Oct. 30, 2013
WOLVERINES AND THE SPARTANS
Michigan leads the all-time series with Michigan State, 68-32-5. U-M is 31-12 since 1970 and 6-4 in the last 10 meetings. The Wolverines' 12-10 victory over the Spartans last season at Michigan Stadium snapped a four-game losing streak to MSU. Saturday's battle will mark the 61st meeting for the Paul Bunyan Trophy in the rivalry.
THE LAST TIME VS. MICHIGAN STATE ...
Brendan Gibbons converted his third field goal of the game, from 38 yards with five seconds left in the contest, to give U-M its first win over Michigan State in five years, 12-10, on Oct. 20, 2012, at Michigan Stadium. The victory marked the 900th in Michigan football history.
Denard Robinson led the offense, compiling 163 yards through the air to complement his 96 yards rushing. Senior/junior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint added 52 yards on the ground, while junior receiver Drew Dileo hauled in career highs with four passes for 92 yards.
PAUL BUNYAN TROPHY RECORDS
Overall Record: Michigan Leads 35-23-2
Most Consecutive Wins: Michigan, 8 (1970-77); Michigan State, 4 (1959-62, 2008-11)
Most Points Scored: Michigan, 49 (2002); Michigan State 37 (2004)
BRADY HOKE AGAINST MICHIGAN STATE
Saturday will mark Brady Hoke's third contest against Michigan State as a head coach. In his first season at the helm of U-M, Hoke and the Wolverines fell at Michigan State, 28-14, at Spartan Stadium. Last season, U-M won back the Paul Bunyan Trophy, earning a 12-10 victory over the Spartans at Michigan Stadium.
AT THE HELM
Through seven games, Devin Gardner is averaging 328.4 yards of total offense, which ranks first in the Big Ten and 16th in the nation. His 2,299 yards of total offense through seven games already rank 16th on U-M's single-season list.
Gardner has accounted for at least two touchdowns in 11 of his last 12 games. He has also tallied at least three touchdowns in nine of his last 12 games.
With Gardner under center, Michigan ranks eighth in the nation -- and second in the Big Ten -- in scoring offense, averaging 42.4 points per game.
Gardner has showcased his dual-threat ability in 2013, completing 107-of-175 passes for 1,779 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushing for 520 yards and nine touchdowns on 95 carries.
RED ZONE SUCCESS
In Devin Gardner's last 12 games at quarterback, Michigan has made 49 trips to the red zone, scoring touchdowns on 39 of those trips.
In total, Gardner has accounted for 26 of U-M's 39 red-zone touchdowns over the last 12 games.
Through seven games, Michigan has scored on 29-of-34 red-zone opportunities (85%), including 25 touchdowns.
U-M has generated 41 offensive plays of 20+ yards through seven games this season, 29 20+-yard receptions (13, Jeremy Gallon; 9, Devin Funchess; 3, Fitzgerald Toussaint, 2, Jehu Chesson; 1, Drew Dileo; 1, Joe Reynolds) and 12 20+-yard runs (5, Devin Gardner; 5, Fitzgerald Toussaint; 1, Derrick Green; 1, Dennis Norfleet.
MOVING THE CHAINS
Michigan has put together 24 70+-yard touchdown drives this season, including six against Indiana (Oct. 19), five against Central Michigan (Aug. 31), four against Notre Dame (Sept. 7), three against Penn State (Oct. 12) and Akron (Sept. 14), two against Minnesota (Oct. 5) and one against Connecticut (Sept. 21).
STREAKS TO WATCH
Jeremy Gallon has posted a reception in 33 straight games, which are three games short of tying Jason Avant for second all-time. Braylon Edwards owns the program record with a reception in 38 straight games.
Gallon has tallied nine touchdown catches over his last eight games.
Devin Gardner has accounted for at least two touchdowns in 11 of his last 12 games. He has also tallied at least three touchdowns in nine of his last 12 games.
Brendan Gibbons has converted a program-record 136 straight PATs.
Frank Clark has posted at least one sack in three of U-M's last four games.
Desmond Morgan has tallied at least four tackles in 22 straight regular-season games.
The Wolverines have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in eight straight games.
Under head coach Brady Hoke, Michigan has won 19 straight games at Michigan Stadium -- the longest active home winning streak among BCS conference teams.
DID YOU KNOW
Dating back to 2011, Jake Ryan had tallied a tackle-for-loss in 17 of his last 19 games. Ryan led the Wolverines in 88 total tackles (88), solo stops (56), tackles-for-loss (16), sacks (4.5) and forced fumbles (4) in 2012.
Jeremy Gallon ranks second in the Big Ten in receiving yards (831), receiving yards per game (118.7) and catches (45), and he is tied for the conference lead in touchdown receptions (seven), which also rank 15th in the country through nine weeks.
Devin Funchess, who is averaging 115.7 receiving yards per game over his last three outings, leads all Big Ten tight ends with 23 catches for 492 yards and four touchdowns. Through seven games, he has already surpassed his 2012 receiving output (15 catches for 234 yards) and has nine 20+-yard receptions through seven games.
Gibbons has connected on 38 career field goal attempts, which rank fifth in program history. He needs one more field goal to reach the fourth spot, currently held by J.D. Carlson (39, 1989-91).
The Spartans (No. 24 AP, No. 24 Coaches) are the second ranked team U-M will face this season.
The Wolverines have surrendered only 17 touchdowns this season and have allowed only four rushing scores through seven games.
Michigan has allowed opponents to only score touchdowns on 50 percent of their red-zone opportunities this season (12 TDs in 24 opportunities).
Michigan has posted four sacks in three of its six games -- vs. Central Michigan (Aug. 31), at Connecticut (Sept. 21) and at Penn State (Oct. 12) -- matching last season's high, which it recorded against Ohio State (Nov. 24, 2012).
U-M ranks fourth in the nation in rushing defense (99.6 yds per game).
U-M has tallied 11 interceptions over the first seven games this season after posting only seven interceptions throughout the 2012 campaign.