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About Michigan State University Football
Michigan State University Spartans at Spartan Stadium
Since 1923, Michigan State has played in Spartan Stadium, which now has a capacity of 75,000. The Spartans have won 70 percent of their games there. Saturdays in East Lansing, Michigan, are full of charming tradition, from the Sparty mascot's dash out onto the field to the halftime performance of the school's unofficial mascot, the frisbee-catching Zeke the Wonder Dog. Set up your tailgate at the tennis courts south of the stadium, and be sure to catch the players' Spartan Walk from the Kellogg Center before the game. Along the way they stop at the Spartan Statue, and the players rub its foot and leave pennies at the base for good luck.
Michigan State University Spartans History
For a decade and a half in the middle of the 20th century, the Spartans dominated the sport, winning national championships in 1951, 1952, 1955, 1957, 1965 and 1966 — the only national championships the program has won. The last four of those titles were claimed under legendary coach Duffy Daugherty, who built a recruiting network in the segregated South and fielded one of the first racially integrated teams in the sport. The great Bubba Smith came from Texas, and Jimmy Raye of North Carolina was the starting quarterback for the 1966 team, which played top-ranked Notre Dame to a 10-10 tie in what's known as the "Game of the Century." Daugherty spent 19 seasons as head coach, going 109-69-5 in his time in East Lansing. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984.
Some of that glory has been recaptured under coach Mark Dantonio, who took over in 2007 and led the Spartans to bowl appearances in each of his first nine seasons. In 2013, Michigan State went 13-1 and 8-0 in Big Ten play, punctuating the season with a 24-20 victory over Stanford in the Rose Bowl.