December 1, 2013
Video: MSU players talk Ohio State
EAST LANSING - Michigan State (11-1, 8-0) has already defeated four of the five conference opponents it lost to a year ago during a blemish-free Big Ten season this fall.
The Spartans can make it 5 of 5 in their 2013 revenge tour this weekend in Indianapolis with a win over unbeaten Leaders Division champion Ohio State (12-0, 8-0) in the third-annual Big Ten Championship.
"For this team, coming off of last year, all the teams we lost to by inches, that's been our main task this year is to fight for those inches and win them," said Denicos Allen, who leads Michigan State in tackles (83) and tackles for loss (15.0) entering the postseason. "I feel like the team is ready for it. We've got something to prove. We owe them from last year. They got by us by an inch. This year we're all going to come out and do whatever we've got to do to not let that happen this year."
Like many Spartans from the football-rich state of Ohio, Allen took last season's 17-16 home loss to Ohio State as hard as any setback during a 7-6 season in 2012. Allen views the Big Ten Championship as an opportunity for redemption.
"I'm really looking forward to it," said Allen. "During the regular season last year and the year before we played Ohio State, and it was a big game for me. Being that we play them in the championship game this year it's even more of a big game for me. It's my last chance I get to play them, it's just a lot. There's a lot that I have building up for this game and I can't wait to let it all out."
Thorpe Award finalist Darqueze Dennard is eager to see how Michigan State's defense fares against an elite offense.
"It is definitely something that all of the players want," said Dennard. "The defensive mindset is to prove that we are the No. 1 defense, no questions, ifs, ands, and buts about it. We are looking forward to this challenge and I think everybody will be ready to go."
Second-year captain Max Bullough did his best to enjoy career win No. 40 while walking off of the field at Spartan Stadium for the last time following his team's 14-3 victory over Minnesota. The All-Big Ten linebacker's thoughts, however, quickly turned to the Buckeyes.
"I was thinking about Ohio State," said Bullough. "We're always on to the next thing. What are we working on next? I did take a moment to look back and just try to enjoy it, try to realize what's really going on. I just tried to stop and think for a minute. As much as we have Ohio State next week, it was a big day for us, it was a big day for the seniors, big day for this team. We handled ourselves correctly. We took care of business. People thought we would be focused on something else. It was senior day so it was a big day for the seniors and a big day for this team and we performed."
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