Is it football season yet?

Michigan State is in the full swing of spring football practice, and the annual Green vs. White scrimmage is about three weeks ago. The Spartans have their work cut out for them to build on their most recent season, a historic one that saw MSU capture its first outright Big Ten championship since 1987 and its first Rose Bowl win since 1988.

There's no question Coach Mark Dantonio has built his program on defense. And last season, it was on that side of the ball that the Spartans forged their championship season. Here are just a few gaudy statistics the MSU defense accumulated last season:

  • No. 2 nationally in total defense (252.2 yards per game--led FBS in total defense for 13 consecutive weeks)
  • No. 2 nationally in rushing defense (86.6 yards per game)
  • No. 3 nationally in pass defense (165.6 yards per game)
  • No. 3 nationally in scoring defense (13.2 points per game)
  • Only team to rank nationally in top three in the four major categories (total defense, rushing defense, passing defense and scoring defense)
  • No. 2 nationally in opponent third-down conversion rate (.279)
  • No. 1 nationally in yards allowed per play (4.04)
  • Held archrival Michigan to historic -48 yards rushing and sacked U-M quarterbacks seven times on Nov. 2, 2013
  • Led Big Ten in nine defensive categories, including total defense and rushing defense for third consecutive season
Here's a video compilation of some of the Spartan defense's top moments from the memorable 2013-2014 campaign to whet your appetite for more football.