10.30.21 MSU FTBL VS UMICH 0048 6GjLX

Game 8: Michigan State (3-4, 1-3 Big Ten) at No. 4/4 Michigan (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten)

Date: Saturday, Oct. 29
Kickoff: 7:44 p.m. ET
Location: Ann Arbor, Mich.
Stadium: Michigan Stadium (107,601)
Surface: FieldTurf
Live Stats: Click here: Live Stats

TV: ABC

Mobile: WatchESPN

Announcers: Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (analyst), Molly McGrath (sidelines)

Radio: Spartan Media Network | Affiliate Listings

Play-by-Play: George Blaha

Analyst: Jason Strayhorn

Sidelines: Steve Courtney

Broadcast Host: Will Tieman

Website/Mobile: msuspartans.com/MSU Spartans app/Tune In radio

Flagship Stations: Lansing: WMMQ (94.9 FM)/WJIM (1240 AM); Detroit: WJR (760 AM); Grand Rapids: WBFX (101.3 FM)

Affiliates: 24 affiliates listed at msuspartans.com

Satellite: Sirius/XM (Ch. 121/196), SiriusXM app (Ch. 958)

Pregame Show: Begins at 6 p.m.

All-Time Series: UM leads, 71-38-5

Series in Ann Arbor: UM leads, 50-23-3

Series in Big Ten Games: UM leads, 38-29-2

Last Meeting: MSU 37, UM 33 (2021)

Current Series Streak: 2 by MSU (2020, 2021)

COACHES:

MSU Head Coach: Mel Tucker

MSU Record: 16-11 (third year)

Overall Record: 21-18 (fourth year)

Record vs. Michigan: 2-0

Michigan Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh

UM Record: 68-24 (eighth year)

Overall Record: 126-51 (15th year)

Record vs. MSU: 3-4

FIRST-AND-10

• Michigan State will look for its third consecutive win and 11th victory in 15 games over Michigan when the two rivals meet on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7:44 p.m. in Michigan Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ABC with Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Todd Blackledge (analyst) and Molly McGrath (sidelines) on the call. Both the Spartans (3-4, 1-3 Big Ten) and No. 4/4 Wolverines (7-0, 4-0) had bye weeks last Saturday. In its last game, MSU beat Wisconsin in double overtime, 34-28, in Spartan Stadium, while Michigan toppled No. 10/10 Penn State, 41-17, in Ann Arbor.

• MSU head coach Mel Tucker is the first Spartan coach in program history to defeat Michigan in his first two meetings against the Wolverines. The Spartans defeated the No. 13/14 Wolverines on Oct. 31, 2020, at Michigan Stadium in Tucker’s first victory at Michigan State. In a matchup of undefeated, top-10 teams last season in Spartan Stadium, No. 8/7 MSU topped No. 6/6 Michigan, 37-33, behind Kenneth Walker III’s 197 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns.

• Saturday’s game marks the 115th meeting between Michigan State and Michigan. The Wolverines lead the all-time series, 71-38-5, including a 50-23-3 record in Ann Arbor; however, since 1950, Michigan holds just a six-game edge, 38-32-2. Since 1953, the winner of the Michigan State-Michigan game has been presented the Paul Bunyan Trophy. The four-foot wooden statue was donated by then-Governor G. Mennen Williams to mark Michigan State’s acceptance into the Big Ten. Since 1953, Michigan leads the series 38-29-2. The trophy depicts the legendary giant lumberjack astride an axe with feet planted on a map of the state with flags representing the schools.

• Michigan State has won five of the last seven meetings over Michigan in Ann Arbor, including three of the last four matchups. Four of those five wins came against ranked Wolverine teams. In addition, Michigan State has defeated Michigan 22 times when the Wolverines were ranked in the AP Top 25, including 12 wins in the top 10.

• Senior defensive lineman/linebacker Jacoby Windmon is the first player in school history and just the sixth in Big Ten history to earn Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors three times in a single season. He has also been recognized as the national defensive player of the week twice this season (Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week vs. Western Michigan; FWAA Bronko Nagurski Defensive Player of the Week vs. Wisconsin). After becoming the first Spartan defensive player to win the award in back-to-back weeks (Game 1 vs. Western Michigan; Game 2 vs. Akron), Windmon claimed the honor for the third time following his impressive performance in the double-overtime win over Wisconsin.

• In his first start of the season at linebacker (previous six starts at defensive end), Windmon registered a season-best 11 tackles against Wisconsin, including two for losses (6 yards), and caused both Badger turnovers. He picked off his first career pass in the first quarter at the UW 12-yard line, leading to MSU’s first touchdown of the game; and then on Wisconsin’s second possession in overtime, he forced a fumble that was recovered by Dashaun Mallory. Windmon, who was added to the Bednarik Award Watch List in midseason by the Maxwell Football Club and named a second-team midseason All-American by Pro Football Focus, leads the Big Ten in tackles for loss (1.5 pg; 10.5) and is second in sacks (0.79 pg; 5.5). He ranks first in the FBS with six forced fumbles – three more than any other player in the nation through the first seven games of the season. Overall, he ranks sixth on the team with 37 tackles to go along with two pass break-ups, an interception and a fumble recovery. The six forced fumbles are already tied for second most in a Spartan season (record: eight by Jonal Saint-Dic in 2007). A transfer from UNLV, Windmon posted 169 career tackles in three seasons (2019-21) for the Runnin’ Rebels, adding 18.5 TFLs (100 yards), 12 sacks (85 yards), four pass break-ups and three forced fumbles in 30 career games.

• Two key starters returned on defense for the Spartans against Wisconsin after missing extensive time due to injuries. Fifth-year graduate senior safety Xavier Henderson, who entered the season with 33 consecutive starts, left the Week 1 game against Western Michigan in the first half and missed five straight games before returning to the starting lineup vs. Wisconsin. Fifth-year senior defensive tackle Jacob Slade, a second-team preseason Walter Camp All-American, was also out for four games prior to coming back against the Badgers. Henderson and Slade helped the Spartans combine for their best defensive effort of the Big Ten season, limiting Wisconsin to 283 yards of total offense (152 rushing, 131 passing).

• Fifth-year graduate senior wide receiver Jayden Reed, a 2021 first-team All-American as an all-purpose player, is rounding back into form after missing time with an injury that sidelined him in Week 3 at Washington. Reed recorded season bests in receptions (9) and receiving yards (117) against Wisconsin and accounted for both touchdowns in the double-overtime win – he threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Keon Coleman on the first play of overtime, then caught a 27-yard pass from Payton Thorne on third-and-12 in the second overtime that clinched the victory for the Spartans. Reed leads the team with 32 catches for 373 yards and is tied for second with three touchdown receptions.

• Sixth-year graduate senior punter Bryce Baringer, a Ray Guy Award candidate, continues to lead the FBS with a 51.4-yard average (30 punts for 1,542 yards). Baringer led the Big Ten and set an MSU single-season record in 2021 with a 48.4-yard average; that mark was also the second best in conference history, trailing only Iowa’s Reggie Roby, who had a 49.8-yard average in 1981. Sixteen of Baringer’s 30 punts this season have been for 50-plus yards, including five of 60-plus yards, and he has placed 12 inside the 20-yard line. Baringer was named the Ray Guy Award National Punter of the Week after averaging 48.9 yards per punt against Ohio State (seven punts for 342 yards). He also tied a career high with five punts placed inside the 20. Baringer was named a first-team midseason All-American by The Associated Press.

 

Coleman, Keon vs Wisconsin
Keon Coleman had two touchdown catches for the Spartans in the double-overtime win over Wisconsin on Oct. 15.




LAST TIME OUT: MSU 34, WISCONSIN 28 (2OT)

SERIES/TEAM

• Michigan State snapped a two-game losing streak to Wisconsin with a 34-28 double-overtime victory over the Badgers on Saturday, Oct. 15 in Spartan Stadium.

• MSU is 8-7 all-time in overtime games, including 2-0 under head coach Mel Tucker . . . the Spartans beat Nebraska in overtime last season in East Lansing, 23-20 . . . MSU is 2-0 vs. Wisconsin in overtime games (beat the Badgers 16-13 in overtime in Madison on Oct. 27, 2012).

• Michigan State leads the all-time series against Wisconsin, 31-24, including a 17-8 record in East Lansing.

• MSU is now 70-33-3 (.675) in 106 Homecoming games in East Lansing.

OFFENSE

• Graduate senior wide receiver Jayden Reed’s 25-yard TD pass to sophomore wide receiver Keon Coleman in the first overtime was MSU’s first TD pass from a non-quarterback since senior Darrell Stewart Jr. to Brian Lewerke vs. Michigan on Oct. 20, 2018.

 

• Redshirt junior quarterback Payton Thorne was 21-of-28 passing for 265 yards with two TDs . . . the 265 yards was Thorne’s fifth game this season with 200-plus passing yards this season . . .  the two TDs gave Thorne 41 for his career, becoming the ninth Spartan quarterback with 40-plus career TDs . . . the 21 completions moves Thorne to 418 for his career, not only becoming the 11th MSU quarterback with 400 career completions, but moving up to tie for No. 9 with Ed Smith (1976-78) on MSU’s career passing completions list . . . Thorne now has at least one passing TD in five of this season’s seven games.

 

• Reed had nine catches for 117 yards and one TD in addition to his TD pass in the first OT . . . it was Reed’s first 100-yard receiving outing of the season and fifth during his MSU career as part of his ninth of his collegiate career, adding four during his time at Western Michigan . . . Reed has a three-game streak of a TD catch, his second-longest of his career behind a four-game streak in 2021 . . . Reed has three TD catches this season, 16 during his MSU career, and 24 in his collegiate career . . . the season-high nine catches was Reed’s third game with six or more catches, and was the second-most of his career, behind 11 vs. Rutgers on Oct. 24, 2020 . . . the nine catches also moves Reed’s consecutive games with a reception streak to 26 in a row, tied for No. 20 among active FBS players . . . Reed has at least one reception in 38 of his 39 career collegiate games.

 

• Coleman snared five receptions for 79 yards with a career-high tying two TDs (27 yards from Thorne in fourth quarter; 25 yards from Reed in first overtime) . . . Coleman’s two TDs matched his career-best from two at Washington (9/17/22) . . . with the pair of scoring receptions, Coleman has five TDs for the season and six TDs for his career.

 

• Redshirt sophomore running back Jalen Berger, a transfer from Wisconsin, had 59 rushing yards on 16 carries and one TD, his first TD for the Spartan in a Big Ten game, and his fifth overall TD of the season and his eighth collegiate career TD . . . Berger’s 59 rushing yards and the TD were his most since 107 yards on 17 carries vs. Akron in Week 2 (9/10/22) . . . the 59 rushing yards were Berger’s most in a Big Ten game this season and third-highest of the season behind 120 vs. Western Michigan (9/2/22) and 107 vs. Akron, while the 16 carries matched the second-most of his collegiate career, joining 16 vs. Western Michigan and just behind the career-high 17 vs. Akron.

 

• Redshirt senior running back Elijah Collins rushed for 43 yards on 14 carries and one TD . . . Collins scored his fourth rushing TD of the season and ninth of his career . . . the 14 rushing attempts were a season high and the most since 21 carries vs. Wake Forest in the 2019 Pinstripe Bowl (12/27/19).

 

Maliq Carr’s 72-yard reception in the third quarter was MSU’s longest pass play of the season . . . Michigan State had a season-best seven pass plays of 25-plus yards in the game.

DEFENSE

• Senior Jacoby Windmon recorded a season-best 11 tackles, including two for losses (6 yards), in his first start at linebacker (previous six starts at defensive end) . . . he caused both of the Wisconsin turnovers – he picked off his first career pass in the first quarter at the UW 12-yard line, leading to MSU’s first touchdown of the game; and then on Wisconsin’s second possession in overtime, he forced a fumble . . . it marked his sixth forced fumble of the year . . . Windmon became the first Spartan to record double-digit tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in the same game since Joe Bachie in 2017 at Michigan.

• Redshirt sophomore linebacker Cal Haladay was second on the Spartans with nine tackles, including a 2-yard TFL . . . Haladay now leads the team with 58 tackles on the season.

• True freshman Dillon Tatum, in his first extended time at safety, recorded a career-high six tackles and had a pass break-up.

• Playing for the first time since Week 1 against Western Michigan, Xavier Henderson started at safety for the Spartans and had five tackles, including a 3-yard tackle for loss . . . Henderson left the season opener in the first half due to an injury and missed the last five games.

• Also returning to the lineup for the Spartans was preseason All-American defensive tackle Jacob Slade, who hadn’t played since Week 2 vs. Akron due to an injury . . . Slade was credited with one tackle and one QB hurry.

• Making his first career start, true freshman defensive end Zion Young had five tackles.

• Senior defensive end Brandon Wright posted a career-high five tackles . . . he also forced a fumble and had a 7-yard TFL.

• Michigan State held Wisconsin to 283 yards of total offense, the second-fewest by a Spartan opponent this season (225 by Akron) and the second-fewest by a Big Ten opponent under Mel Tucker.

• The Spartans held the Badgers to 131 yards passing, the fewest by a Spartan opponent in the Mel Tucker era.

• Michigan State had three sacks (Brandon Wright, Charles Brantley, Simeon Barrow) and nine tackles for loss in the game.

SPECIAL TEAMS

• Graduate senior punter Bryce Baringer, who leads the FBS in punting average, punted five times for a 48.2 yards per punt average with a long of 68 yards and pinned two inside the 20 . . . with a 54-yarder and a long of 68 yards, Baringer has multiple punts of 50-plus yards in three straight games as part of in five games this season . . . overall, Baringer has 16 punts this season of 50-plus yards and 56 for his career . . . the 68-yarder gives him five 60-plus yard punts this season . . . Baringer has had at least one punt of 50-plus yards in each of the seven games this season and in his last eight games played going back to last season, as part of in 24 of 31 career games . . . with two punts inside the 20, Baringer now has 11 punts inside the 20 this season.

STAT LEADERS

Michigan State:


Rushing – R-So. Jalen Berger (80 carries for 367 yards, 4.6 avg., 5 TDs, 52.4 ypg)

Passing – R-Jr. Payton Thorne (136-of-208, .654, 1,499 yards, 11 TDs, 7 INTs, 214.1 ypg)

Receiving – Gr.-5 Jayden Reed (32 catches for 373 yards, 11.7 avg., 3 TDs, 62.2 ypg)

Tackles – R-So. LB Cal Haladay (58 tackles; 18 solo, 40 assists; 4 TFLs, 1 sack, 1 FR, 1 FF)

Michigan:

Rushing – Jr. Blake Corum (146 carries for 901 yards, 6.2 avg., 13 TDs, 128.7 ypg)

Passing – So. J.J. McCarthy (111-of-144, .771, 1,297 yards, 9 TDs, 2 INTs, 185.3 ypg)

Receiving – Gr.-Sr. Ronnie Bell (35 receptions for 429 yards, 12.3 avg., 1 TD, 61.3 ypg)

Tackles – So. LB Junior Colson (49 tackles, 19 solo, 30 assists; 2.0 TFLs, 1 sack)

A QUICK GLANCE AT NO. 4/4 MICHIGAN (7-0, 4-0 BIG TEN)

• The Wolverines are ranked No. 4 in both the AP and AFCA Coaches Polls with a 7-0 overall record and moved to 4-0 in Big Ten action after a 41-17 win at No. 10/10 Penn State last time out on Oct. 15.

• Michigan opened the season with a pair of wins over Mountain West Conference opponents, beating Colorado State 51-7 (Sept. 3) and Hawai’i, 56-10 (Sept. 10), then routed UConn 59-0 (Sept. 17). The Wolverines opened conference play wtih a 34-27 win over Maryland (Sept. 24), before making their first road trip of the season, heading to Iowa and winning, 27-14 (Oct. 1). UM then won at Indiana, 31-10 (Oct. 8), before the triumph over Penn State.

• In the win vs. Penn State, Michigan amassed 563 yards of total offense, including 418 yards rushing on 55 carries (7.6 yards per carry), and 145 passing yards. The UM defense held PSU to just 268 yards of total offense with 157 passing and 111 rushing.

• On the season, Michigan ranks second in the Big Ten and sixth in FBS in scoring offense at 42.7 ppg, while also ranking second in the league and third in the nation in scoring defense, yielding just 12.1 ppg.

• UM is second in the conference and 19th in the country in total offense (473.6 ypg), while leading the Big Ten and ranking eighth in the FBS in rushing offense (241.7 ypg) and ranking ninth in the league and 74th in the nation in passing offense (231.9 ypg).

• The Wolverine defense is third in the Big Ten and fifth in the FBS in total defense (250.0 ypg), while ranking second in the league and fifth in the nation in rushing defense (85.9 ypg) and third in the conference and sixth in the country in passing yards allowed (164.1 ypg). UM also tops the Big Ten and ranks eighth in the FBS in sacks (3.43 pg).

• Individually, sophomore quarterback J.J. McCarthy leads FBS in completion percentage (.771) on 111-of-144 passing for 1,297 yards with nine TDs and two INTs. McCarthy is also second in the league and 11th in the nation in passing efficiency (170.6).

• Junior Blake Corum is third in the Big Ten and sixth in the FBS in rushing yards per game (128.7), with 901 yards on 146 carries (6.2 ypc) with 13 TDs. Sophomore Donovan Edwards adds 61.4 ypg, coming on 307 yards on 43 carries (7.1 ypc) with four TDs.

• Graduate senior wide receiver Ronnie Bell leads the UM receiving corps with 35 catches for 429 yards (12.3 ypc) with one TD, ranking 10th in the B1G and 99th in the FBS in receiving yards per game (61.3), as well as 11th in the league and 72nd in the nation in receptions per game (5.0).

• Sophomore linebacker Junior Colson spearheads the UM defense with 49 total tackles (19 solo, 30 assists), with 2.0 TFL and 1.0 sack, adding one QB hurry. Graduate senior linebacker Michael Barrett adds 31 stops, with 2.5 TFL and 2.5 sacks, while senior defensive lineman Mazi Smith has 27 tackles, with 2.5 TFL and 0.5 sack.

• Senior defensive end Mike Morris leads Michigan and ranks tied for fourth in the Big Ten with 8.0 tackles for loss, also ranking tied for fourth in TFL/game (1.14). Morris also is third in the conference with 5.0 sacks, while ranking fourth with 0.71 sacks/game.

• Graduate senior placekicker Jake Moody is 33-of-33 on PATs and is 13-of-16 on field goals, with a long of 52 yards. Moody leads the B1G in both FG made (13) and attempts (16), as well as fourth in FG percentage (.857), while the 33 PATs is second in the league.

• Graduate senior punter Brad Robbins has 18 punts for a 46.2 ypp average with a long of 62 yards, one of eight punts of 50-plus yards, with nine inside the 20. Robbins would rank second in the B1G in average, but doesn’t have enough punts to qualify, with just 2.6 punts per game.

• UM head coach Jim Harbaugh is in his eighth season at the helm of the Wolverines, posting a 68-24 record. Overall, Harbaugh is in his 15th season as a collegiate head coach, with a 126-51 overall ledger. Harbaugh has a 3-4 record vs. MSU.

MSU/MICHIGAN SERIES NOTES

• Saturday’s game marks the 115th meeting between Michigan State and Michigan. The Wolverines lead the all-time series, 71-38-5, including a 50-23-3 record in Ann Arbor; however, since 1950, Michigan holds just a six-game edge, 38-32-2. Michigan State has won 10 of the last 14 matchups against the Wolverines.

• Michigan State has won five of the last seven meetings over Michigan in Ann Arbor, including three of the last four matchups. Four of those five wins came against ranked Wolverine teams.

BATTLE FOR THE PAUL BUNYAN TROPHY

• Since 1953, the winner of the Michigan State-Michigan game has been presented the Paul Bunyan Trophy. The four-foot wooden statue was donated by then-Governor G. Mennen Williams to mark Michigan State’s acceptance into the Big Ten. Since 1953, Michigan leads the series, 38-29-2. The trophy depicts the legendary giant lumberjack astride an axe with feet planted on a map of the state with flags representing the schools.

BATTLE FOR IN-STATE BRAGGING RIGHTS

• Michigan State’s 2022 roster features 41 players from the state of Michigan.

SPARTANS RANK SECOND IN ALL-TIME VICTORIES vs. MICHIGAN

• Michigan State ranks second among opponents in all-time victories over Michigan. Only Ohio State (52) has posted more wins over the Wolverines than the Spartans (38).

SPARTANS RANK SECOND IN ALL-TIME VICTORIES AT MICHIGAN STADIUM

• Michigan State ranks second among opponents in all-time victories over Michigan at Michigan Stadium. Only Ohio State (22) has posted more wins over the Wolverines than the Spartans (21) at Michigan Stadium (opened in 1927). In addition, only Ohio State (24) has recorded more wins over Michigan in Ann Arbor than the Spartans (23).

GROUND GAME KEY FACTOR IN THIS SERIES

•  The team with the most productive ground attack has won 46 of the last 52 games in the MSU-UM series, with the only exceptions being in 2020, 2016, 2015, 2007, 2004 and 1995.

LAST MEETING: NO. 8 MSU 37, NO. 6 MICHIGAN 33

Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III scored five touchdowns, including what proved to be the game-winning score from 23 yards out with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, as the No. 8 Spartans fought back from a 16-point deficit to beat No. 6 Michigan, 37-33, in a battle of undefeated, top-10 teams on Oct. 30, 2021, in Spartan Stadium.

Walker finished the day with 23 carries for 197 yards and five touchdowns, three in the second half and three for 20 or more yards. The five rushing touchdowns were the most by any player against Michigan.

Spartan quarterback Payton Thorne completed 19-of-30 passes for 196 yards and had seven carries for 29 yards, while Jayden Reed caught 12 passes for 80 yards.

Charles Brantley intercepted a Cade McNamara pass with just over a minute remaining to seal the win for the Spartans.

LONG HISTORY OF BIG WINS OVER MICHIGAN

• Michigan State has defeated Michigan 22 times when the Wolverines were ranked in the AP Top 25, including 12 wins in the top 10.

Here’s a look at MSU’s all-time AP Top 25 wins over Michigan:

A LOOK AT THE 2022 SPARTAN COACHING STAFF

• A new era of Spartan football began in 2020 as Mel Tucker started his head coaching tenure in East Lansing. Tucker, a 26-year coaching veteran with championship experience, was named Michigan State University’s 25th head football coach on Feb. 12 following Mark Dantonio’s retirement on Feb. 4. Tucker signed an updated contact on Nov. 24, 2021, that expires on Jan. 15, 2032. Tucker’s contract includes non-performance related compensation of $9.5 million per year, including a $5.9 million base, $3.2 million in supplemental compensation for media and personal appearances, plus a $400,000 contingent annual bonus. The contract was approved by the MSU Board of Trustees on Dec. 17, 2021.

• In just his second year in East Lansing in 2021, Tucker led MSU to an 11-2 record, a Top 10 ranking, and a win in the New Year’s Six with a victory over ACC Champion and No. 12 Pittsburgh in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Tucker was named a finalist for National Coach of the Year by multiple organizations, including the American Football Coaches Association, the Paul Bear Bryant Awards, the Football Writers Association of America and the Maxwell Football Club. He was also named the Big Ten Coach of the Year by both the coaches and media and the AFCA Region 3 Coach of the Year.

• Going from two wins in 2020 to 11 wins in 2021, MSU completed the biggest turnaround in school history (previous: seven-game improvement from 2016 to 2017) and finished the season ranked No. 8 in the AFCA Coaches Poll and No. 9 in The Associated Press Poll. Tucker is the earliest Spartan coach to win double-figure games in a season (previous: Mark Dantonio with 11 wins in his fourth season at MSU in 2010).

• Tucker’s resume, which began as a graduate assistant at Michigan State under Nick Saban, has an impressive track record of success. The journey that led him back to East Lansing included a head coaching position at Colorado (2019), five seasons as a defensive coach in the Southeastern Conference (2000; 2015-18), 10 seasons in the NFL (2005-14), and four seasons at Ohio State (2001-04). He was a defensive coordinator in the NFL for seven seasons and 11 seasons overall in his coaching career.

• In 169 games as a full-time coach in the FBS, Tucker’s teams have collected a 122-47 (.722) record, including 11 postseason bowl/playoff games (2000 Peach, 2002 Outback, 2003 Fiesta/BCS National Championship, 2004 Fiesta, 2004 Alamo, 2015 Cotton/CFP Semifinal, 2016 CFP/National Championship, 2016 Liberty, 2018 Rose/CFP Semifinal, 2018 CFP/National Championship, 2021 Peach), three conference championships, three national championship games and two national championships (2002 with Ohio State, 2015 with Alabama). Tucker also coached 160 games in the National Football League (64 with Cleveland, 64 with Jacksonville, 32 with Chicago).

• Seven of MSU head coach Mel Tucker‘s 21 wins as a head coach have come against AP Top 25 opponents (2021: No. 24 Miami, No. 6 Michigan, No. 13 Pittsburgh; 2020: No. 11 Northwestern and No. 13 Michigan; 2019: No. 25 Nebraska and No. 24 Arizona State at Colorado). Tucker is 7-6 overall against AP Top 25 opponents (2-2 at Colorado; 5-4 at MSU). He became the first Spartan head coach to defeat a ranked team (AP No. 11 Northwestern) in his first home win.

• Michigan State has three new assistant coaches for the 2021 season. Effrem Reed, who served as an offensive analyst the past two seasons, was promoted to running backs coach. Brandon Jordan, who has specialized in training elite defensive linemen the past few years, including more than 200 players on NFL rosters, was hired in January as a pass rushing specialist. In February, Marco Coleman joined the Spartan  coaching staff as the defensive line coach and run game coordinator. Coleman played 14 seasons in the NFL and spent the past three seasons coaching the defensive ends and outside linebackers at Georgia Tech.

Chris Kapilovic, who is in his third season as the offensive line coach and run game coordinator at Michigan State, was promoted to assistant head coach in January 2021. Kapilovic, 53, joined Tucker’s staff in East Lansing in February 2020 after spending the 2019 season as the offensive line coach and run game coordinator in Colorado. Kapilovic has more than 30 years of coaching experience, including roles as an offensive coordinator and/or run game coordinator at Southern Mississippi (2008-11), North Carolina (2012-18) and Colorado (2019). He has coached multiple NFL players, first-round draft picks and record-setting offenses during his career. Last fall, the Spartan offensive line was named one of 13 semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top offensive line.

Jay Johnson, a 2021 Broyles Award nominee for the nation’s top assistant coach, is in his third season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Michigan State. Johnson, 52, is a veteran coach and administrator of 27 seasons, including 12 as an offensive coordinator at five FBS schools (Michigan State, Colorado, Minnesota, Louisiana, Southern Mississippi) in addition to coaching quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends as a position coach. Johnson arrived to East Lansing after serving as the offensive coordinator at Colorado for one season (2019) under head coach Mel Tucker.

• A 26-year coaching veteran with stints at all levels of collegiate football and the NFL, Scottie Hazelton is in his third season as the Secchia Family Defensive Coordinator. Hazelton arrived in East Lansing after spending one season as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Kansas State in 2019. He will also coach the linebackers for the Spartans in 2022.

Ted Gilmore coaches the tight ends for the Spartans. Gilmore, who has coached 27 years, has experience at the FBS and NFL ranks and has developed numerous NFL players, draft picks and All-Americans during his ccareer. He was named the 2011 FootballScoop Wide Receivers Coach of the Year after mentoring consensus All-American Robert Woods and 2011 Freshman All-American Marqise Lee at USC. Gilmore, 55, previously spent five seasons (2015-19) as the wide receivers coach at Wisconsin.

• Former Spartan great Courtney Hawkins is in his third season as the wide receivers coach. Hawkins oversaw one of the best wide receiver rooms in the Big Ten in 2021 as redshirt juniors Jayden Reed and Jalen Nailor formed a potent duo that fueled MSU’s big-play offense that ranked third in the Big Ten in scoring at 31.8 points per game. Reed and Nailor both ranked in the top 10 in the conference in several categories, including receiving yards per game and yards per catch.

• With more than three decades of coaching experience, Ross Els is in his third season as the program’s special teams coordinator. In addition, after coaching the linebackers his first two seasons in East Lansing, Els will help assist the nickelbacks in 2022. Els, 55, has previous experience in the Big Ten, serving as the defensive coordinator at Purdue in 2016 and four seasons at Nebraska under Coach Bo Pelini from 2011-14.

Harlon Barnett, who is in his 14th season overall on the Spartan defensive staff and third with Tucker,  coaches the secondary. Barnett has coached four All-Americans, nine first-team All-Big Ten selections and 10 NFL Draft picks during his time at MSU (2007-17; 2020-).

 

Payton Thorne
Payton Thorne has completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,499 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.




QUARTERBACKS

• #12 Katin Houser (Fr., 6-3, 213, Anaheim, Calif./St. John Bosco)

(1 game, 1-for-2 passing (.500), 2 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs)

• #14 Noah Kim (R-So., 6-2, 185, Centreville, Va./Westfield)

(4 games, 14-for-19 passing (.737), 174 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs)

• #10 Payton Thorne (2L, R-Jr., 6-2, 205, Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central)

(7 games/7 starts, 136-of-208 passing (.654), 1,499 yards, 214.1 ypg, 11 TDs, 7 INTs; 35 carries for 13 yards)

PAYTON THORNE BACK AFTER RECORD-SETTING SEASON IN 2021

• After a record-setting season in his first year as the starting quarterback, redshirt junior quarterback Payton Thorne is back for the Spartans in 2022. He has started 21 consecutive games (14-7 record). Thorne set a school single-season record with 27 touchdown passes in 2021, surpassing Kirk Cousins, who previously held the record with 25 TDs in 2011. Overall in his first year as the starting quarterback, Thorne was 234-of-388 passing (.603) for 3,233 yards, 27 TDs and 10 interceptions.

• An honorable mention All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media in 2021, Thorne was especially effective at throwing the ball downfield, ranking tied for sixth in the FBS with 14 TD passes of 20-plus yards and tied for ninth with eight completions for 50-plus yards. He threw for 200-plus yards in eight games and 300-plus yards in three games, including a career-high 354 yards in MSU’s Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl victory over No. 12 Pitt. He has 14 career games of 200-plus yards passing and five with more than 300 yards.

• The Naperville, Illinois, native was named one of four captains last season and will also be counted on for his leadership for the Spartans this fall. He has been named a game captain in three of MSU’s seven games.

• Through seven games this season, Thorne is 136-of-208 passing (.654) for 1,499 yards, 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He ranks tied for fifth in the Big Ten with 11 passing touchdowns. Seven of Thorne’s 11 TDs are for 25-plus yards, and six of those were thrown downfield for 20-plus yards (tied for third in the Big Ten and tied for 21st in the FBS).

• Thorne surpassed the 5,000-yard passing milestone in the Ohio State game and is now 10th in Michigan State history with 5,314 career passing yards. Thorne is also ninth in MSU history in career touchdown passes (41), tied for ninth in passing completions (418) and 12th in passing attempts (681).

• In Week 3, Thorne completed a career-high 30 passes against Washington on 42 attempts for 323 yards and three touchdowns (7 and 33 yards to Keon Coleman; 26 yards to Tre Mosley)

• In the first game of the season, Thorne tied his career high with four touchdown passes against Western Michigan in Week 1. Thorne was 12-of-24 passing for 233 yards overall, including scoring strikes to Germie Bernard (44 yards), Daniel Barker (13 yards), Coleman (41 yards) and Mosley (43 yards). Thorne joins Connor Cook as the only Spartans to throw four TDs in a single game four times in a career.

NOAH KIM, KATIN HOUSER BACKING UP THORNE

• Redshirt sophomore Noah Kim serves as the back-up quarterback and is 14-of-19 passing (.737) for 174 yards and three touchdowns in four games. He was 2-for-2 passing for 22 yards against Akron in Week 2 and was 6-of-7 for 70 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown pass to Germie Bernard, vs. Minnesota. On his first official passing attempt of his career against the Zips he threw a 16-yard touchdown to Tre Mosley. Kim was 6-of-10 passing for 82 yards, including a 25-yard TD to Montorie Foster, vs. No. 3 Ohio State.

• The Spartans also welcomed in freshman Katin Houser as an early enrollee in January and he participated in spring practice. Houser was rated a consensus four-star prospect and was an Elite 11 finalist last summer. He played six snaps in his collegiate debut vs. Akron.

• Offensive coordinator Jay Johnson is in his third year coaching the quarterbacks for the Spartans.

RUNNING BACKS

• #8 Jalen Berger (R-So., 6-1, 215, Newark, N.J./Wisconsin)

(7 games/6 starts, 80 carries, 367 yards. 4.6 avg., 5 TDs, 52.4 ypg)

• #3 Jarek Broussard (Gr.-5, 5-9, 195, Dallas, Texas/Colorado)

(7 games/1 start, 44 carries, 191 yards, 4.3 avg., 2 TDs, 27.3 ypg)

• #24 Elijah Collins (3L, R-Sr., 6-1, 215, Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit)

(7 games, 30 carries, 146 yards, 4.9 avg., 4 TDs, 20.9 ypg)

• #2 Harold Joiner (1L, R-Sr., 6-4, 220, Birmingham, Ala./Auburn)

(7 games, 1 carry, 1 yard, 1.0 avg., 0 TDs, 0.2 ypg)

• #22 Jordon Simmons (2L, Jr., 5-11, 195, Marietta, Ga./McEachern)

(7 games, 4 carries, 9 yards, 2.3 avg., 0 TDs, 1.5 ypg)

TRANSFER JALEN BERGER LEADS SPARTAN RUNNING GAME

• The Spartans featured an explosive and resurgent rushing attack last year thanks to unanimous first-team All-American Kenneth Walker III, who had one of the best seasons in Michigan State history en route to winning the Doak Walker Award, the Walter Camp National Player of the Year and the Big Ten Running Back of the Year. Walker ranked second in the FBS with 1,636 rushing yards and his 18 rushing TDs ranked tied for eighth in the nation.

• Redshirt sophomore running back Jalen Berger, a Wisconsin transfer, leads the Spartans in carries (80), rushing yards (367) and rushing touchdowns (5). Berger rushed for a career-high 120 yards and one touchdown in his Spartan debut against Western Michigan, and followed that effort with a career-high three touchdowns and 107 yards vs. Akron in Week 2. Berger is 15th in the Big Ten in rushing (367 yards; 52.4 ypg) and tied for ninth in the conference in rushing TDs (five).

• Berger was rated a four-star prospect out of high school before attending Wisconsin for two years (2020-21). He rushed for 389 yards and three TDs in seven career games with the Badgers, including a team-leading 301 yards on 60 carries in just four games as a true freshman during the COVID-shortened 2020 season. The Newark, New Jersey, native enrolled at MSU in January and made strong gains toward the end of spring practice.

• Fellow running back transfer Jarek Broussard (Colorado) ranks second on the team with 44 carries for 191 yards and two TDs. He scored his first two touchdowns as a Spartan in the Week 2 win over Akron and had 15 carries overall for 81 yards against the Zips. Broussard, who joined the program in May from Colorado, rushed for 1,556 yards and seven TDs the past two seasons (2020-21) in just 17 games for the Buffaloes. He was named the 2020 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year after leading the league with 895 rushing yards and five touchdowns in six games during the pandemic-shortened season, and followed up with 661 yards and two TDs last fall.

• Redshirt senior Elijah Collins ranks second on the team with four rushing touchdowns. He has seen his workload increase the last three games, including a season-high 14 carries for 43 yards and one TD in the victory over Wisconsin in Week 7. Collins nearly rushed for 1,000 yards (222 carries for 988 yards) in 13 games, including 12 starts, during his redshirt freshman season in 2019. He had 41 carries for 90 yards in 2020 and 18 carries for 102 yards in seven games last season while battling an ankle injury. Collins ranks third on the team in rushing (146 yards) and third among running backs in carries (30).

Effrem Reed, who was an offensive analyst the past two seasons, was promoted to running backs coach in the offseason.

 

10.30.21_MSU FTBL VS UMICH
Jayden Reed leaps to make a 2-point conversion catch in last year’s win over Michigan.




WIDE RECEIVERS

• #5 Germie Bernard (Fr., 6-0, 200, Henderson, Nev./Liberty)

(7 games/1 start, 7 catches, 128 yards, 18.3 avg., 2 TDs, 18.3 ypg)

• #0 Keon Coleman (So., 6-4, 215, Opelousas, La./Opelousas Catholic)

(7 games/7 starts, 31 catches, 393 yards, 12.7 avg., 5 TDs, 56.1 ypg)

• #16 Christian Fitzpatrick (R-So., 6-4, 218, Southfield, Mich./Louisville)

(5 games, 2 catches, 17 yards, 8.5 avg., 0 TDs, 3.4 ypg)

• #83 Montorie Foster (2L, Jr., 6-0, 185, Cleveland, Ohio/St. Edward)

(5 games, 6 catches, 82 yards, 13.7 avg., 1 TD, 16.4 ypg)

• #85 Cade McDonald (2L, R-Jr., 5-11, 195, Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central)

(7 games, 3 catches, 31 yards, 10.3 avg., 0 TDs, 5.2 ypg)

• #17 Tre Mosley (2L, R-Jr., 6-2, 198, Pontiac, Mich./West Bloomfield)

(7 games/5 starts, 23 catches, 226 yards, 9.8 avg., 3 TDs, 32.3 ypg)

• #1 Jayden Reed (2L, Gr.-5, 6-0, 190, Naperville, Ill./Western Michigan)

(6 games/6 starts, 32 catches, 373 yards, 11.7 avg., 3 TDs, 62.2 ypg)

RETURNING ALL-AMERICAN JAYDEN REED LEADS TALENTED WIDE RECEIVING CORPS

• Fifth-year graduate senior Jayden Reed, who earned first-team All-America honors as an all-purpose player by the American Football Coaches Association as a junior in 2021, leads a talented wide receiving corps for the Spartans. Reed’s explosiveness was one of the main reasons for MSU’s school-record turnaround season last year – he not only led the Spartans with 59 catches for 1,026 yards and 10 touchdowns, but he also ranked first in the Big Ten in punt returns (19.8 avg.; 12 returns for 238 yards) and tied for the FBS lead with two punt returns for touchdowns (62 yards vs. Nebraska, 88 yards vs. Western Kentucky). His 10 TD grabs were sixth most in an MSU single-season and his 1,026 receiving yards ranked ninth most.

• Reed is rounding back into form after missing time with an injury that sidelined him in Week 3 at Washington. Reed recorded season bests in receptions (9) and receiving yards (117) against Wisconsin and accounted for both touchdowns in the double-overtime win – he threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Keon Coleman on the first play of overtime, then caught a 27-yard pass from Payton Thorne on third-and-12 in the second overtime that clinched the victory for the Spartans. His performance against the Badgers landed him on the Paul Hornung Award weekly honor roll.

• Reed leads the team with 32 catches for 373 yards and is tied for second with three touchdown receptions.

• Reed has started all 26 Michigan State games he has played in since 2020 and has at least one catch in every one of those games. He started 12 games as a freshman at Western Michigan in 2018 and earned Freshman All-America honors for the Broncos before sitting out the entire 2019 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Reed currently ranks tied for eighth in MSU history in touchdown catches (16) and 17th in both receiving yards (1,806) and receptions (124). His 15.6-yard career punt return average ranks second among active FBS players.

• Last season, Reed was named one of five finalists for the Paul Hornung Award – given annually to the nation’s most versatile player – after averaging 18.0 yards per play (1,674 all-purpose yards on 93 total plays), which led the Big Ten and ranked tied for seventh in the FBS. Forty-two of Reed’s 59 catches (.712) went for either a first down or a touchdown, and he led MSU with 32 explosive plays (20-plus yards), including 20 receptions, nine kick returns and three punt returns. In addition, seven of his 10 TD catches were from 25-plus yards.

• Redshirt junior Tre Mosley (R-Jr.) has been consistently productive for the Spartans throughout his career and recorded career highs in catches (35), receiving yards (530) and TD receptions (3) last season while earning nine starting assignments. Mosley is tied for second on the team lead with three touchdowns in the first seven games and has 23 catches for 226 yards overall. He has 86 catches for 1,043 yards and seven TDs in his 31-game collegiate career, including 18 starts. Mosley surpassed the 1,000-yard receiving milestone for his career in the Ohio State game with a season-best six catches for 40 yards.

• Sophomore Keon Coleman showed flashes of his athleticism as a true freshman and is now a full-time starter for the Spartans. He leads the team with five touchdown catches and 393 receiving yards, and ranks second with 31 receptions, just one behind team-leader Jayden Reed. The 6-foot-4-inch, 215-pound Coleman recorded career highs with nine catches for 116 yards and two TDs in Week 3 at Washington, and he also caught two two-point conversion passes.

• Coleman matched his two-TD game against the Huskies with two touchdowns in the Week 7 win over Wisconsin, including a leaping 25-yard catch on the first play of overtime that was thrown by Reed. The  Opelousas, Louisiana, product had five catches for 79 yards overall vs. Wisconsin; he also had a 27-yard TD grab in the fourth quarter.

• Coleman spent last winter with the basketball team, playing in six games, to earn letters in both football and basketball as a true freshman in 2021-22.

• True freshman Germie Bernard has seven catches for 128 yards (18.3 avg.). He made an immediate impact in his first game as a Spartan, catching his first pass and racing 44 yards to the end zone in the first quarter against Western Michigan. He also caught a 27-yard TD pass vs. Minnesota from Noah Kim. Bernard joined the Spartans in January and competed in spring practice.

• After missing the first two games of the season due to an injury, junior Montorie Foster has played in the last five games and has six catches for 82 yards and one TD.

Courtney Hawkins is entering his third season as the wide receivers coach for the Spartans.

OFFENSIVE LINE

• #53 OT Brandon Baldwin (R-So., 6-7, 315, Detroit, Mich./Independence CC, 4 games/1 start at LT)

• #58 OT Spencer Brown (1L, R-Jr., 6-6, 315, Commerce Twp., Mich, Walled Lake Western, 7 games/7 starts at RT)

• #56 RG Matt Carrick (4L, Gr.-6, 6-5, 320, Minerva, Ohio/Perry, 7 games/7 starts at RG)

• #67 LG J.D. Duplain (3L, Sr., 6-4, 300, Strongsville, Ohio/Strongsville, 7 games/7 starts at LG)

• #50 OG/C Brian Greene (Gr.-6, 6-3, 300, Yakima, Wash./Washington State, 7 games)

• #79 LT Jarrett Horst (Sr.-5, 6-6, 300, Milddleton, Wis./Arkansas State, 7 games/6 starts at LT)

• #59 C Nick Samac (3L, Sr., 6-4, 300, Mentor, Ohio/Mentor, 7 games/7 starts at C)

SPARTANS FEATURE 125 COMBINED CAREER STARTS ON OFFENSIVE LINE

• The Spartans lost eight lettermen from last season’s offensive line, including four starters (center Matt Allen, guard Blake Bueter, tackle AJ Arcuri, guard/tackle Kevin Jarvis), but assistant head coach/offensive line coach/run game coordinator Chris Kapilovic still returns plenty of experience in 2022.

• Although Allen started every game at center in 2021, senior Nick Samac split time with Allen during the season and is now the full-time starter at center. Samac has 17 career starts under his belt and has played in 34 collegiate games.

• Senior J.D. Duplain, a second-team All-Big Ten honoree last season by Pro Football Focus, is back for his fourth consecutive season starting games at left guard. Duplain earned five starts at left guard as a true freshman in 2019 and five more as a sophomore in 2020 before starting every game at the position last season while helping pave the way for Doak Walker Award winner and unanimous All-American Kenneth Walker III. Duplain has started a team-best 25 consecutive games for the Spartans at left guard and has 30 career starts overall.

• At right guard, sixth-year graduate senior Matt Carrick brings 25 career starts and 45 games of experience to the table. Carrick rotated at right guard in the first seven games last season, but missed the second half of the year with an ACL injury. He returned to the starting lineup in the season opener against Western Michigan. Carrick started all seven games at the position in 2020 and 11 times in 2019.

• Redshirt junior Spencer Brown, who still has three years of eligibility remaining, earned his first career start in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl victory over No. 12 Pitt, playing in all 89 snaps at right tackle against the Panthers. Brown has started the first seven games of the season at right tackle.

• Fifth-year senior Jarrett Horst, who transferred to MSU in 2021 after starting two years (2019-20) at left tackle at Arkansas State, started the first eight games of last season at left tackle during the Spartans’ 8-0 start. Although he missed the last five games of the year, Horst still earned honorable mention All-Big Ten accolades by the coaches and media in playing a total of 317 offensive snaps. Horst returned to the lineup in a reserve role at left tackle against Western Michigan in Week 1 and was back in the starting lineup for Week 2 against Akron, earning co-offensive player of the week honors for the Spartans. He has six starts this season and 34 for his career (20 at Arkansas State, 14 at MSU).

• Another experienced transfer joined the Spartans over the summer, as Brian Greene landed in East Lansing from Washington State. A sixth-year graduate senior, Greene has played in 36 career games overall, including 10 starts at center for the Cougars (four in 2020, six in 2021). He has rotated at guard for the Spartans in 2022.

• Redshirt sophomore Brandon Baldwin earned his first career start at left tackle in Week 1 against Western Michigan and played 41 snaps vs. the Bronocs. Baldwin transferred to MSU in 2021 from Independence Community College but did not see game action last season.

• The Spartans have featured the same starting combination on the offensive line the last six games.

TIGHT ENDS

• #9 Daniel Barker (Gr.-5, 6-4, 250, Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Illinois)

(7 games/2 starts, 12 catches, 130 yards, 10.8 avg., 1 TD, 18.6 ypg)

• #6 Maliq Carr (1L, R-So., 6-5, 255, Inkster, Mich./Purdue)

(7 games, 6 catches, 123 yards, 20.5 avg., 0 TDs, 17.6 ypg)

• #97 Tyler Hunt (4L, Gr.-6, 6-3, 248, Gobles, Mich./Gobles)

(7 games/7 starts, 12 catches, 91 yards, 7.6 avg., 0 TDs, 13.0 ypg)

TIGHT ENDS SEE A PROMINENT ROLE IN SPARTAN OFFENSE

• Although the Spartans lost Connor Heyward, who was selected in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Steelers after a successful season in 2021, there are still plenty of intriguing options at tight end for third-year coach Ted Gilmore.

• Former walk-on Tyler Hunt, who began his Spartan career as a punter, is in his sixth season in 2022. Hunt posted career highs in receptions (14) and receiving yards (136) in 11 games last season, including four starts, before missing the last two games with an injury. He made the transition from a specialist to a tight end during preseason practice in 2020. Hunt has started the first seven games and has 12 receptions for 91 yards this season.

• The program welcomed transfer Daniel Barker (Gr.-5) from Illinois during the summer, an experienced player who owns the Fighting Illini record for most touchdown catches by a tight end with 11. Barker racked up 64 receptions for 827 yards in 44 games at Illinois from 2018-21, including 21 starting assignments. That production has carried over to East Lansing, as he leads the Spartan tight end room with 12 catches for 130 yards and one TD. In his Spartan debut against Western Michigan, Barker made a one-handed 13-yard touchdown grab in the left corner of the south end zone in the second quarter. In Week 3 at Washington, he had a career-high seven catches for 69 yards.

• Redshirt sophomore Maliq Carr showed plenty of promise during his first season with the Green and White in 2021 and expects to contribute more to the offense this fall. Carr had seven receptions for 128 yards in the last six games of 2021 and had eight receptions for 135 yards overall in 12 total games, including a start in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against No. 12 Pitt. Carr has six catches for 123 yards through six games, leading the Spartans with a 20.5-yard per catch average after his career-long 72-yard reception vs. Wisconsin, which was MSU’s longest pass play this season.

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE ENDS

• #2 Khris Bogle (Sr., 6-4, 245, Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Florida)

(4 games/1 start, 11 tackles, 3 TFLs for 3 yards, 1 sack for 1 yard)

• #98 Avery Dunn (R-So., 6-4, 245, Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights)

(4 games, 10 tackles)

• #5 Michael Fletcher (R-Jr., 6-6, 260, Flint, Mich./Carman-Ainsworth)

(4 games/1 start, 3 tackles, 0.5 TFL)

• #94 Dashaun Mallory (R-Sr., 6-2, 280, Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook)

(4 games, 3 tackles)

• #47 Jeff Pietrowski (2L, Jr., 6-2, 250, Medina, Ohio/St. Edward)

(3 games/3 starts, 6 tackles, 0.5 TFL for 2 yards)

• #4 Jacoby Windmon (Sr., 6-2, 250, New Orleans, La./UNLV)

(7 games/7 starts, 37 tackles, 10.5 TFLs for 46 yards, 5.5 sacks for 31 yards, 6 FF, 1 FR, 1 INT, 2 PBUs)

• #26 Brandon Wright (3L, Sr., 6-2, 250, Euclid, Ohio/Euclid)

(7 games/2 starts, 13 tackles, 1.5 TFLs for 9 yards, 1 sack for 7 yards, 1 FF)

• #18 Zion Young (Fr., 6-6, 260, Atlanta, Ga./Westlake)

(7 games/1 start, 14 tackles, 2.0 TFLs for 10 yards, 1 sack for 7 yards)

WINDMON LEADS NATION IN FORCED FUMBLES, LEADS BIG TEN IN TFLs

• Due to a combination of injuries, the Spartans have utilized six different starting defensive ends this season. Senior Jacoby Windmon, who transferred from UNLV and joined the program in January, competed in spring practice and most of preseason camp as a linebacker before making a late position switch to defensive end prior to the season opener. Windmon started the first six games on the edge before moving back to linebacker for a majority of his snaps in the Week 7 win over Wisconsin. During his first game as a defensive end, Windmon made an immediate splash with a career-high four sacks and was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.

• Windmon is the first player in school history and just the sixth in Big Ten history to earn Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors three times in a single season (LB Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern, 1995; DE Tom Burke, Wisconsin, 1998; LB Paul Posluszny, Penn State, 2005; LB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State, 2013; LB Anthony Walker, Northwestern, 2015).

• He has also been recognized as the national defensive player of the week twice this season (Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week vs. Western Michigan; FWAA Bronko Nagurski Defensive Player of the Week vs. Wisconsin). After becoming the first Spartan defensive player to win the award in back-to-back weeks (Game 1 vs. Western Michigan; Game 2 vs. Akron), Windmon claimed the honor for the third time following his impressive performance in the double-overtime win over Wisconsin.

• In his first start of the season at linebacker (previous six starts at defensive end), Windmon registered a season-best 11 tackles against Wisconsin, including two for losses (6 yards), and caused both Badger turnovers. He picked off his first career pass in the first quarter at the UW 12-yard line, leading to MSU’s first touchdown of the game; and then on Wisconsin’s second possession in overtime, he forced a fumble that was recovered by Dashaun Mallory.

• Windmon, who was added to the Bednarik Award Watch List in midseason by the Maxwell Football Club and named a second-team midseason All-American by Pro Football Focus, leads the Big Ten in tackles for loss (1.5 pg; 10.5) and is second in sacks (0.79 pg; 5.5). He ranks first in the FBS with six forced fumbles – three more than any other player in the nation through the first seven games of the season. Overall, he ranks sixth on the team with 37 tackles to go along with two pass break-ups, an interception and a fumble recovery. The six forced fumbles are already tied for second most in a Spartan season (record: eight by Jonal Saint-Dic in 2007).

• A transfer from UNLV, Windmon posted 169 career tackles in three seasons (2019-21) for the Runnin’ Rebels, adding 18.5 TFLs (100 yards), 12 sacks (85 yards), four pass break-ups and three forced fumbles in 30 career games. Last season, the New Orleans native ranked third in the MWC and 13th in the FBS in tackles per game (9.8 avg.; 118 total) and also had 11.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.

• In Week 2 against Akron, Windmon forced three fumbles, the most by a Spartan since Joe Bachie against Maryland in 2018. He also recorded 2.5 tackles for loss (17 yards) and 1.5 sacks (14 yards), broke up a pass, and recovered a fumble while collecting five stops overall.

• In his Spartan debut against Western Michigan on Sept. 2, Windmon recorded a career-high four sacks (17 yards), including a forced fumble, and had seven tackles overall while starting at defensive end. Windmon’s four sacks tied for the second most in school history and are tied for second most in a single game in the FBS this season.

• Windmon not only leads the FBS with six forced fumbles, his nine career forced fumbles are tied for first among all active players in the country.

• Junior Jeff Pietrowski started the first three games at defensive end on the opposite side of Windmon but has missed the last four games due to an injury he suffered in Week 3 at Washington. He has six tackles, including a half tackle for loss, in three games of action. Pietrowski was productive in his second season with the Spartans in 2021, ranking tied for second on the team with 5.5 sacks and third with seven tackles for loss in 13 games and three starts. He played a total of 483 snaps on defense and also ranked tied for second in the Big Ten with three forced fumbles.

• The Spartans also added impact transfer Khris Bogle from Florida to bolster the pass rush in 2022. Rated a four-star prospect in the Class of 2019, Bogle was ranked one of the top 100 overall players in the nation coming out of Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bogle played three seasons (2019-21) with the Gators, collecting 69 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 35 career games, including seven starts. He enrolled in January and participated in spring practice for the Spartans to get a head start for the 2022 season; he has 11 tackles, three tackles for loss (3 yards) and one sack (1 yard) in four games (missed last three games due to an injury).

• Senior Brandon Wright, who made the transition from running back to defensive end during spring practice in 2021, started his first career game at Maryland in Week 5. Wright made his presence known in the last two games of the 2021 season, recording a 14-yard sack and a forced fumble vs. Penn State and then picking up four tackles, including 1.5 sacks, in the win over No. 12 Pitt in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. He has 13 tackles (1.5 TFLs) in the first seven games of 2022, including two starts.

• True freshman Zion Young made an impact in preseason camp and recorded his first career sack in Week 2 vs. Akron. He has 14 tackles overall and 2.0 TFLs (10 yards) and one sack (7 yards) in seven games. In his first career start against Wisconsin in Week 7, he registered a career-high five tackles.

• Two-year letterwinner Dashaun Mallory, who has played defensive tackle throughout his career, has also played on the edge this season for the Spartans.

• First-year coach Brandon Jordan, who was hired in January as a pass rush specialist, works with the defensive ends, along with fellow first-year defensive line coach and run game coordinator Marco Coleman.

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

• #8 Simeon Barrow (1L, R-So., 6-3, 290, Grovetown, Ga./Grovetown)

(7 games/6 starts, 20 tackles, 4.0 TFLs for 11 yards, 2 sacks for 9 yards, 1 FR)

• #97 Maverick Hansen (2L, R-Jr., 6-4, 300, Farmington Hills, Mich./Harrison)

(7 games/1 start, 24 tackles, 0.5 TFL for 1 yard, 1 FR)

• #41 Derrick Harmon (R-Fr., 6-5, 320, Detroit, Mich./Loyola)

(7 games/5 starts, 22 tackles, 1.5 TFL for 8 yards, 1.5 sacks for 8 yards, 1 FR, 1 PBU)

• #99 Jalen Hunt (R-Jr., 6-4, 320, Belleville, Mich./Belleville)

(3 games, 1 tackle)

• #64 Jacob Slade (3L, Gr.-5, 6-4, 305, Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy)

(3 games/2 starts, 4 tackles, 0.5 TFL for 1 yard)

• #91 Alex VanSumeren (Fr., 6-3, 300, Bay City, Mich./Garber)

(4 games, 3 tackles)

SPARTANS FEATURE DEPTH ALONG THE DEFENSIVE INTERIOR

• The Spartans are loaded with experience and talent along the interior of the defensive line with five returning letterwinners, including both starters from 2021 (Simeon Barrow; Jacob Slade), but unfortunately injuries have shuffled the rotation much of the 2022 season through the first seven games.

• A preseason second-team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Slade was named to watch lists for the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award entering the season, but missed four games after suffering an injury in Week 2 vs. Akron. He returned to the lineup vs. Wisconsin in Week 7, and the Spartans responded with a victory over the Badgers.

• A first-team All-Big Ten selection by Pro Football Focus, Slade posted career numbers in 2021 with 40 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. According to PFF, he racked up 40 QB pressures, the most of any Big Ten defensive tackle and tied for 10th most in the FBS, and 33 QB hurries, No. 1 among Big Ten DTs and No. 3 in the FBS. He was named to the AP All-Bowl Team after recording a career-high two tackles for loss, including 1.5 sacks, to go along with six stops overall in the victory over No. 12 Pitt in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

• Barrow has started six games for the Spartans and is building upon his strong redshirt freshman season in 2021 with another solid performance in 2022. Barrow has 20 tackles, including four for losses (11 yards) and two sacks (9 yards). He tallied 34 tackles, four TFLs and three sacks in 10 starts last season. After missing the last three games of the regular season due to an injury, Barrow stormed back on the field with six tackles and a TFL in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl win against Pittsburgh.

• Redshirt junior Maverick Hansen filled in for Barrow in the starting lineup for three games in 2021 and was equally effective during his time in the lineup. Hansen ranked fourth on the team with 3.5 sacks and 6.0 tackles for loss in 13 games overall. He has 24 stops this season, most among Spartan defensive tackles.

• Promising redshirt freshman Derrick Harmon played in four games last fall to preserve his redshirt season. He has earned five starting assignments (Akron, Washington, Maryland, Ohio State, Wisconsin) and has 22 tackles overall in seven games. Harmon recorded his first career sack vs. Ohio State.

• Experienced defensive tackle Jalen Hunt (R-Jr.) has battled injuries the past two seasons, but has played in three games in 2022.

• Four-star prospect Alex VanSumeren, who was ranked one of the top overall players in the nation by Rivals, ESPN and 247Sports, enrolled in January at Michigan State and gained valuable experience during spring practice. He has three tackles in four games of action.

 

Jacoby Windmon
Jacoby Windmon, who has been named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week three times this season, leads the nation with six forced fumbles.

LINEBACKERS

• #7 Aaron Brule (Gr.-5, 6-2, 242, New Orleans, La./Mississippi State)

(7 games/1 start, 12 tackles, 2.0 TFLs for 9 yards, 1 sack for 5 yards)

• #10 Ma’a Gaoteote (So., 6-1, 230, Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman)

(6 games, 6 tackles, 1 TFL for 9 yards)

• #27 Cal Haladay (1L, R-So., 6-1, 230, Elysburg, Pa./Southern Columbia)

(7 games/6 starts, 58 tackles, 4 TFLs for 18 yards, 1 sack for 10 yards, 1 FR for 21 yards, 1 FF)

• #13 Ben VanSumeren (Gr.-5, 6-3, 235, Bay City, Mich./Michigan)

(7 games/6 starts, 53 tackles, 1 TFL for 8 yards, 1 PBU)

• #4 Jacoby Windmon (Sr., 6-2, 250, New Orleans, La./UNLV)

(7 games/7 starts, 37 tackles, 10.5 TFLs for 46 yards, 5.5 sacks for 31 yards, 6 FF, 1 FR, 1 INT, 2 PBUs)

WINDMON RETURNS TO LINEBACKER IN WIN OVER WISCONSIN

• The linebackers, coached by Secchia Family Defensive Coordinator Scottie Hazelton, feature a strong position room, but unfortunately will be missing one of its key players this season as junior starter Darius Snow suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1 against Western Michigan. Snow played safety and nickelback last season and racked up 87 tackles before moving to linebacker during spring practice. His versatility will be missed in 2022.

• Senior Jacoby Windmon, who joined the program in January 2022 as a transfer from UNLV, made a late change to defensive end in preseason camp and started the first six games on the edge. He returned to linebacker in the win over Wisconsin in Week 7 and led the Spartans with 11 tackles, including two for losses (6 yards). The New Orleans native caused both of the Badger turnovers – he picked off his first career pass in the first quarter at the UW 12-yard line, leading to MSU’s first touchdown of the game; and then on Wisconsin’s second possession in overtime, he forced a fumble that was recovered by Dashaun Mallory. Windmon became the first Spartan to record double-digit tackles, an interception and a forced fumble in the same game since Joe Bachie in 2017 at Michigan.

• Returning starter Cal Haladay (R-So.) won the middle linebacker job as a redshirt freshman in 2021 and went on to earn Freshman All-America honors after tying for the team lead with 96 tackles. He also returned two interceptions for touchdowns, including a game-winning 78-yard return for a score with less than a minute remaining in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl victory to earn Defensive MVP honors in the game. Haladay leads the team with 58 tackles and has posted double-digit tackles in three of the seven games, including a career-high 12 vs. Minnesota.

• Graduate senior Ben VanSumeren started the first six games for the Spartans and ranks third on the team with 53 tackles. He has posted double-digit stops in three games, including a career-high 14 at Maryland in Week 5.

Aaron Brule started eight games and played in 12 last season at Mississippi State, recording 52 tackles, 7.5 TFLs and 2.5 sacks. He brings a wealth of experience from Starkville, where he collected 141 tackles, including 17.5 TFLs and 7.5 sacks, in 40 career games (19 starts) from 2018-21. Brule delivered a 5-yard sack in his Spartan debut against Western Michigan and has 12 stops overall. He started his first Spartan game in the Week 7 victory over Wisconsin.

• Sophomore Ma’a Gaoteote, a former four-star and top-100 recruit out of Bishop Gorman High School, played in nine games as a true freshman to earn his first letter and will compete for time in the rotation. He has six tackles and one TFL (9 yards) in six games this season.

 

Xavier Henderson
Safety Xavier Henderson returned to the starting lineup in the win over Wisconsin on Oct. 15.

SECONDARY

• #0 CB Charles Brantley (1L, So., 6-0, 170, Sarasota, Fla./Venice)

(7 games/7 starts, 34 tackles, 2.0 TFLs for 12 yards, 1 sack for 8 yards, 5 PBUs, 1 INT for 32 yards)

• #33 S Kendell Brooks (1L, Sr.-5, 6-0, 215, Swansea, S.C./North Greenville)

(6 games/5 starts, 57 tackles, 0.5 TFL for 0 yards, 3 FF, 1 PBU)

• #15 S/NB Angelo Grose (2L, Jr., 5-10, 185, Mansfield, Ohio/Mansfield Senior)

(7 games/7 starts, 49 tackles, 2.0 TFLs for 6 yards, 4 PBUs)

• #28 S Tate Hallock (2L, R-Jr., 6-4, 210, Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central)

(3 games, 4 tackles)

• #3 S Xavier Henderson (4L, Gr.-5, 6-1, 210, Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Pickerington Central)

(2 games/2 starts, 5 tackles, 1 TFL for 3 yards, 1 PBU)

• #12 NB/CB Chester Kimbrough (1L, Sr., 6-0, 185, New Orleans, La./Florida)

(6 games/3 starts, 12 tackles, 2 sacks for 13 yards, 1 FR for 3 yards, 3 PBUs)

• #29 CB Marqui Lowery (1L, R-So., 6-0, 180, Charlotte, N.C./Louisville)

(2 games, 2 tackles)

• #1 S Jaden Mangham (Fr., 6-2, 175, Bingham Farms, Mich./Wylie E. Groves)

(5 games/2 starts, 12 tackles)

• #6 CB Ameer Speed (Gr.-6, 6-3, 215, Jacksonville, Fla./Georgia)

(7 games/7 starts, 42 tackles, 1 TFL for 2 yards, 1 PBU)

• #30 S/NB Justin White (1L, R-Jr., 5-9, 180, Agoura Hills, Calif./Colorado Mesa)

(7 games/1 start, 19 tackles)

• #9 CB Ronald Williams (1L, Sr.-6, 6-2, 195, Ferriday, La., Alabama)

(7 games, 9 tackles, 1 PBU)

XAVIER HENDERSON RETURNS TO ACTION IN WEEK 7 VICTORY OVER WISCONSIN

• Former Spartan All-American and NFL veteran Harlon Barnett is in 14th year overall on the defensive coaching staff at Michigan State, his third under head coach Mel Tucker. Barnett was the cornerbacks coach in 2020 before returning to coaching the entire secondary in 2021. Ross Els, who is also the special teams coordinator, will coach the nickelbacks this season, while Tucker will also assist with the cornerbacks.

• At cornerback, sixth-year graduate senior Ameer Speed enrolled in January after spending his first five years at Georgia (2017-21). Speed started in three games for the National Champion Bulldogs in 2021 and played in 13 games overall, playing a total of 181 snaps with 13 tackles. He recorded six tackles in his Spartan debut against Western Michigan and had a career-high 11 stops vs. Maryland in Week 5. Speed is fifth on the team with 42 tackles through seven games.

• Opposite of Speed, sophomore Charles Brantley has started the first seven games of the season and leads the team with five pass break-ups, including a career-high three vs. Akron in Week 2. He intercepted a C.J. Stroud pass and raced 32 yards into the end zone for a touchdown against the Buckeyes in Week 6. Brantley played in eight games in 2021 and earned a start at Purdue on Nov. 6, but he suffered a season-ending injury in the game and had his freshman season cut short by a month. Brantley sealed the win over No. 6 Michigan on Oct. 30 with a one-handed interception in the final minute of the game.

• Sixth-year graduate senior Ronald Williams started nine games at cornerback in 2021 and is back for the Spartans this fall, while redshirt sophomore Marqui Lowery started twice last season.

• Senior Chester Kimbrough, who transferred from Florida last season, started the first three games at nickelback. He moved to nickelback in spring practice after starting 11 games at cornerback for the Spartans in 2021. Kimbrough has 12 tackles, including two sacks for 13 yards, and three pass break-ups.

Justin White (R-Jr.), a Division II transfer from Colorado Mesa who sat out the 2020 season, saw his playing time increase toward the end of last year and earned his first career start as a Spartan vs. Minnesota at nickelback. He played safety against Ohio State in a reserve role and collected 11 tackles.

• The Spartans returned both starting safeties from last season – Angelo Grose (Jr.) and Xavier Henderson (Gr.-5) – but multiple injuries have shuffled the lineup this fall.

• A 2021 team captain, Henderson had started 34 consecutive games at safety before missing Week 2 against Akron. He left the season opener against Western Michigan in the second quarter and missed five games with an injury before returning in Week 7 vs. Wisconsin. Henderson recorded career highs in tackles (96) and tackles for loss (10) last year to earn third-team All-Big Ten honors by the media.

• In his return, the Spartans allowed just 131 passing yards to Wisconsin, the fewest by a opponent in the Mel Tucker era. Henderson started his 35th career game in the win over the Badgers and had five tackles.

• Grose has started 24 consecutive games, the longest streak on the defense and the second longest on the team. He has started five games at safety this season and two at nickelback. He moved to safety in 2021 and started all 12 regular-season games there before moving back to nickelback in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

• Last season, Grose led the team with more than 1,000 snaps on defense while collecting 83 tackles and seven passes defended (one interception, six pass break-ups). In seven starts this season, Grose is fourth on the team with 49 tackles and second with four pass break-ups.

• Following Henderson’s exit from the game in Week 1, Kendell Brooks (Sr.-5) stepped up against Western Michigan and posted five tackles, including a forced fumble. Since then, he has gone on to lead the Spartan secondary in tackles and ranks second on the team overall with 57 stops, although he did miss the Wisconsin game due to an injury.

• In his first career start against Akron in Week 2, Brooks caused another fumble and had seven tackles. He posted eight stops at Washington and forced a fumble in his third straight game; he ranks second in the FBS with three forced fumbles, trailing only his teammate Jacoby Windmon, who has six. Brooks then had a career-high 18 stops vs. Minnesota, the most by a Spartan since Eric Smith had 19 vs. Notre Dame in 2004. Brooks transferred from Division II North Greenville in 2021.

• True freshman Jaden Mangham, a four-star prospect, earned his first career start at safety in Week 5 at Maryland and collected six tackles. He played 38 total snaps at safety before playing 73 snaps against the Terrapins. Mangham started against in Week 6 vs. Ohio State but left the game with an injury and did not play vs. Wisconsin.

SPECIAL TEAMS HIGHLIGHTED BY NATION’S BEST PUNTER IN BRYCE BARINGER

Punter: Bryce Baringer is using his extra season of eligibility in 2022 and returns as the starting punter after a record-breaking season in which he set the MSU single-season record with his 48.4-yard punting average, a mark that also led the Big Ten and ranked No. 5 in the FBS. Baringer became the first Spartan punter to lead the Big Ten in punting since the late Mike Sadler in 2012. In addition, Baringer’s 48.4-yard average was also the second-best average in Big Ten history, second only to Iowa’s Reggie Roby in 1981 (49.8 avg.). Baringer also ranked second in the conference in punts of 50-plus yards (26), including 10 of 60-plus yards, to earn second-team all-league honors.

• A Ray Guy Award candidate, Baringer continues to lead the FBS with a 51.4-yard average (30 punts for 1,542 yards). Sixteen of Baringer’s 30 punts this season have been for 50-plus yards, including five of 60-plus yards, and he has placed 12 inside the 20-yard line.

• A first-team midseason All-American by The Associated Press, Baringer leads all active FBS punters with a 46.1-yard career punting average.

• Baringer was named the Ray Guy Award National Punter of the Week after averaging 48.9 yards per punt against Ohio State (seven punts for 342 yards) in Week 6. He also tied a career high with five punts placed inside the 20.

• In the season opener, Baringer averaged 50.5 yards per punt on four punts (202 yards) against WMU to be named one of the Ray Guy Award’s top-eight punters of Week 1. He had a game-long 70-yard punt, marking the third time he has punted a ball at least 70 yards in a game; his first punt of the game was a 67-yarder that was downed at the 4-yard line.

Placekicker: The Spartans have a new starting placekicker for the first time in five years following the departure of the school’s all-time leading scorer and field-goal kicker, Matt Coghlin. True freshman Jack Stone earned the job in preseason camp; he is 15-for-16 on PATs and 1-for-3 on field goals, including making a 43-yarder vs. Akron for the first field goal of his young career. Stone is averaging 60.8 yards on kickoffs with eight touchbacks in 31 attempts (.258).

• While Coghlin battled an injury at the end of last season, Stephen Rusnak stepped in the last five games to earn his first letter. Rusnak was 4-of-5 on PATs and averaged 54.3 yards on kickoffs with four touchbacks on 21 kickoffs.

• In addition, MSU added graduate transfer Ben Patton from Auburn in August prior to the season opener. He made his first PAT as a Spartan in Week 5 at Maryland and is 5-for-5 in PATs on the season.

Long Snapper: Hank Pepper handled every snap for the Spartans as a true freshman in 2021 and is back for his second season as the starter; however, backup redshirt freshman Michael Donovan has started the past two games (Ohio State, Wisconsin) for MSU.

Kick Returner/Punt Returner: Redshirt senior Jayden Reed earned first-team All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) as an all-purpose player last season thanks to a dynamic return game, as Reed led the Big Ten in punt returns (19.8 avg.; 12 returns for 238 yards) and tied for the FBS lead with two punt returns for touchdowns (62 yards vs. Nebraska, 88 yards vs. Western Kentucky). Reed also ranked fourth in the Big Ten in kick returns (23.5 avg.) and second in the Big Ten and 23rd in the FBS in combined returns (614 yards). He was selected the Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week vs. Nebraska after his 62-yard punt return late in the fourth quarter tied the game in MSU’s eventual overtime victory against the Huskers.

• Reed was named one of five finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, which is given annually to the nation’s most versatile player. As a team, Michigan State led the Big Ten and ranked third in the FBS in punt returns (18.2 avg.). Reed’s two punt returns not only tied a school record, but he became the first Spartan to ever return touchdowns on back-to-back punts (fourth quarter vs. Nebraska; first quarter vs. Western Kentucky).

• Reed has seven punt returns for 49 yards (7.0 avg.) this season; his 15.6-yard career punt return average ranks second best among all active FBS players. He has had two punt returns for touchdowns called back this season due to penalties (86 yards vs. Akron; 81 yards vs. Wisconsin).

• Redshirt junior Cade McDonald has three punt returns for 31 yards, including a 21-yarder vs. Akron.

• Freshman Tyrell Henry leads the team in kick return average (22.6; five returns for 113 yards). Jarek Broussard ranks second with five returns for 95 yards (19.0 avg.).

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