Nov. 4, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State fifth-year senior linebacker Denicos Allen, who set season highs for tackles for loss (3 for 20 yards) and sacks (18) in MSU's 29-6 victory over No. 23 Michigan, has been named Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week, presented by Generation UCAN. Allen, who also earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors, matched his season high with nine tackles against the Wolverines.
The 5-foot-11, 218-pound Allen becomes the second Spartan player to earn Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honors, joining sophomore defensive end Shilique Calhoun, who scored two touchdowns (4-yard fumble return and 56-yard interception return) and recorded two tackles for loss in MSU's 21-6 win over South Florida on Sept. 7.
Michigan State limited the Wolverines to minus-48 yards rushing - the lowest single-game rushing total in U-M history. It also marked the fewest rushing yards allowed by MSU under head coach Mark Dantonio and tied for the third-fewest allowed in school history (school-record minus-63 rushing yards by Pittsburgh in 1960; minus-60 rushing yards by Pittsburgh in 1981; minus-48 rushing yards by Northwestern in 1983). It also marked the fewest rushing yards allowed by an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision team this season. The Spartans recorded season highs in tackles for loss (11 for 65 yards) and sacks (7 for 49). MSU recorded tackles for loss on the last three plays of the third quarter, including 1.5 sacks by Allen.
The Spartans permitted just 12 first downs and 168 total yards against the Wolverines. Michigan gained 51 yards on the game-opening drive and managed just 117 yards on its next 11 possessions. The Wolverines went just 2-of-14 on third-down conversions.
"Denicos Allen is a phenomenal football player," MSU assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said. "He has a great attitude and portrays the toughness we expect out of our `Spartan Dawgs.' He missed half of practice last week, with a minor injury, but you sure couldn't tell based upon his performance."
"Denicos Allen was all over the field Saturday," linebackers coach Mike Tressel said. "He played with the mentality that he was going to get to the ball on every snap. His pressure on the quarterback was relentless, and his physicality in the run game was excellent. Denicos is a playmaker, and he demonstrated that against Michigan."
Allen leads the Spartan defense in tackles (57), tackles for loss (11 for 45 yards) and production points (233). Allen ranks second on the team in sacks (5 for 34). He also has been credited with seven quarterback hurries and 12 QB hits.
The Hamilton, Ohio, native has started 35 consecutive games at linebacker - the second-longest active streak on the team. With his three stops behind the line of scrimmage against U-M, Allen moved into fourth place on MSU's all-time list with 40.5 career tackles for loss.
With its 23-point win over the Wolverines, Michigan State improved to 8-1 overall and remained atop the Big Ten Legends Division standings at 5-0. The Spartans moved up six places to No. 18 in the latest Associated Press Poll and five spots to No. 19 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll. After a bye week, MSU returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 16 at Nebraska.