Impact of Bullough Loss

With a late night email from Michigan State, Max Bullough's Spartans career came to an end shortly after the teams arrival for their Rose Bowl appearance against Stanford. What does the loss mean to Michigan State's top defense? We look at how this loss could impact the Spartans against Stanford.

After earning All-American honors from the Associated Press (third team) and being named first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media, Max Bullough was set to end his Michigan State football career on the big stage of the Rose Bowl.

However, an email press release expressing disappointment was all the media received with word Bullough would be suspended for the remainder of the season for a violation of team rules, leaves the Spartans missing their defensive leaders and could see ripples form when the Spartans take the field against Stanford.

Leadership

There is no mistaking the Spartans on field leader has been Bullough since taking over the starting middle linebacker position his sophomore year. A two-time captain as elected by his teammates, Bullough's leadership abilities are a key reason the Spartans have build one of the best defensive groups in the country.

Defensive Quarterback

Just as the quarterback on offense is important for the units overall success, Bullough has been labeled by defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi the defensive quarterback. Narduzzi has trusted the Traverse City, Michigan native to keep the Spartans in the right alignment for the past three seasons and that will be hard to replace in the biggest game the Spartans have played in the Mark Dantonio era.

Production

Bullough was third on the defense with 76 total tackles with 9.5 tackles for loss. While he only recorded 1.5 sacks, he was credited with 10 quarterback hurries. But the key to the Spartans success is Bullough's ability to help open up others on the defense to make plays. On the Spartans Rose Bowl depth chart, fifth-year senior and former walk-on Kyler Elsworth is listed as Bullough's back-up. During his career the Goddrich, Michigan native has primarily seen action on special teams but could see an expanded role on the biggest stage.


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