DOING IT WITH DEFENSE

Michigan State's defense has dominated the Big Ten for three seasons and, this season, the Spartans are among the best in the nation.

Category 2011 (11-3, 7-1) 2012 (7-6, 3-5) 2013 (7-0, 10-1)

(statistic/Big Ten rank/FBS rank)

Points allowed/game 18.4 3 10 16.3 1 9 12.5 1 4

Yards allowed/game 277.4 1 6 274.4 1 4 236.6 1 1

Rushing yards allowed/game 100.5 1 9 98.6 1 8 59.4 1 1

Passing yards allowed/game 176.9 3 11 175.8 3 9 177.3 1 9

Turnover margin +7 3 26 +2 6 50 +14 1 6

Interceptions 18 1 12 14 1 36 14 3 22

Sacks 45 1 7 20 11 93 25 3 41

Opp. third-down conv. 33.7% 1 16 30.5% 1 8 27.3% 1 2