Big 10

No. 12 Spartans Ready to Face No. 18 Notre Dame Under the Lights

September 14, 2016

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Sept. 14, 2016

FIRST-AND-10 —
• No. 12/8 Michigan State (1-0) and No. 18/18 Notre Dame (1-1) will renew their rivalry for the Megaphone Trophy for the first time since 2013 on Saturday, Sept. 17 at Notre Dame Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:43 p.m. on NBC. The Spartans are coming off a bye week following their season-opening win over Furman on Sept. 2 in Spartan Stadium, 28-13. The Fighting Irish rebounded from a double-overtime loss at Texas on Sept. 4 with a 39-10 victory against Nevada last Saturday. MSU maintained its No. 8 ranking in the USA TODAY Amway Coaches Poll and its No. 12 standing in The Associated Press Poll this week.

• Saturday’s game marks the 78th meeting between Michigan State and Notre Dame. The Irish lead the all-time series 48-28-1, including a 29-13 record in games played in Notre Dame. The Spartans have won 10 of the last 17 meetings in the series. Ten of the last 14 games in the series have been decided by seven points or less. MSU head coach Mark Dantonio is 3-4 against Notre Dame, including a 1-3 mark in Notre Dame Stadium.

• Michigan State ranks second among opponents in all-time victories (28) over Notre Dame. Only USC (36) has posted more wins over the Irish than the Spartans.

• This fall marks the 50th anniversary of the famous “Game of the Century” 10-10 tie between No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Michigan State on Nov. 19, 1966, in Spartan Stadium. Thirty-one players from that game went on to play in the NFL, including 10 first-round draft picks.

• The Michigan State-Notre Dame series began 119 years ago in 1897, making it one of the 27 oldest rivalries in college football. It also ranks as one of only three rivalries — joining Army-Navy and Auburn-Georgia Tech — that does not involve either intrastate or current conference rivals.

• Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio, who helped lead the Spartans to the 2015 Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff last season, is in his 10th season leading the program. The Spartans closed last season with a 12-2 record and finished ranked in the AP Top 10 for the third year in a row (No. 3 in 2013, No. 5 in 2014, No. 6 in 2015), a first for the program since 1955-57. Michigan State is the only program in the NCAA FBS to finish in the top six of the last three AP Polls.

• The Spartans return a total of 48 letterwinners and 12 starters in 2016. A total of 28 players returning have starting experience (12 offense, 13 defense, three special teams). On defense, MSU returns 22 letterwinners and six starters from a unit that finished No. 11 in the FBS in rushing defense, No. 25 in scoring defense and No. 26 in total defense.

• Michigan State, which has posted a 37-5 record since 2013, is one of only four schools in the nation to play in a Bowl Championship Series Game (2014 Rose Bowl), a New Year’s Six game (2015 Cotton Bowl) and the College Football Playoff (2015 CFP Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl) in the last three seasons (Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State). MSU’s 37 wins since 2013 are tied for fourth most in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision.

• The Spartans have consistently produced wins against highly ranked teams under Dantonio. Michigan State has won nine of its last 12 games played against ranked opponents, including five out of the last six. In addition, MSU is 7-2 in its last nine games against teams ranked in The Associated Press Top 10, including a 6-2 record since 2013 (beat No. 2 Ohio State and No. 5 Stanford in 2013; lost to No. 3 Oregon and beat No. 4 Baylor in 2014; beat No. 7 Oregon, No. 2 Ohio State and No. 4 Iowa, and lost to No. 2 Alabama in 2015).

• Michigan State is ranked No. 8 in this week’s USA TODAY Amway Coaches Poll and No. 12 in The Associated Press Poll. MSU has been ranked in the AP Poll for a school-record 44 consecutive weeks, dating back to Oct. 27, 2013 (previous record: 34 weeks from Sept. 19, 2010 to Sept. 23, 2012). For 32 of those 44 weeks, MSU has been ranked in the Top 10. Michigan State is 53-13 (.803) as a ranked team in the AP Poll under Dantonio. As a ranked team, Michigan State has only lost to an unranked opponent twice under Dantonio (36-2; at Notre Dame, 2011; at Nebraska, 2015).

COACHES —
Michigan State: Mark Dantonio
MSU Record: 88-33 (10th year)
Overall Record: 106-50 (13th year)
Record vs. Notre Dame: 3-4

Notre Dame: Brian Kelly
UND Record: 56-24 (seventh year)
Overall Record: 227-81-2 (26th year)
Record vs. Michigan State: 3-1

STAT LEADERS —
Michigan State:
Rushing — LJ Scott (20 carries for 105 yards, 5.2 avg, 1 TD)
Passing — Tyler O’Connor (13 of 18 for 190 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT)
Receiving — Monty Madaris (5 catches for 85 yards, 17.0 avg.)
Tackles — Chris Frey (9 tackles, 1 solo, 8 assists)

Notre Dame:
Rushing — Josh Adams (21 carries for 149 yards, 7.1 avg., 0 TDs)
Passing — DeShone Kizer (30 of 42 for 371 yards, 7 TDs, 1 INT)
Receiving — Equanimeous St. Brown (11 catches for 160 yards, 14.5 avg., 2 TDs)
Tackles — Nyles Morgan (17 tackles, 11 solos, 6 assists, 0.5 TFLs)

A QUICK GLANCE AT NO. 18/18 NOTRE DAME (1-1) —
• No. 18/18 Notre Dame is 1-1 on the season after defeating Nevada, 39-10, on Sept. 10 to bounce back from a 50-47 double-overtime loss at Texas on Sept. 4.

• Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is in his seventh year at the helm of the Irish and 26th overall as a head coach. Kelly has a 56-24 (.700) record at Notre Dame and a 227-81-2 (.735) overall record.

• Saturday’s game is the second of a three-game homestand for the Fighting Irish, who played their 250th straight sellout at Notre Dame Stadium in the win over Nevada.

• The Fighting Irish return three offensive and five defensive starters as part of 43 letterwinners returning from last season’s 10-3 team that finishing No. 11 in the AP Poll and No. 12 in the Amway Coaches Poll.

• Notre Dame is averaging 222.5 yards per game rushing offense to rank 38th in the NCAA, while tallying 221.5 ypg passing offense, amassing 444.0 ypg total offense. Additionally, the Irish are 23rd in the nation in team passing efficiency (165.46) as well as 28th in scoring offense (43.0 ppg). UND is tied for 47th in third-down conversion percentage (.452).

• Notre Dame’s special teams are ninth in the NCAA in punt returns (22.5 ypr), while averaging 19.9 ypr on kick returns. The Irish average 37.9 net yards per punt.

• Junior QB DeShone Kizer is fifth in the NCAA in passing efficiency (195.9) on 30-of-42 passing for 371 yards (185.5 ypg) with seven TDs and one interception this season, adding 112 rushing yards (56.0 ypg) with two rushing TDs. Kizer’s seven passing TDs are tied for sixth in the nation, while his .714 passing completion percentage is 15th.

• Sophomore WR Equanimeous St. Brown has 11 catches for 160 yards with two TDs on the season, averaging 5.5 receptions for 80.0 yards per game. Fellow sophomore C.J. Sanders has eight receptions for 101 yards with two TDs through two games, for an average of four catches for 50.5 ypg. Sanders is also fourth in the nation in punt return average with 25.0 yards per return, as well as 51st in kick return average at 22.4 ypr. Sanders is 38th in the country in all-purpose yards with 144.0 ypg. Senior Torii Hunter Jr. had four catches for 37 yards and one TD in the Texas game before suffering an injury late in the game; he did not play vs. Nevada.

• Sophomore Josh Adams leads the Irish ground attack with 149 yards on 21 rushing attempts on the season, averaging 74.5 ypg and 7.1 yards per carry. Senior Tarean Folston adds 115 yards on 28 carries (57.5 ypg/4.1 ypc) with one TD.

• Junior linebacker Nyles Morgan anchors the Notre Dame defense, logging 17 tackles through two games (8.5 tackles per game), with half a tackle for loss. Senior defensive lineman Isaac Rochell adds 14 total tackles (7.0 pg) with three tackles for loss, including 2.5 TFL vs. Texas.

• Sophomore kicker Justin Yoon is 10-of-11 on PATs and 2-of-3 on FGs, with a long of 39 yards. Junior P Tyler Newsome has 12 punts for 492 yards for an average of 41.1 ypp with a long of 53 yards and four inside the 20-yard line.

MSU/NOTRE DAME SERIES NOTES —
• Saturday’s game marks the 78th meeting between Michigan State and Notre Dame. The Irish lead the all-time series 48-28-1, including a 29-13 record in games played in Notre Dame. The Spartans have won 10 of the last 17 meetings in the series. Ten of the last 14 games in the series have been decided by seven points or less.

• MSU head coach Mark Dantonio is 3-4 against Notre Dame, including a 1-3 mark in Notre Dame Stadium.

• The Spartans recorded six straight victories in Notre Dame Stadium from 1997-2007. The six-game winning streak was the longest run by an Irish opponent in the history of Notre Dame Stadium.

• Michigan State has compiled a 15-26-1 record against ranked Notre Dame teams, according to Associated Press Polls since 1948.

• Saturday’s game marks the 14th time Michigan State and Notre Dame have faced each other while both schools were ranked in the AP Top 25 (MSU record: 7-5-1).

THE LAST MEETING —
Sept. 21, 2013, in Notre Dame, Ind. (AP): Notre Dame took advantage of a trick play that backfired, as well as four pass interference calls and a holding penalty that kept drives alive, to defeat Michigan State for the third straight time. The mistakes led to all of Notre Dame’s points in the 17-13 victory, including two on the game-winning drive after a pass by Michigan State receiver R.J. Shelton led to an interception by safety Matthias Farley, setting up the go-ahead touchdown.

The Spartans were called for two pass interference calls on the ensuing drive, allowing Notre Dame to maintain possession. The Irish, who continually passed, even on short running situations, scored moments later when Notre Dame appeared to surprise the Spartans with a call. Cam McDaniel raced into the end zone to take the 17-10 lead with 14:44 left to play.

The Irish also took advantage of another questionable pass interference in the first half that set up a 2-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Rees to TJ Jones, and a holding penalty that kept alive a drive that led to a 41-yard field goal by Kyle Brindza.

The Spartans had 10 penalties for 115 yards by the Big Ten officials. But the Irish were flagged eight times for 86 yards. The Spartans entered with the nation’s No. 1 defense, allowing 50 yards a game rushing, and 127 passing. Michigan State’s defense had also scored four touchdowns, which is also how many it had allowed. They stopped the Irish on the ground, holding them to 82 yards, and limited Rees to a season-low 142 yards passing.

SPARTANS FROM THE HOOSIER STATE —
• Michigan State’s 2016 roster features three players from Indiana: wide receiver Paul Andrie (Valparaiso/Valparaiso), tight end Josiah Price (Greentown/Eastern) and defensive end Auston Robertson (Fort Wayne/Wayne).

SPARTANS RANK SECOND IN ALL-TIME VICTORIES vs. NOTRE DAME —
Michigan State ranks second among opponents in all-time victories (28) over Notre Dame. Only USC (36) has posted more wins over the Irish than the Spartans.

MEGAPHONE TROPHY —
• Since 1949, the winner of the Michigan State-Notre Dame game has been presented the Megaphone Trophy, sponsored jointly by the Detroit alumni clubs of both schools. The megaphone is printed half blue, with a gold ND monogram, and half white, with a green MSC. All previous game scores are listed on the trophy.

MSU vs. NOTRE DAME RANKS AMONG NATION’S OLDEST RIVALRIES —
• The Michigan State-Notre Dame series began 119 years ago in 1897, making it one of the 27 oldest rivalries in college football. It also ranks as one of only three rivalries — joining Army-Navy and Auburn-Georgia Tech — that does not involve either intrastate or current conference rivals.

GAME OF THE CENTURY: 50TH ANNIVERSARY —
• This fall marks the 50th anniversary of the famous “Game of the Century” 10-10 tie between No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Michigan State on Nov. 19, 1966, in Spartan Stadium. Thirty-one players from that game went on to play in the NFL, including 10 first-round draft picks. Four Michigan State players from the game were selected in the first eight picks on the 1967 NFL Draft (No. 1, Colts, DE Bubba Smith; No. 2, Vikings, RB Clinton Jones; No. 5, Oilers, LB George Webster; No. 8, Vikings, WR Gene Washington).

MSU/NOTRE DAME CONNECTIONS —
• Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly succeeded Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio as head coach at Cincinnati. Dantonio (2004-06) and Kelly (2007-09) each enjoyed three-year stints with the Bearcats.

• Notre Dame associate head coach/wide receivers coach Mike Denbrock spent two years as a graduate assistant at Michigan State (1988-89) under George Perles.

• Michigan State assistant strength and conditioning coach Lorenzo Guess spent two seasons (2010-11) as an assistant director of strength and conditioning at Notre Dame while working with head coach Brian Kelly. Guess also worked with Kelly for one season at Cincinnati as a tight ends coach, helping the Bearcats to a 12-1 record in 2009 and an appearance in the Sugar Bowl following UC’s second straight BIG EAST Championship.

• Michigan State recruiting operations coordinator Butler Benton spent 15 months as the assistant director of player development, engagement and academic enhancement at Notre Dame under Brian Kelly.

• Michigan State’s veteran play-by-play radio announcer George Blaha graduated from Notre Dame in 1966 with a degree in economics. Blaha is in his 39th season as the Spartans’ radio voice.

A FAMILY AFFAIR —
• Fifth-year senior captain linebacker Riley Bullough and sophomore linebacker Byron Bullough have plenty of bloodlines involved in the Michigan State-Notre Dame rivalry. Both Riley and Byron are third-generation Spartans, following in the footsteps of their grandfather Hank (guard, 1952-54) and father Shane (linebacker, 1983-86) who played football at Michigan State. Their grandfather Jim Morse (halfback, 1954-56) played for Coach Terry Brennan at Notre Dame, and their 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. Their older brother Max was a four-year letterwinner (2010-13) and three-year starter at middle linebacker for the Spartans.

RECORD WATCH —
Michael Geiger needs just two PATs to become the all-time leader in that category at Michigan State. Geiger currently has 163 PATs in his career; Brett Swenson (2006-09) is the record holder with 164.

SPARTANS TOUGH IN NON-CONFERENCE GAMES —
Mark Dantonio is 34-12 (.739) against non-conference opponents, including a 26-2 (.929) mark in Spartan Stadium. Dantonio is 25-1 in games against teams outside of the Power Five conferences.

SPARTANS FOLLOWING BYE WEEKS UNDER DANTONIO —
• Michigan State is coming off its only bye week of the season following its season-opening win over Furman on Sept. 2. MSU is 5-4 after bye weeks under Dantonio. The Week 2 bye was the earliest for the Spartans in the Dantonio era.

FIFTH-YEAR SENIOR Tyler O’Connor IN FIRST YEAR AS STARTING QB FOR SPARTANS —
• Fifth-year senior Tyler O’Connor is in his first year as the starting quarterback for the Spartans. O’Connor was named the starter during the last week of preseason camp. He also was voted one of three captains by his teammates. O’Connor replaces three-year starting quarterback Connor Cook, who compiled a 34-5 record as a starter from 2013-15 to become the winningest quarterback in school history. Cook, the 2015 Big Ten Quarterback of the Year and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner, left East Lansing as the school’s all-time record holder in passing yards (9,194), touchdown passes (71) and total offense (9,403 yards).

• O’Connor, who narrowly lost out to Cook in 2013 in the race to become the starting quarterback, showed his promise in his first career start as he led the Spartans to a win at No. 2 Ohio State on Nov. 21, 2015. With Cook sidelined due to a shoulder injury, O’Connor and Damion Terry split time and helped the Spartans snap the Buckeyes’ 23-game winning streak with a 17-14 victory in Columbus.

• In his first career home start and second career start overall, O’Connor recorded career highs for completions (13), pass attempts (18), passing yards (190) and passing touchdowns (3) against Furman. He threw a 13-yard TD pass to Felton Davis III in the second quarter, a 21-yard TD to Josiah Price in the third quarter and a 12-yard TD to Jamal Lyles in the fourth quarter.

• For his career, O’Connor is 2-0 as a starter and has completed 65 percent of his passes (47-of-72) for 564yards, seven TDs and three interceptions in 15 games of action.

Ed Davis RECEIVES SIXTH YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY FROM NCAA —
• Michigan State linebacker Ed Davis has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio announced on Friday, Sept. 9. Davis, who earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology in August 2016, has played in 40 career games, including 12 starts.

A three-year letterwinner (2012-14), Davis has recorded 80 career tackles, including 16.5 for losses (72 yards) and 11 sacks (53 yards).

As a junior in 2014, Davis earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors after ranking fourth on the team with 58 stops and third in tackles for loss (12 for 48 yards) and sacks (7.0 for 33 yards). He was the 2014 defensive recipient of MSU’s Outstanding Underclass Lineman Award.

Davis did not play in 2011 and missed the entire 2015 season after suffering a torn ACL during the first week of preseason camp. Davis has been practicing with the Spartans since the sixth-year waiver was submitted to the NCAA following his graduation in late August. He is immediately eligible to play in games.

A native of Detroit, Davis was named to the 2016 Lombardi Award Watch List last month.

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio: “We’re very excited to hear the news about Ed Davis receiving his sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA. We felt all along throughout this process that Ed would get an opportunity to play this season once the paperwork was submitted and reviewed. Ed fulfilled his requirements by earning his degree this summer, so it’s great to see him get rewarded after missing all of last year with a knee injury. I want to thank everyone who helped Ed during this process, particularly our academic, compliance and athletic training staffs. I appreciate their efforts in having a young man finish his collegiate career on the field, rather than the sidelines. Ed is an outstanding football player and has persevered through this past year. We’re looking forward to him getting back in a Green and White uniform for the Spartans this fall.”

POST-GAME NOTES: FURMAN —
• With the 28-13 victory over Furman, MSU improved to 81-36-3 all-time in season openers, including a 16-2 record in its last 18 games. The Spartans have won their last eight season openers.

• Michigan State improved to 99-21 all-time in home openers, including an 18-game winning streak that began in 1999 with a win over Oregon. The 18-game home-opening winning streak is the third-longest active streak in the nation. Mark Dantonio is 10-0 in home openers at MSU.

• Dantonio has compiled an 11-2 record in 13 season-opening games as a head coach. Dantonio is 9-1 in season-opening games at MSU.

• Senior tight end Josiah Price caught his 17th career touchdown pass on a 21-yard reception from Tyler O’Connor in the third quarter. Price is now seventh in MSU history with his 17 career touchdown receptions; he entered the season already ranked first in the MSU record book for most TD catches by a tight end.

• In his first career start, senior wide receiver Monty Madaris established career highs in receptions (five) and receiving yards (85).

LJ Scott rushed for 105 yards on 20 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. It marked the second career 100-yard rushing game of Scott’s career (career-high 146 yards vs. Purdue in 2015).

• Sophomore Andrew Dowell, who made his first career start at linebacker, notched a career-high eight tackles and recorded his first career interception at the 11:49 mark in the fourth quarter. Following the interception, the Spartans went on a 12-play, 60-yard touchdown drive, capped by Tyler O’Connor’s 12-yard pass to Jamal Lyles that put MSU on top, 28-13.

• Junior Chris Frey, who also made his first career start at linebacker, led the Spartans with a career-high nine tackles.

• Nine Spartans made their first career starts in a Green and White uniform (five on offense: WR Felton Davis III; WR Monty Madaris; LT David Beedle; RT Miguel Machado; FB Prescott Line; four on defense: DT Kevin Williams; DE Evan Jones; LB Andrew Dowell; LB Chris Frey).

Felton Davis III recorded his first career touchdown reception on a 13-yard catch in the second quarter.

• Michigan State held Furman to 226 yards of total offense (87 rushing yards, 139 passing yards) . . . the Paladins were just 3-of-14 on third-down conversions . . . in the Mark Dantonio era, Michigan State has held its opponent below 100 yards rushing in 61 of 121 games played.

PROGRAM NOTES

IF YOU’RE JUST JOINING US —
• Michigan State returns a total of 48 letterwinners and 12 starters in 2016. A total of 28 players returning have starting experience (12 offense, 13 defense, three special teams). On defense, the Spartans return 22 letterwinners and six starters from a unit that finished No. 11 in the FBS in rushing defense, No. 25 in scoring defense and No. 26 in total defense. Offensively, the Spartans must replace eight starters, including three-year starting quarterback and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winner Connor Cook, Big Ten Wide Receiver of the Year Aaron Burbridge and a pair of All-Americans on the offensive line (C Jack Allen, OT Jack Conklin).

• Michigan State closed out the 2015 season with a 12-2 record. The 12 wins were second most in school history (13 in 2013). Michigan State has posted at least 11 wins five times in the last six seasons (11 in 2010, 11 in 2011, 13 in 2013, 11 in 2014, 12 in 2015). MSU head coach Mark Dantonio is the first coach in Big Ten history to record five 11-win seasons in a six-year span; his five 11-win seasons rank second most in Big Ten history, along with Joe Paterno (five with Penn State as Big Ten member). Prior to Dantonio’s arrival, MSU had not recorded an 11-win season in its history, and had just two 10-win seasons (1965 and 1999).

• MSU’s 66 wins since 2010 are tied for fifth most among NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision teams and most in the Big Ten during that same period. The Spartans have posted six consecutive winning seasons, a first for the program since 1985-90. MSU has won 66 of its last 82 games (66-16; .805), dating back to the beginning of the 2010 season. During that span, MSU has claimed three Big Ten Championships (2010, 2013, 2015) and three Big Ten Division titles (2011, 2013, 2015). In addition, the Spartans recorded 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.

• Dating back to the 2012 regular-season finale, the Spartans have won 39 of their last 44 games (.886).

• The Spartans finished ranked among the nation’s Top 10 for the third year in a row in 2015 (No. 3 in both polls in 2013; No. 5 in both polls in 2014; No. 6 in both polls in 2015) — a program first since 1955-57 (No. 2 in 1955; No. 9 in 1956; No. 3 in 1957). The Spartans finished in the AP Top 10 a school-record four consecutive years from 1950-53 (No. 8 in 1950; No. 2 in 1951; No. 1 in 1952; No. 3 in 1953). It marked MSU’s 15th Top 10 finish in the history of the AP Poll. It also marked MSU’s sixth Top 10 finish in the history of the USA TODAY Coaches Poll (began administering the poll in 1991), including its fourth under head coach Mark Dantonio (No. 10 in 2011; No. 3 in 2013; No. 5 in 2014; No. 6 in 2015).

• Michigan State, which has posted a 37-5 record since 2013, is one of only four schools in the nation to play in a Bowl Championship Series Game (2014 Rose Bowl), a New Year’s Six game (2015 Cotton Bowl) and the College Football Playoff (2015 CFP Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl) in the last three seasons (Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State). MSU’s 37 wins since 2013 are tied for fourth most in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision. The 36 wins from 2013-15 was the winningest three-year stretch in the history of the program.

• Michigan State is in the midst of its winningest decade in school history with a 66-16 record since 2010 (.805). MSU’s highest winning percentage by decade is currently the 1950s (.766, 70-21-1 record).

Josiah Price NAMED FOURTH CAPTAIN FOR NOTRE DAME GAME —
• Fifth-year senior tight end Josiah Price has been named the fourth game captain against Notre Dame. Price will join 2016 team captains Riley Bullough, Demetrious Cox and Tyler O’Connor at midfield for the coin toss. Michigan State rotates its fourth captain for every game.

• A native of Greentown, Indiana, the three-year letterwinner has caught 67 passes for 782 yards and 17 touchdowns in 40 career games, including 15 starts. His 17 TD receptions are the most by a Spartan tight end in school history and rank seventh overall in the record book.

• Price was named to the Mackey Award Preseason Watch List for the second straight year in 2016. The award is annually given to the nation’s most outstanding tight end.

• One of the most active Spartans in the community, Price was also nominated for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and the Wuerffel Trophy (community service combined with athletic and academic achievement) for the second year in a row.

• Price, who owns a 3.62 GPA in hospitality business, is Michigan State’s 2016 nominee for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Class and the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. He is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.

DANTONIO’S WINNING PERCENTAGE AT MSU AMONG THE BEST IN THE NATION —
Mark Dantonio is one of just six active coaches in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision to own at least a .700 winning percentage in at least 100 games at the same school (Les Miles, LSU; Gary Patterson, TCU; Nick Saban, Alabama; Bob Stoops, Oklahoma; Dabo Swinney, Clemson).

DANTONIO’S 66 WINS SINCE 2010 RANK THIRD MOST IN FBS —
Mark Dantonio ranks third among active NCAA FBS head coaches with 66 wins since 2010.

PLAYING THEIR BEST UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT —
• The Spartans have consistently produced wins against highly ranked teams under Dantonio. MSU is 7-2 in its last nine games against teams ranked in The Associated Press Top 10, including a 6-2 record since 2013 (beat No. 2 Ohio State and No. 5 Stanford in 2013; lost to No. 3 Oregon and beat No. 4 Baylor in 2014; beat No. 7 Oregon, No. 2 Ohio State and No. 4 Iowa, and lost to No. 2 Alabama in 2015).

• Michigan State defeated nine bowl teams in 2015, including four wins over AP Top 25 teams (No. 7 Oregon on Sept. 12, No. 12 Michigan on Oct. 17, No. 2 Ohio State on Nov. 21, No. 4 Iowa on Dec. 5). It marked the first time in school history the Spartans beat three AP Top-10 teams (No. 7 Oregon, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 4 Iowa) in the same season. MSU also topped Western Michigan, Air Force, Central Michigan, Indiana and Penn State, who all played in the postseason. In the final AP rankings, MSU defeated four Top 25 teams (No. 4 Ohio State, No. 9 Iowa, No. 12 Michigan, No. 19 Oregon).

• The win over No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus on Nov. 21, 2015, snapped the defending National Champion Buckeyes’ 23-game winning streak, and the last-second victory against No. 12 Michigan on Oct. 17, 2015, marked MSU’s seventh win in the last eight years over the Wolverines • Michigan State has won nine of its last 12 games played against ranked opponents, including five out of the last six.

• Under Mark Dantonio, the Spartans are 16-21 in 37 games played against teams ranked in The Associated Press Top 25; however, MSU is 9-4 against ranked teams since 2013. The 16 wins over AP Top 25 teams rank second among head coaches in MSU history (Duffy Daugherty with 25 from 1954-72).

RUNNING GAME KEY FOR SPARTANS UNDER DANTONIO —
• Under Mark Dantonio, Michigan State is 71-11 (.866) when outrushing its opponent, including a 55-4 record (.932) since 2010. MSU outrushed its opponent in nine of 14 games in 2015. Conversely, MSU is 17-22 under Dantonio when being outgained on the ground by its opponent. The Spartans are 31-3 (.912) in games when gaining 200 or more rushing yards under Dantonio.

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