Michigan State game notes – Montana StatePublished 9:48pm Saturday, September 5, 2009
EAST LANSING – There was no overlooking Montana State on Saturday for the Michigan State football team.
As a result, the Spartans (1-0) rolled to a 44-3 victory over Montana State.
Michigan State played in front of a crowd of 74,518 fans, the biggest crowd for a home opener since it set a stadium record with 80,401 for the 1990 Notre Dame game.
Here are more notes for Saturday’s contest:
Michigan State’s defense limited Montana State to three points, which marks the fewest points by an MSU opponent in a season and home opener since the Spartans shut out Miami-Ohio, 49-0, in 1989.
Greg Jones recorded 14 tackles, one short of his career high…Jones has now recorded double-figure tackles in eight straight games, averaging 12.5 stops during the streak…he is the first player to record double-digit stops in eight consecutive games since Josh Thornhill in 2001…Jones also recorded three tackles for loss for 16 yards.
Montana State was held to 98 yards passing, the lowest for an opponent since Florida Atlantic had 88 passing yards last season.
Blair White recorded a career-high nine receptions for 162 yards, which is just shy of his career-high 164 receiving yards vs. Wisconsin last season…it marked his third-career 100-yard receiving game, as White also had 143 receiving yards at Michigan last year.
MSU has now won 14 of its last 18 non-conference games, including an 8-3 mark under coach Mark Dantonio.
Michigan State improves to 12-3 at home under Dantonio.
Brett Swenson connected on two field goals (45 yards, 37 yards), giving him 54 for his career, which is third all-time in MSU history…Swenson collected 11 points on the day to give him 287 for his career, moving him into third place in the MSU record books…Swenson also moved into a tie for fourth place with 125 career extra points; he kicked five today.
Kirk Cousins recorded career highs in both passing yards (183) and touchdowns (3)…he completed 10-of-17 throws.
Keith Nichol threw for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 9-of-18 passing in his Spartan debut…he connected on TD passes to Dion Sims (26 yards) and Brian Linthicum (3 yards).
Last season, All-American Javon Ringer averaged 125.9 rushing yards per game…today, the top three running backs (Caulton Ray, Larry Caper and Edwin Baker) combined for 132 yards on the ground…Ray led the Spartan running backs with 71 yards on 12 carries (5.9 avg.)…overall, the Spartans rushed for 181 yards.