Harold Shelton III, BTN Studio Researcher, September 1, 2016

Defending Big Ten champ Michigan State opens its 2016 season vs. Furman at 7 p.m. ET Friday (BTN/BTN2Go).

Before the Spartans kick things off, BTN researcher Harold Shelton III wanted to share 10 facts about the season opener.


See all 10 facts below.

1. Michigan State is 5-0 all-time vs. FCS foes, winning by an average of 35 points.

2. Furman, which is 6-21-1 all-time vs. FBS teams, is playing its first Big Ten team.

3. The Spartans have won 17 consecutive home openers, good enough for the fifth-longest active streak in the FBS.

4. Michigan State hasn't lost a season opener since 2008, when it lost at Cal.

5. The Spartans have the fifth-fewest returning offensive experience (27 percent) in the FBS.

6. Coming in at No. 12 in the AP preseason poll, Michigan State is ranked for the 42nd consecutive week, the fifth-longest active streak.

7. Perhaps you've heard this one: Michigan State is the only program in the nation to finish in the top 6 of the final polls in each of the last three seasons, becoming the first Big Ten team to do so since Ohio State in 2005-07.

8. Mark Dantonio is the first Big Ten coach to win at least 11 games five times in a six-season span.

9. Michigan State returns one college start from its quarterbacks, that coming from new starter Tyler O'Connor, who filled in for an injured Connor Cook and led Michigan State to an upset win at Ohio State last season.

10. Furman?s mascot is a Paladin, which, according to Furman game notes, is a knight on a horse, a paragon of chivalry; a heroic champion; a strong supporter of defender of a cause; and any of the 12 peers of French emperor Charlemagne?s court.