MSU picks up night game

Published 11:15 pm Thursday, May 12, 2011

EAST LANSING — Michigan State’s Oct. 22 Homecoming game against Wisconsin will be televised by ABC, ESPN or ESPN2, with kickoff set for 8 p.m.

The last four games in the series have been decided by a combined total of 22 points, with each team winning its two home games.

It marks just the 11th night game in the 88-year history of Spartan Stadium. Michigan State heads into the 2011 season with a 5-4 record in its previous prime-time TV appearances in Spartan Stadium, including last year’s 34-31 overtime victory over Notre Dame as holder Aaron Bates completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Charlie Gantt off a fake field goal. The Spartans are 0-1 in home night games against Wisconsin, as quarterback Brooks Bollinger accounted for 193 total yards and five TDs to lead the Badgers to a 42-24 victory on Oct. 26, 2002.

It also marks the second time in the last five years that MSU’s Homecoming game has been played under the lights, as Javon Ringer rushed 29 times for 203 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-27 victory over Indiana in 2007.

Michigan State is 63-29-3 (.679) in 95 Homecoming games, including a 4-4 record against Wisconsin. The Spartans have won four straight Homecoming games and 11 of their last 15.

The Spartans lead the all-time series against Wisconsin, 28-21, including a 15-7 record in games played in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State has won its last three home games against the Badgers (49-14 in 2004; 25-24 in 2008; and 34-24 in 2010).

“There’s truly something special about playing a game under the lights in Spartan Stadium,” Michigan State fifth-year senior quarterback Kirk Cousins said. “The Spartan fan base always brings great energy and noise, creating a truly electric atmosphere.

“Wisconsin is a storied program, fresh off its Rose Bowl appearance. Both teams play a similar style of physical football. We each try to out hit, out block and out execute the other. If recent history means anything, the fans should expect another close game.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge of playing a talented Wisconsin team in prime time. This announcement provides further motivation for the entire team to continue to work hard throughout the summer, so that we’re all ready to go when preseason camp opens in August. Our expectations are high for the upcoming season, so we must continue to press forward and refuse to take anything for granted.”

The Spartans enter the 2011 season with a streak of 102 consecutive live TV appearances (games televised regionally or nationally since November 2002).