#1 – MLB: Max Bullough (6-3, 252 Jr.)
Bullough is the heart and soul of the Spartans defense with his football IQ and physical skills. The leading tackler for the Spartans a year ago, Bullough looks to be headed in the same direction this season having already posted 68 total tackles. The grandson of Hank Bullough (Michigan State) and Jim Morse (Notre Dame) and son of former Spartans linebacker Shane Bullough, Max brings toughness to the field on every play.
#2 – SAM: Denicos Allen (5-11, 225 Jr.)
If there will be one player on the Spartans playing with him energy it will be Allen, who plays with a chip on his shoulder against every Big Ten team that passed on him. The Ohio native had a breakout year in his first season as a starter posting 11 sacks to go with his 83 tackles in 2011. This season Allen is just starting to heat up having big games the past two weeks. For the year Allen has posted 53 total tackles (7 for loss) but is down in the sack department with only one so far this season.
#3 – DE: William Gholston (6-7, 278 Jr.)
The cousin of former Ohio State Buckeye Vernon Gholston is no slouch as he enters his second season as a starter at defensive end. With great physical size and athletic skills Gholston plays with a high motor and can bring pressure from the edge in the Spartans defense. His numbers may not be what many feel they should be, but he's a key reason the Spartans have strong play from their linebackers.
#4 - BC: Johnny Adams (5-11, 177 So.)
Akron, Ohio native who plays with a chip on his shoulder is considered one of the best corners in college football with his ability to cover man-to-man and make the big play. Has great burst off the edge when asked to blitz and posted three sacks in 2011 and one this season to go with his six pass break-ups and one interception.
#5 - NT: James Kittredge (6-4, 272 Jr.)
Sitting out last season after his transfer from Vanderbilt may have slowed Kittredge at the beginning. However, the New Jersey native is starting to come around having posted 3.5 tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries. Plays with a high motor and is still a work in progress as he moved from playing center at Vanderbilt to nose tackle at Michigan State.
Michigan State Offense
#1 – QB: Andrew Maxwell (6-3, 212 Jr.)
The first year starter had big shoes to fill and has felt the heat with the struggles of the Spartans offensive attack. Overall Maxwell has played solid behind a make shift offensive line going 160-290-5 for 1,799 yards and seven touchdowns.
#2 – RB: Le'Veon Bell (6-2, 244 Jr.)
Bell is a true power running back with enough athletic ability to surprise defenders with a spin move or a leap. So far this season he's rushed for 984 yards and eight scores but is also a major weapon out of the backfield as a receiver having caught 25 balls for 137 yards.
#3 - WR: Aaron Burbridge (6-1, 190 Fr.)
A true freshman, Burbridge got his first start against Indiana and hasn't looked back - having pulled down 21 passes for 288 yards. While he's yet to score a touchdown, it is only a matter of time before the top player out of Michigan in the 2012 recruiting class gets it done.
#4 - TE: Dion Sims (6-5, 280 Jr.)
Sims was injured against Indiana and played only sparingly against Michigan last week. It is expected Sims will be back 100 percent on Saturday and, despite missing most of the past three games, has pulled down 24 balls for 313 yards and two touchdowns. Before he was injured he was Maxwell's go-to guy.
#5 - RT: Skyler Burkland (6-7, 315 So.)
Burkland missed the majority of last season after going down against Notre Dame with a major injury and fought health issues during camp that saw him miss the season opener. Was the starting right tackle last season before the injury and was listed as the back-up to Fou Fonoti until the senior went down prior to this season's game against the Irish. While still knocking off the rust, Burkland is a physical player with an above skill set.