Spartan Football Home Schedule Features Two Prime-Time Games
EAST LANSING, Mich. â€“ Michigan Stateâ€™s 2012 home football schedule features two prime-time television appearances: Friday, Aug. 31 against Boise State at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN and Saturday, Sept. 15 against Notre Dame at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.
Michigan State heads into the 2012 season with a 7-4 record in its previous prime-time TV appearances in Spartan Stadium, including three-straight victories. The Spartans went 2-0 in home night games last year, including a 28-6 win over Youngstown State in the season opener and 37-31 victory over Wisconsin as Keith Nichol scored on Kirk Cousinsâ€™ 44-yard Hail Mary pass on the final play of regulation. In 2010, Michigan State defeated Notre Dame in overtime, 34-31, as holder Aaron Bates completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Charlie Gantt off a fake field goal.
The 2012 season and home opener marks the first-ever meeting against Boise State.
The Irish lead the all-time series 46-28-1; however, the Spartans have won 10 of the last 15 meetings. Nine of the last 12 games in the series have been decided by seven points or less. Michigan State is 2-2 in home night games against Notre Dame.
Michigan Stateâ€™s seven-game home schedule also includes a non-conference match-up against Eastern Michigan (Sept. 22) and Big Ten games against Ohio State (Sept. 29), Iowa (Oct. 13/Homecoming), Nebraska (Nov. 3) and Northwestern (Nov. 17).
â€œYou would be hard-pressed to find a more challenging home schedule than the one weâ€™ll face this fall,â€ MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. â€œSix of the seven home games will be played against bowl teams from last season.
â€œWeâ€™re excited about the prime-time match-up against Boise State in the season opener. The Michigan State-Notre Dame rivalry is special, and those games routinely go down to the wire.
â€œThe Spartan Stadium atmosphere is electric for night games, and recently, weâ€™ve had some incredible finishes.â€
Dantonio welcomes back 17 starters from last yearâ€™s team that won the Big Ten Legends Division title, tied the school single-season record with 11 wins and finished No. 10 in the final USA TODAY Poll. Michigan State has won 14-consecutive games in Spartan Stadium â€“ its longest home streak since winning 19 straight from 1950-53 (teams coached by Clarence â€œBiggieâ€ Munn) and the fourth-longest active streak in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (LSU â€“ 17; Wisconsin â€“ 16; Northern Illinois â€“ 15; MSU â€“ 14).
The Spartans enter the 2012 season with a streak of 116 consecutive live TV appearances (games televised regionally or nationally since November 2002).