East Lansing – Michigan State senior cornerback Darqueze Dennard was named the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
Dennard had two interceptions and a career-high eight tackles in Michigan State's 26-14 victory over Iowa on Saturday.
It was the first time Dennard has earned a weekly honor and he joins defensive end Shilique Calhoun as the second Spartan to be named the conference's top defensive player this season.
Dennard and the secondary were coming off a Notre Dame game two weeks ago in which they were flagged four times for pass interference and once for defensive holding. Dennard's pass interference call negated what would have been his first interception of the season.
After the Iowa game, Dennard admitted to a bit of relief by grabbing two interceptions against the Hawkeyes.
"It was great to get that monkey off my back," Dennard said. "It was real fun to go out and play and I just happened to get two interceptions. It wouldn't have happened without the defensive line and the linebackers getting pressure. But it was a great feeling coming off the Notre Dame week."
Michigan State's defense allowed only 23 yards rushing on Saturday and is ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense, rush defense and pass efficiency defense.
Co-offense: Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah – Rushed for career-high 225 yards (11.3-yard average) and two TD in win over Illinois.
Co-offense: Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde -- Career-high 168 rushing yards and three TD in win over Northwestern.
Special teams: Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby – Blocked punt and TD recovery; also had two tackles on special teams.
Freshman: Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa – Had five tackles, including two sacks, and also recovered a fumble.