Who to watch: Michigan State


    The Michigan State Spartans (6-6) bring the nation’s third-best running back to Tempe, Ariz. The Spartans also have the nation’s No. 4 ranked defense holding teams to 273.25 yards per game and a top 25 punter.

    “Michigan State has a very good defense,” TCU head coach Gray Patterson said. “They sit on top of you. They want to suffocate you. That's kind of like how we like to play.”

    Le’Veon Bell, running back, junior

    Bell rushed for a career-high 1,648 yards in 2012, which was the second-best rushing total in a single season at Michigan State. He had a Big Ten leading 137.3 rushing yards per game to go with 11 touchdowns. The Columbus, Ohio, native earned the 2012 Elite Running Back Trophy (National Running Back of the Year) from College Football Performance Awards. Bell was a first-feam Big Ten selection and a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award.

    Max Bullough, linebacker, junior

    Bullough led the Spartans with 102 tackles and 12 tackles for loss. He also had four pass break ups, one interception, a forced fumble and three quarterback hurries. Bullough earned first-team Big Ten honors and was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award, an award presented to the nation’s best linebacker. He was also selected to the 2012 Capital One Division I Academic All-America Second Team, which was selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

    Mike Sadler, punter, sophomore

    Sadler averaged a Big Ten-leading 43.3 yards per punt which earned him first-team Big Ten honors. He placed 28-of-68 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line and 15 inside the 10. The Grand Rapids, Mich., native has had 16 punts over 50 yards including a career-long 70 yard punt against No. 14 Ohio State. Sadler earned Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honors when he averaged 46.6 yards on seven punts against No. 21 Nebraska.