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Monday, November 4, 2013
Player of the week: Big Ten

By Brian Bennett

On Saturday evening, after a dominating win, Michigan State linebacker Denicos Allen had the perfect reply to Michigan's Fitzgerald Toussaint, who referenced the Spartans as "little brother" during game week.

"You can call us what you want, call us little brother, big brother," Allen told reporters. "But when it’s on the field, we show who’s the big brother and who’s the little brother.”

That's called bragging rights, and Allen helped lead the defensive onslaught during Michigan State's 29-6 win over the Wolverines. He was named the Walter Camp national defensive player of the week after registering nine tackles, including 3.5 for loss and two sacks. And he's our Big Ten player of the week.

Allen has been starting at strongside linebacker since 2011, when he recorded 18.5 tackles for loss as a sophomore. Like most of the Spartans' defense, his big-play statistics went down a bit last season as he finished with 10 stops behind the line of scrimmage.

He is back at it this year as a senior, tied for the Big Ten lead with 11 tackles for loss in nine games to go along five sacks. At only 5-foot-11 and 218 pounds, Allen may not look intimidating. But he's deadly on the blitz, and his speed helps the Spartans contain plays on the perimeter.

He was the brightest of several stars for the Michigan State defense on Saturday. And he's got bragging rights to show for it.