Offensive lineman Brian Allen contributed at three different positions as a true freshman, while first-year defensive lineman Malik McDowell recorded 15 tackles, including 4.5 for losses.
Junior defensive end Shilique Calhoun and junior cornerback Trae Waynes have been named to the 125th Walter Camp All-America Team, with both earning second-team honors.
Dantonio and five members of his staff will be coaching in their 100th game at MSU on Saturday against Indiana.
MSU's junior defensive end was selected the Smith-Brown Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2013.
No. 4 Spartans will face No. 5 Stanford in the 2014 Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 1, 2014 in Pasadena, Calif.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio likes his team's resilience.
Now it's time to develop a knockout punch.
Connor Cook threw three touchdown passes and Nick Hill ran for two scores Saturday, but No. 8 Michigan State still needed a late interception return for a touchdown to hold on 45-31 at Purdue
Ron Burton, a 22-year coaching veteran who also played four seasons in the NFL, is in his second season as defensive line coach at Michigan State. Burton previously spent 10 seasons (2003-12) as the defensive line coach at Air Force.
Burton has made an immediate impact on the defensive line his first two seasons in East Lansing. He has helped mentor two of the most productive defensive ends in the Big Ten in junior Shilique Calhoun and senior Marcus Rush.
Calhoun garnered second-team All-America honors for the second year in a row in 2014 and is tied for team lead in tackles for loss (11 for 97 yards) and ranks second in sacks (6.5 for 79 yards). The Middletown, New Jersey, product is one of just three defensive ends in school history to be named first-team All-Big Ten in back-to-back seasons. Calhoun, who was named the 2013 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, ranks among MSU's all-time leaders in sacks (tied for 10th with 15) and tackles for loss (tied for 17th with 27.5).
Rush has been a model of consistency throughout his career and has started more games (52) than any player in MSU history. The honorable mention All-Big Ten selection leads the team with a career-high seven sacks and is fourth with 10 tackles for loss. Rush ranks seventh in MSU history in both sacks (18) and tackles for loss (37).
Michigan State has seen its sack total increase the past two seasons under Burton, rising from 20 before his arrival in 2012 to 32 last season to 37 in 2014.
In addition to All-Big Ten standouts Calhoun and Rush, Burton has broken in two new starters this season along the interior of the line in juniors Joel Heath and Lawrence Thomas. Both Heath and Thomas have started every game in 2014 while collecting career bests in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks (Heath: 26 tackles, four TFLs, two sacks; Thomas: 29 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, two sacks). True freshman Malik McDowell also has seen significant playing time at defensive tackle and earned Big Ten All-Freshman Team honors from ESPN.com and BTN.com.
Michigan State's defensive line showed significant improvement in its productivity under Burton in 2013, increasing its totals in sacks (+12) and tackles for loss (+10) from 2012.
In his first year as a starter, Calhoun garnered second-team All-America honors from numerous organizations and was named the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year as well as the National Defensive Performer of the Year by the College Football Performance Awards. Calhoun led the team in sacks (7.5) and ranked second in tackles for loss (14), ranked first in the Big Ten with four fumble recoveries, and was one of only two players in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision to score three defensive touchdowns.
Rush garnered honorable mention All-Big Ten accolades for the third year in a row, while senior defensive tackles Micajah Reynolds and Tyler Hoover both delivered their most productive seasons wearing the Green and White. In addition, Burton helped develop sophomores Damon Knox and Mark Scarpinato, who each filled in as starters and added quality depth to the defensive front.
For his efforts in 2013, Burton was named the national defensive line coach of the year by FootballScoop.
During his 10 seasons at Air Force, Burton helped the Falcons to a combined record of 67-57 (.540), including a school-record six consecutive postseason bowl appearances (2007-12), while developing some of the top defensive linemen in school history. Burton also served as the program's NFL liaison.
In 2008, Jake Paulson became the first-ever defensive lineman at Air Force to earn first-team All-Mountain West honors after recording 14.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks. One year later, nose guard Ben Garland was a second-team All-MWC selection and signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos. In the Falcons' 2010 Independence Bowl victory over Georgia Tech, defensive lineman Rick Ricketts, a second-team All-MWC choice, was named the defensive most valuable player of the game. Burton also coached two-time Academic All-American (defensive end) Ryan Carter.
Before arriving at Air Force, Burton spent one season (2002) at Grand Valley State and helped lead the Lakers to a perfect 14-0 record and the 2002 NCAA Division II National Championship, the first in school history.
Burton has Big Ten coaching experience, as he spent five seasons as the linebackers coach at Indiana from 1997-2001. Burton mentored two Butkus Award nominees, Jabar Robinson and Justin Smith, during his time with the Hoosiers. Robinson led the team in tackles two-straight years and is eighth in school history with 339 career tackles, while Smith played one season (2003) in the NFL and ranks ninth in IU history with 326 tackles.
Burton also coached linebackers at Eastern Michigan for two seasons (1995-96) and landed his first full-time coaching position as the defensive backs coach at Morehead State (1994).
A four-year letterman (1982-86) at North Carolina, Burton helped the Tar Heels to three bowl appearances during his career and was named team captain and best defensive lineman as a senior. He graduated from UNC with a bachelor's degree in industrial relations in 1987.
Following graduation, Burton spent four seasons playing linebacker in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys (1987-89), Phoenix Cardinals (1989) and Los Angeles Raiders (1990). Burton started 15 games for the Cowboys in 1988 and recorded two sacks, and played on the 1990 Raiders team that advanced to the 1990 AFC Championship Game.
After his NFL career, Burton returned to North Carolina and spent two years as a graduate assistant (1992-93) for the Tar Heels.
Burton was an all-state selection as a linebacker at Highland Springs (Va.) High School.
A native of Highland Springs, Va., Burton and his wife, Andrea, have four children: Ronald, Ryan, Roya and Reid.
THE BURTON FILE
YEARS AT MICHIGAN STATE: Second. Hired Feb. 8, 2013, from Air Force.
PREVIOUS COACHING EXPERIENCE: College - Graduate assistant coach (1992-93) at North Carolina; defensive backs at Morehead State (1994); linebackers at Eastern Michigan (1995-96); linebackers at Indiana (1997-2001); defensive line at Grand Valley State (2002); defensive line at Air Force (2003-12).
EDUCATION: Bachelor's degree in industrial relations from North Carolina in 1987.
PLAYING EXPERIENCE: College - Four-year letterman as a defensive lineman at North Carolina (1982-86). Professional - Spent four seasons in the National Football Leauge, with the Dallas Cowboys (1987-89), Phoenix Cardinals (1989) and Los Angeles Raiders (1990).
POSTSEASON EXPERIENCE: Player - 1982 Sun Bowl, 1983 Peach Bowl, 1986 Aloha Bowl; Coach - 1993 Peach Bowl, 1993 Gator Bowl, 2002 NCAA Division II Playoffs, 2007 Armed Forces Bowl, 2008 Armed Forces Bowl, 2009 Armed Forces Bowl, 2010 Independence Bowl, 2011 Military Bowl, 2012 Armed Forces Bowl, 2014 Rose Bowl, 2015 Cotton Bowl.