Spartans defense dominates Big Ten awards

Eight MSU defensive starters earn at least honorable mention on coaches and media teams, while Connor Cook takes second-team spot on coaches team.

Michigan State holds the honor of being the nation's top-ranked defense and it came as little surprise that many of the Spartans were named to the All-Big Ten teams Monday night.

Five starters on the MSU defense were named all-conference by by either the coaches or the media -- with three earning a first-team spot on both list and eight earning at least an honorable mention on both teams.

Sophomore Shilique Calhoun took home the Smith-Brown defensive lineman of the year award and senior Darqueze Dennard was named the Tatum-Woodson defensive back of the year.

Calhoun had 13.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks, while scoring three touchdowns in the Spartans' first two games. Dennard had four interceptions and 56 tackles and was one of only two unanimous choices by the coaches.

Senior linebacker Max Bullough was a first-team selection by both coaches and media, while junior safety Kurtis Drummond and senior safety Isaiah Lewis took first-team defensive back spots on the coaches' list.

The leader of the MSU defense, Bullough had 73 tackles with nine for loss. Drummond pulled down four interceptions, while Lewis had two.

Senior linebacker Denicos Allen took a second-team spot on both teams and was joined by Drummond on the second-team media list.

Allen led the Spartans with 83 tackles and 15 for loss with 5.5 sacks.

Sophomore quarterback Connor Cook came on strong in conference play to earn second-team honors from the coaches. Cook threw for 2,119 yards and 17 touchdowns to just four interceptions.

Senior offensive lineman Blake Treadwell earned second-team honors on both lists, while sophomore Jack Allen earned second-team from the media.

Junior punter Mike Sadler earned first-team from the coaches and second team from the media with a 42.4 average per punt.

Jack Allen, Dan France, Fou Fonoti, Jeremy Langford, Marcus Rush and Trae Waynes were named honorable mention by the coaches.

Cook, Fonoti, France, Michael Geiger, Langford, Lewis, Rush and Waynes earned honorable mention from the media.

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