Note: All stats are courtesy of ESPN.com.
Wake Forest takes on Big Ten foe Michigan State in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl from Yankee Stadium in New York on Friday at 3:20pm. A win for the Deacs would mean their fourth straight bowl victory in their fourth consecutive bowl appearance.
The Spartans come into the game with a record of 6-6 overall and 4-5 in the Big Ten. They are coached by Mark Dantonio, who is in his 13th season at Michigan State with a record of 113-57 overall and 69-39 in the Big Ten. Michigan State has won three Big Ten titles under Dantonio, who is also a two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Senior quarterback Brian Lewerke leads the offense. He is 234/399 passing on the year for a 58.6% completion percentage. This season he has thrown for 2,759 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions with an average of 6.9 yards per completion. He has a QB rating of 124.0 (by comparison, Jamie Newman’s is 146.7).
Lewerke has been sacked 17 times for a loss of 105 yards this season. He has 100 rushing attempts for 317 yards and 2 touchdowns, and is averaging 3.2 yards per rushing attempt. He also has one reception for 17 yards.
Freshman Elijah Collins is the lead running back, and he has 201 rushing attempts for 892 yards and 5 touchdowns, and is averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Fellow freshman Anthony Williams Jr. has 32 rushing attempts for 90 yards and a touchdown, and is the third leading rusher behind Collins and Lewerke. Sophomore La’Darius Jefferson also has two rushing touchdowns on the season.
Junior Cody White is the Spartans’ leading receiver with 58 catches for 825 yards and 5 touchdowns. Senior Darrell Stewart Jr. has 47 catches for 694 yards and 4 touchdowns. Senior tight end Matt Seybert has 26 receptions for 284 yards and 3 touchdowns. Freshman receiver Tre Mosley, junior tight end Matt Dotson, junior running back Connor Heyward, and sophomore fullback Max Rosenthal also have a touchdown reception each.
Junior kicker Matt Coghlin has made all 28 of his extra point attempts on the season. He is 20-29 on field goals for a 69% completion rate, and has 6 misses from 40+ yards. His season long is a 47-yarder, and his career long is from 49 yards out.
Michigan State is averaging 24 points per game, 361.5 offensive yards per game, 5.1 yards per play, 123 rushing yards per game, 238.5 passing yards per game, 2.08 offensive touchdowns per game, and 20.67 first downs per game.
On the season, the Spartans have 29 total touchdowns, 248 total first downs, have 2,862 team passing yards, have 1,476 team rushing yards, have gained 4,338 total yards, have run 870 offensive plays, and have scored 264 total points on 29 total touchdowns.
The Big Ten may be a tougher conference than the ACC, but on paper this one looks to favor the Deacs if you only take into account the two offenses. The Deacs look to roll to another 9 win season and their fourth straight bowl victory in what is hopefully a competitive game for the most part.
More previews and information will be forthcoming on the site this week.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and GO DEACS!!!