 68-9 (.883).

• MSU has only given up 30 or more points under Dantonio 38 times (23 percent; record: 11-27).

TURNOVER MARGIN THE KEY INGREDIENT FOR SPARTAN SUCCESS –
• Although Michigan State ranked in the FBS Top 10 in several defensive categories in 2018, this season the Spartans are emphasizing turnovers after finishing 28th in the FBS with 23 turnovers caused last season. After five games, MSU ranks tied for 13th in the FBS with 10 turnovers caused (four fumbles, six interceptions). The six interceptions are tied for eighth most in the FBS.

• Michigan State’s record-setting three-year stretch in which it won 36 games from 2013-15 was fueled by creating turnovers and limiting mistakes. The Spartans ranked in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Top 10 and led the Big Ten in turnover margin for three consecutive seasons from 2013-15 (No. 10 in 2013 at +0.93; No. 2 in 2014 at +1.46; No. 4 in 2015 at +1.00).

• Michigan State has forced at least one turnover in 132 of 163 games under head coach Mark Dantonio (81 percent of the games since 2007).

• Michigan State is 72-16 (.818) when forcing at least two turnovers in a game under head coach Mark Dantonio.

RUNNING GAME KEY FOR SPARTANS UNDER DANTONIO –
• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 91-22 (.805) when outrushing its opponent, including a 75-15 record (.833) since 2010. Conversely, MSU is 19-31 (.380) under Dantonio when being outgained on the ground by its opponent. The Spartans are 41-6 (.872) in games when gaining 200 or more rushing yards under Dantonio.

• Under Dantonio, when Michigan State runs at least 40 times in a game, the Spartans are 74-9 (.892). Here’s the breakdown by year: 2007 (6-2), 2008 (7-0), 2009 (4-0), 2010 (4-0), 2011 (3-0), 2012 (6-1), 2013 (7-0), 2014 (11-0), 2015 (7-0), 2016 (3-5), 2017 (9-0), 2018 (5-1) and 2019 (2-0).

GAME PREVIEW WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF MICHIGAN STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

CBJ announces Season-Opening Roster

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS SET 2019-20 SEASON-OPENING ROSTER

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets made four moves prior to the National Hockey League’s October 1, 5 p.m. ET deadline to submit its 23-man roster for the opening of the 2019-20 season.

 

The Blue Jackets have placed center Brandon Dubinsky (wrist) on Injured Reserve and center Liam Foudy (upper body) on the Injured/Non-Roster list.  Columbus also assigned left wing Marko Dano and defenseman Andrew Peeke to the club’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters.

 

The Blue Jackets’ roster includes:  Forwards (13) – 10 Alexander Wennberg, 13 Cam Atkinson, 14 Gus Nyquist, 15 Jakob Lilja, 18 Pierre-Luc Dubois, 20 Riley Nash, 22 Sonny Milano, 28 Oliver Bjorkstrand, 38 Boone Jenner, 42 Alexandre Texier, 52 Emil Bemstrom, 71 Nick Foligno and 77 Josh Anderson; Defense (8) – 3 Seth Jones, 4 Scott Harrington, 8 Zach Werenski, 27 Ryan Murray, 44 Vladislav Gavrikov, 46 Dean Kukan, 58 David Savard, 65 Markus Nutivaara; and Goaltenders (2) – 70 Joonas Korpisalo and 90 Elvis Merzlikins.

 

Single game tickets for all home games played at Nationwide Arena during the 2019-20 regular season, including the Friday, October 4 home opener against Toronto are on sale now.  Full and partial season tickets for the Blue Jackets’ 2019-20 campaign are also currently available for purchase.  Information on all ticketing options can be obtained by calling (800) NHL‐COLS or by visiting BlueJackets.com.

 

‐ CBJ ‐

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF CBJ COMMUNICATIONS

 

Buckeyes RB J.K. Dobbins has joined elite group of 3,000 career rushing yards

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Status for J.K. Dobbins

Junior running back has joined elite group of Ohio State rushers; Top 5 status looming

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State running back JK Dobbins burst onto the scene on a muggy night in Bloomington at the onset of the 2017 season and he hasn’t stopped running past defenders since. In last Saturday’s win at Nebraska, Dobbins became just the 11th Buckeye to eclipse 3,000 yards rushing. And that total is only going to grow.

 

The 181 yard performance against the Hoosiers back in 2017 jumpstarted a record-setting freshman season for Dobbins. He racked up a freshman record 1,403 yards and his 7.2 yards per carry was the second-highest total in school history. He was a freshman All-American and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors.

J.K. Dobbins

 

Dobbins himself termed his 2018 season as a disappointment but by any normal standards, it was anything but a disappointment. He put together a second consecutive 1,000-yard season, finishing with 1,053 yards and reaching the end zone 10 times. He was again named second team All-Big 10 and became the first Ohio State back ever to have 1,000-yard seasons as a freshman and as a sophomore.

 

Over those first two seasons, Dobbins made up half of a two headed rushing attack with Mike Weber Jr. Those two combined for over 4,000 yards and 32 scores. But with Weber moving on to the NFL and a new quarterback in Justin Fields, Dobbins new his role was going to increase.

 

The work he put in during the off-season was not lost on his teammates as they selected him a captain for the 2019 season. That alone elevated him into a select group. Last Saturday, he joined an even more exclusive group, joining names such as Archie Griffin, Keith Byars, Eddie George and Ezekiel Elliott. With 654 yards already this season, he looks poised to pull alongside Archie Griffin as the only Buckeyes with three 1,000-yard seasons.

 

He enters the game Saturday against Michigan State needing just 273 yards to climb into fifth place on the all-time rushing list at Ohio State. Kickoff is set for 7:44 p.m. on ABC. ESPN Radio will have the national broadcast and the game will also be carried on the Ohio State Sports Network.

 

Now that’s pretty rare air.

 

Ohio State 3,000 Yard Rushers

Rk.  Yards    Name                     Att.     Years

1.     5,589     Archie Griffin         924     1972-75

2.     3,961     Ezekiel Elliott         592     2013-15

3.     3,768     Eddie George          683     1992-95

4.     3,553     Tim Spencer           644     1979-82

5.     3,382     Chris Wells             585     2006-08

6.     3,314     Braxton Miller        599     2011-15

7.     3,263     JT Barrett               656     2014-17

8.     3,200     Keith Byars            619     1982-85

9.     3,198     Carlos Hyde            523     2010-13

10.   3,110     J.K. Dobbins          516     2017-19

11.   3,076     Pepe Pearson          659     1994-97

 

#GoBucks

 

THE PEOPLE. THE TRADITION. THE EXCELLENCE.


PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Jerry Emig, Mike Basford; COURTESY OSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

Ohio State issues a reminder about Game Tickets for Michigan State

ADDITIONAL INFO

Football TicketsTicketmaster |

Important Reminders Regarding Game Tickets

There is typically a rise in fraudulent ticket activity with games where demand for tickets is high

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State Department of Athletics would like to provide some important reminders regarding tickets for the game Saturday vs. Michigan State. There is typically a rise in fraudulent ticket activity with games where the demand for tickets is high.

 

1.     The Department of Athletics urges fans to purchase tickets through authorized ticket sources: Ticketmaster.com, on the Ticketmaster app for iOS or Android, Ohio State Ticket Exchange or in person at the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office.

 

2.     Fans purchasing tickets from unauthorized sources, including StubHub, Vivid Seats, CraigsList, etc., assume the risk that these tickets could be counterfeit or otherwise invalid.  Any fan attempting to enter Ohio Stadium with counterfeit or invalid barcodes will be denied entry.

 

3.     Print at home tickets are no longer offered for Ohio State events.  Therefore, “QR” codes printed on paper are not valid for entry. More information on accessing mobile tickets can be found in Ohio State’s Digital Ticketing Guide.

 

4.     Fans should review Ohio State’s Ticket Protection Tips and also #coverthecode when sharing pictures of their tickets on social media.

 

Single game tickets available

Some tickets still remain for the Michigan State game. There are also single game tickets available for the three remaining home games: Oct. 26 vs. Wisconsin (prices starting at $136), Nov. 9 vs. Maryland (prices starting at $74) and Nov. 23 vs. Penn State (prices starting at $159).  Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, on the Ticketmaster app for iOS or Android, Ohio State Ticket Exchange or in person at the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office.

 

#GoBucks

 

THE PEOPLE. THE TRADITION. THE EXCELLENCE.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Jerry Emig, Mike Basford; COURTESY OSU ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS

Buckeyes dominating in last 100 games at 91-9

Best 100-game stretch in school history is equaled by Alabama as nation’s current Top 100

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State Buckeyes are 91-9 over their last 100 games, a stretch that is not only the best in school history, but also is the best current 100-game streak in college football alongside Alabama, which is also 91-9 over its last 100 games.

 

Think about it. That’s 91 victories in the last 100 games dating back to the first game of the 2012 campaign for the Buckeyes. That’s a lot of wins. An all-time record? No. A mere hour of Googling will generate some other impressive 100-game runs, such as:

 

§  Miami going 92-8 between 1985-93 under Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson;

§  Boise State winning 90 of 100 games between 2006-13 under Chris Petersen;

§  Clemson and its current 89-11 run under Dabo Swinney;

§  USC winning 89 of its 100 games between 2002-09 under Pete Carroll; and

§  Oklahoma fashioning an 89-9-2 record between 1971-79 under Chuck Fairbanks and Barry Switzer.

 

There are surely other instances, but this is about the Buckeye program and its 100-game streak of wins and achievements under coaches Urban Meyer, Ryan Day and staffs. Some notable moments include:

 

§  An undefeated 12-0 campaign in 2012;

§  A school-record 24-game winning streak between 2012-13;

§  A 23-game winning streak covering 2014 and 2015;

§  A national championship in 2014;

§  Big Ten Conference titles in 2014, 2017 and 2018;

§  A 57-4 record in Big Ten Conference games;

§  An NCAA record 30-game conference winning streak from 2012 to 2015; and

§  A never worse than first finish in the Big Ten Leaders Division or East Division.

 

Ohio State’s opponent this week – No. 25/23 and 4-1 (2-0 Big Ten) Michigan State – won’t be impressed by the records and achievements, though. It’s the Spartans, after all, who handed Ohio State two of those nine losses in that time.

 

Some tickets remain for the game. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, on the Ticketmaster app for iOS or Android, Ohio State Ticket Exchange or in person at the Ohio State Athletics Ticket Office.

 

Kickoff is set for 7:44 p.m. on ABC.

 

#GoBucks

THE PEOPLE. THE TRADITION. THE EXCELLENCE.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Jerry Emig, Mike Basford; COURTESY OSU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

 

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