July 15, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State senior linebacker Max Bullough was named to watch lists for both the Butkus Award and Lombardi Award on Monday. The Butkus Award is given annually to the nation's top linebacker, while the Lombardi Award is presented to college football's most outstanding lineman (down linemen or linebackers lined up 5 yards from line of scrimmage).
Bullough, a preseason All-America selection by Phil Steele's College Football Preview and Athlon Sports, is now on five major award watch lists for the 2013 season (Bednarik Award, Butkus Award, Lombardi Award, Lott IMPACT Trophy, Nagurski Trophy).
A three-year letterwinner, Bullough will be entering his third season as Michigan State's starting middle linebacker in 2013. The Traverse City, Mich., native has 223 tackles, including 21 for losses (77 yards) and 6.5 sacks (41 yards), in 40 career games. Bullough has started every game at middle linebacker since the beginning of the 2011 season (27 consecutive games), a streak that ranks tied for longest on the Spartan defense (strong safety Isaiah Lewis; defensive end Marcus Rush).
A first-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and a second-team pick by the media in 2012, Bullough led the team in tackles for the second-straight year with a career-high 111 stops (51 solo, 60 assists), which ranked ninth in the Big Ten (8.5 avg.). He also ranked second on the team and tied for ninth in the Big Ten with 12.5 tackles for loss (45 yards), and in conference games, he ranked fourth in the league in tackles (76; 9.5 avg.).
A semifinalist for the Butkus Award a year ago, Bullough produced at least a half tackle for loss in each of the last eight games and tied for the team lead with nine tackles in the 2012 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl vs. TCU. He was named recipient of the team's Outstanding Underclass Back Award (defense), Biggie Munn Award (most inspirational player) and Iron Man Award (strength and conditioning).
The 6-3, 252-pound Bullough registered a team-high seven stops at Minnesota and recorded eight tackles against Northwestern, with one tackle for loss (2 yards). His half sack (combined with junior defensive end William Gholston) against Kain Colter resulted in a 1-yard loss and a safety in the first quarter.
Bullough reached double figures in tackles for the fourth time in 2012 and sixth time in his career, with 10 stops against Nebraska.
Bullough recorded nine tackles while setting career highs for both tackles for loss (2.5 for 15 yards) and sacks (2 for 14) in Michigan State's 16-13 overtime victory at No. 25 Wisconsin, as the Spartans recorded their first win in Madison since 2001 while snapping the nation's second-longest active home winning streak at 21 games. MSU limited Wisconsin to 19 yards rushing (37 carries) - nearly 182 fewer than its season average.
He posted 10 stops, a career-high two pass break-ups and recorded his first interception of the season at Michigan.
Bullough recorded 11 stops against Iowa and posted a season-high 12 stops against No. 14 Ohio State to go along with two pass break-ups and a forced fumble.