Despite the success of its defense, Michigan State was averaging less than two sacks per game entering Saturday.
That changed as the Spartans racked up a season-high five sacks in their 14-0 win against Purdue.
“It helps when you're up to put pressure on the quarterback because you expect a little more pass than run,” defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said. “We did a good job of executing and putting pressure on the quarterback.”
The defensive line led the charge with 3.5 sacks of Purdue freshman quarterback Danny Etling.
“We had four sacks as a defensive line,” Calhoun said. “Just as a defensive line and you could tell he was scrambling through the pocket. He’s a great quarterback and he was scrambling through the pocket and he was trying to make plays.
“I feel like the pressure that we had disrupted him a little bit, and it kind of warned him as the game went on.”
Calhoun had his fourth sack of the season against Purdue. Sophomore Damon Knox and senior Denzel Drone had their first sacks of the season.
“Denzel Drone had a great sack coming off the edge for what I believe is his first of the year,” Narduzzi said. “He had me jumping in the box.”
Senior defensive tackle Tyler Hoover had a half sack to round out the defensive line effort as he teamed up with linebacker Ed Davis.
Senior linebacker Max Bullough had the fifth sack, which resulted in a fumble picked up by fellow senior linebacker Denicos Allen. Allen ran the ball back 45 yards for his first career touchdown.