Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 9/25/12
EAST LANSING, Mich. Rejection can be a powerful motivator. It is something Michigan State outside linebacker Denicos Allen uses every time he faces Ohio State, which visits Spartan Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Big Ten opener. Obviously, I didnt get offered there, said Allen, who made 415 tackles at Hamilton (Ohio) High. I took it personal then, but I just found a better place in Michigan State. He added that some of the 27 other Ohioan Spartans have similar no thank-you stories. Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel, since dismissed and replaced by Urban Meyer, could afford to be quite choosy with a national field to pick from. It added fuel to our fire, said Allen, who played a big role in last years 10-7 win over Ohio State in Columbus. It puts a chip on your shoulder. Allen had not been playing up to expectations this season until Saturday, when he had the teams only sack and forced an important fumble in a closer than expected win over Eastern Michigan. He said getting called out by his position coach got him going. The linebacker coach for the Spartans just happens to be Mike Tressel, nephew of the former Ohio State coach who turned him down. He was just honest with me and straight forward, Allen said of his coach. Thats great because I am a competitor. When a coach calls me out and challenges me, I am going to respond. Allen led MSU with 11 sacks and was second on the team with 83 tackles last season, but he had nary a sack and was tied for fifth with 11 tackles after three games before getting six against the Eagles. Weve been waiting for him to get turned loose, said Spartans defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi. But thats what Denicos is supposed to do. Hopefully, that was a warm up for the Big Ten Conference. He is a great player and needs to make good plays all the time -- not just part time. Allen, a 5-foot-11, 225-pounder, was Sports Illustrateds preseason defensive MVP pick in the Big Ten. Hes also a candidate for the Butkus Award given to the nations top linebacker. But he didnt make an impact until game four. He also teamed up with strong safety Isaiah Lewis to make a fourth-and-one stop on EMU tailback Dominique Sherrer on the first drive of the game. Allen forced a fumble that linebacker Jairus Jones recovered at midfield in the third quarter, and Allen sacked quarterback Tyler Benz for a nine-yard loss to all but end a fourth-quarter drive. It felt good, Allen said. All year, Ive been close and not quite getting it, and to finally get that first one, thats a big stress reliever. And usually after you get the first one, they keep rolling in. Thats how it happened last year, and hopefully thats how it is this year. Allen also got his first sack last year in the fourth game against Central Michigan. Then he got a pair of sacks in the Big Ten opener in Columbus, and was rolling with a four-game sack streak that continued against Michigan and Wisconsin. Allen had three sacks in the Big Ten championship game loss to the Badgers, and nine sacks in nine conference games last season. The Big Ten thats where it all matters, Allen said. We want to be the Big Ten champs this year. The No. 14 Buckeyes (4-0) and No. 20 Spartans (3-1) are the highest-ranked Big Ten teams headed into conference play. Quick hits Coach Mark Dantonio got a playful dig in on ESPN analyst Desmond Howard by slipping this comment on the excitement of facing OSU into his press conference: I guess I would say, I can hardly contain myself. Howard, who won the Heisman Trophy for arch-rival Michigan, tweeted on being in East Lansing as part of the GameDay crew: I can barely contain my excitement. Dantonio said defensive end William Gholston is full go for OSU after missing the first half against Eastern Michigan because an unspecified injury curtailed his practice time last week. Player interviews have been curtailed this week because Dantonio said we need to come closer as a team and felt that media pressure has them thinking in another way. The Buckeyes-Spartan rivalry takes a two-year break after this game. LeVeon Bell ranks second among major college backs with both 117 carries and 610 yards. The three touchdowns MSU has allowed on offense have come on drives of 23, 51 and 51 yards. Dantonio said that using All-Big Ten first team cornerback Johnny Adams as a receiver, as he did in the spring game, is a thought that has crossed his mind with the young receiving corps dropping several passes per game. He also compared the growth of his wide-outs to that of a bamboo tree, adding that it can grow slow and then 40 feet in two months.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jordan speaks out against shootings, donates $2 million

Report: Cromartie may be forced to retire due to hip issue

Greg Jennings announces retirement from NFL

Vikings OT Phil Loadholt retires after seven seasons in NFL

Report: Yankees, Cubs in 'final stages' of Chapman trade


Report: Fitzpatrick got ‘multiple contract offers’ from Jets

A-Rod: Ortiz deserves Fenway statue, street named after him

Report: Bosh's camp 'angry and suspicious of Heat's intentions'

JJ Watt pens dramatic letter to fans about back injury

Le’Veon Bell vows to win appeal: ‘I’m not going to miss games’

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Cubs to acquire Aroldis Chapman from Yankees

Aldon Smith denies appearing in video with marijuana blunt

Twitter signs deal with to stream live MLB and NHL games

Julian Edelman is dating Adriana Lima?

NFL reportedly determines Peyton Manning didn't use PEDs

KD, Draymond Green booed in L.A. during Team USA exhibition

Top storyline for each NFL team heading into training camp

Eight MLB veterans that need to be traded before deadline

Andre the Giant drank six bottles of wine before match?

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker