Bullough Plays in Saturday's East-West Shrine Game
Senior middle linebacker started 40 consecutive games and recorded 299 career tackles for the Spartans.
Jan. 18, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State senior linebacker Max Bullough, a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection by the league's head coaches, will represent the West in Saturday's East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. NFL Network will televise the 89th East-West Shrine Game at 4 p.m. EST. Former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel leads the West Team.
It marks Bullough's first action since Michigan State's 34-24 victory over second-ranked Ohio State on Dec. 7 in the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis. He sat out MSU's Jan. 1 24-20 win over fifth-ranked Stanford in the 2014 Rose Bowl Game after being suspended for violation of team rules. The 13-1 Spartans finished the 2013 season ranked third in the final Associated Press and USA TODAY Polls.
Bullough ranked among the team's leaders in tackles (third with 76), quarterback hurries (tied for second with 10) and tackles for loss (third with 9.5). He finished the regular-season with 218 production points (third). The first-team All-Big Ten selection, who was named one of 20 quarterfinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, earned All-America honors from Phil Steele (second team), Associated Press (third team) and Lindy's (third team), and honorable mention accolades from SI.com.
"For the last three years, Max Bullough was a controlling figure for our defense," MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. "He was a blitzer and a tackler, but most importantly, he was a leader and communicator. Game in and game out, Max did his job. He knew it was his responsibility to fill the gap, and when he did, the ball bounced outside so the outside linebackers and safeties could make the tackle. Max was physical and firm in the gap, but he also did a good job at scraping off the block and making the tackle."
In his last appearance in Spartan Stadium, Bullough recorded nine tackles, including a 2-yard loss, as Michigan State completed its first-ever 8-0 Big Ten season with a 14-3 victory over Minnesota. He also compiled nine tackles in the win at Nebraska on Nov. 16.
Bullough was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after recording a season-high 10 tackles in Michigan State's 14-0 win over Purdue, with two resulting in losses including a 7-yard sack that produced a fumble that senior Denicos Allen recovered and returned 45 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Bullough led the Spartans in tackles the previous two seasons (89 as a sophomore in 2011; career-high 111 as a junior in 2012). He was re-elected as team captain and became just the third Spartan to be named a captain at least twice in the Dantonio era (Greg Jones, 2009-10; Kirk Cousins, 2009-11).
The Traverse City, Mich., native recorded 299 career tackles in 53 games, including 40 consecutive starts at middle linebacker. He ranked 11th in MSU history with 30.5 tackles for loss (103 yards) in his career, including 8.0 sacks (51 yards), and 18th in the school record book in tackles (299). Bullough posted double-figure tackles seven times during his career. He also was credited with 11 passes defended (three interceptions, eight pass break-ups) and four forced fumbles.
Bullough became the eighth player in program history to earn multiple Academic All-America honors. The finance major, who owns a 3.56 grade-point average, garnered first-team honors this year after landing on the second team last season.