Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Top individual performances of '13: No. 6
By Brian Bennett
We've been reliving some of the highlights from the 2013 season by singling out the best individual performances by Big Ten players.
Our list takes into account the difficulty of opponent and stakes of the game and tries to identify record-breaking, honor-winning, jaw-dropping games from league players. Players are limited to one entry on this list for variety's sake.
This next one happened early in the season but left quite an impression ...
Shilique Calhoun returned this fumble four yards for a TD and also added a pick-six against South Florida.
The numbers: Calhoun had two tackles for loss, a sack and a quarterback hurry while also returning a fumble four yards for a touchdown and bringing back an interception 56 yards for another score.
A closer look: Calhoun, who likes to take on the persona of Batman villain Bane when on the field, didn't take long in announcing himself as one of the Spartans' new defensive heroes last season.
The redshirt sophomore scooped up a fumble and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown in the season opener against Western Michigan. In Week 2, he found the end zone two more times. By doing so, he was named national defensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Foundation, the Football Writers Association and the College Football Performance Awards.
After two weeks of the season, Calhoun had scored more touchdowns than Michigan State's entire offense. And the Spartans needed their defense to carry them early in the season until they figured things out on the other side of the ball. Calhoun did not score again the rest of the season after his incredible early pace, but the Big Ten defensive lineman of the year made a resonating statement in September.