1978 Michigan State Spartans football team

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1978 Michigan State Spartans football
Big Ten co-champion
ConferenceBig Ten
Ranking
APNo. 12
1978 record8–3 (7–1 Big Ten)
Head coachDarryl Rogers (3rd season)
MVPEd Smith
Home stadiumSpartan 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]

DateOpponentRankSiteResultAttendance
September 16at PurdueL 14–2160,365
September 23Syracuse*W 49–2174,511
September 29at No. 3 USC*L 9–3065,319
October 7Notre Dame*
L 25–2977,087
October 14at No. 5 MichiganW 24–15105,132
October 21Indiana
  • Spartan Stadium
  • East Lansing, MI
W 49–1476,013
October 28Wisconsin
  • Spartan Stadium
  • East Lansing, MI
W 55–270,114
November 4at IllinoisNo. 18W 59–1948,077
November 11MinnesotaNo. 17
  • Spartan Stadium
  • East Lansing, MI
W 33–972,122
November 18at NorthwesternNo. 16W 52–314,157
November 25IowaNo. 14
  • Spartan Stadium
  • East Lansing, MI
W 42–757,007
  • *Non-conference game
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game

Roster[edit]

  • DB #16 Mark Anderson, Jr.
  • WR Kirk Gibson, Sr.
  • QB Ed Smith
  • OG James "Jody" McCulloh
  • LB #57 Larry Savage
  • Dan Underwood (asst)

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.