MSU posts first Big Ten shutout since 1999

Spartans shut out Purdue in 14-0 win Saturday in East Lansing, the first conference shut out since beating Northwestern 34-0 in 1999.

The words Michigan State and defense go together a lot in recent years.

As good as the defense has been, though, Saturday's 14-0 win against Purdue brought a new accomplishment for the Pat Narduzzi-led group: A Big Ten shutout.

"It's very, very difficult to get a shut out in modern football," coach Mark Dantonio said. "It's extremely hard and I think it's a big deal for our defense."

The last shutout in Big Ten play for the Spartans came in 1999 when they traveled to Northwestern and beat the Wildcats 34-0.

Narduzzi said at halftime he preached shut out in his speech to his players.

"At halftime, I said, ‘Hey, they ain't scoring, we're going to get a shutout,'" he said.

Linebacker Denicos Allen said Narduzzi's halftime speeches always get the team more pumped.

"It's like a new game when he gives a halftime speech," he said.

Defensive end Shilique Calhoun said it wasn't until the game was almost over that the defense really thought about the fact it had a shut out.

"I would probably say the last two minutes maybe, at the most," he said. "We want a shut out. When we start the game, we want to be able to shut teams out, but it's not always going to happen. We still give them that respect, but within the last two minutes we start thinking maybe we have it now."

Allen, who had a 45-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the second quarter, said it made for a great win.

"They didn't score any points, that's a great win," he said. "It's always great when you get a shutout."


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