1978 Michigan State Spartans football team

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1978 Michigan State Spartans football
Big Ten co-champion
Conference Big Ten
Ranking
AP No. 12
1978 record 8–3 (7–1 Big Ten)
Head coach Darryl Rogers (3rd season)
MVP Ed Smith
Home stadium Spartan Stadium
(Capacity: 76,000)
Seasons
← 1977
1979 →
1978 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 5 Michigan + 7 1 0     10 2 0
No. 12 Michigan State + 7 1 0     8 3 0
No. 13 Purdue 6 1 1     9 2 1
Ohio State 6 2 0     7 4 1
Minnesota 4 4 0     5 6 0
Wisconsin 3 4 2     5 4 2
Indiana 3 5 0     4 7 0
Iowa 2 6 0     2 9 0
Illinois 0 6 2     1 8 2
Northwestern 0 8 1     0 10 1
  • + – Conference co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1978 Michigan State Spartans football team represented Michigan State University during the 1978 Big Ten Conference football season. Finishing the season on a seven-game winning streak, the Spartans won their fourth Big Ten Conference championship, which they shared with in-state rival Michigan. The Spartans finished number 12 in the final AP Poll.

Wide receive Kirk Gibson caught 42 passes for 806 yard during the 1978 season.[1] Gibson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2017.[2]

Quarterback Ed Smith led the Big Ten in 1978 with 2,226 passing yards, a 139.0 passing efficiency rating, and 2,247 yards of total offense.[3] He was also selected as the most valuable player on the 1978 Michigan State team.[4] He finished his career as Michigan State's and the Big Ten's all-time leader with 5,706 passing yards.[5]

Schedule[edit]

Date Opponent# Rank# Site Result Attendance
September 16 at Purdue Ross–Ade StadiumWest Lafayette, IN L 14–21   60,365
September 23 Syracuse* Spartan StadiumEast Lansing, MI W 49–21   74,511
September 29 at No. 3 USC* Los Angeles Memorial ColiseumLos Angeles, CA L 9–30   65,319
October 7 Notre Dame* Spartan Stadium • East Lansing, MI (Megaphone Trophy) L 25–29   77,087
October 14 at No. 5 Michigan Michigan StadiumAnn Arbor, MI (Paul Bunyan Trophy) W 24–15   105,132
October 21 Indiana Spartan Stadium • East Lansing, MI W 49–14   76,013
October 28 Wisconsin Spartan Stadium • East Lansing, MI W 55–2   70,114
November 4 at Illinois No. 18 Memorial StadiumChampaign, IL W 59–19   48,077
November 11 Minnesota No. 17 Spartan Stadium • East Lansing, MI W 33–9   72,122
November 18 at Northwestern No. 16 Dyche StadiumEvanston, IL W 52–3   14,157
November 25 Iowa No. 14 Spartan Stadium • East Lansing, MI W 42–7   57,007
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1978 Michigan State Spartans Stats". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  2. ^ Kyle Austin (January 9, 2017). "Kirk Gibson voted into College Football Hall of Fame". Mlive.com. 
  3. ^ "1978 Big Ten Conference Year Summary". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 2, 2017. 
  4. ^ Roy Damer (December 25, 1978). "Michigan's Leach wins Tribune Silver Football". Chicago Tribune. p. 5-3. 
  5. ^ "Ticats sign highly-rated passer". Ottawa Journal. February 13, 1979. p. 16.