MSU’s Calhoun, West Branch’s Zettel earn Big Ten honors

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

East Lansing — Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun was named the Big Ten’s co-Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.

The fifth-year senior had six tackles, including three for loss and 21/2 sacks in No. 2 Michigan State’s 30-10 victory over Central Michigan, and added four quarterback hurries and a blocked field goal to share the weekly honor with Penn State senior defensive tackle Anthony Zettel, a West Branch native and Ogemaw Heights product.

“The guy is a great player and a freakish athlete,” Central Michigan coach John Bonamego said.

Calhoun matched his career highs for tackles for loss and sacks. His previous career highs for tackles for loss and sacks came against Michigan in 2013. Calhoun also was credited with four quarterback hurries, one pass break-up and a blocked kick against CMU.

“What we saw from Shilique against Central Michigan is the dominant performance that we expect out of him, and most importantly, what he expects out of himself,” Michigan State defensive line coach Ron Burton said. “The team was in need of a spark and his timely sacks and blocked field goal really changed the complexion of the game.

“The difference between this year and last year is that Shilique is learning to make adjustments each and every play. He knows that offenses are game-planning against him, so he has found ways to utilize better technique to make plays.”

Calhoun is now No. 6 on Michigan State’s all-time list with 21 career sacks. Calhoun also climbed to No. 9 with 34 career tackles for loss. He also ranks among MSU's career leaders in tackles for loss yardage (third with 220 yards) and sack yardage (fourth with 171 yards).

It is the second time he has earned defensive player of the week honors, the first coming Sept. 9, 2013. Calhoun is the second Michigan State defensive player to be honored this season, joining linebacker Riley Bullough (Sept. 14, 2015).

The Spartans open Big Ten play at noon Saturday when they host Purdue.

Zettel had a career-high seven tackles, including 2 1/2 for loss and a half-sack in Penn State’s 37-21 victory over San Diego State. He also recovered a fumble. His effort came one day after his father, Terry, died after a long battle with cancer.

Big Ten players of the week

Offense: Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana; Tommy Armstrong Jr., QB, Nebraska

Defense: Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State; Anthony Zettel, DT, Penn State

Special teams: Cameron Johnston, P, Ohio State

Freshman: Taiwan Deal, RB, Wisconsin