FootballScoop is proud to announce that Ron Burton (Michigan State) is the 2013 FootballScoop Defensive Line Coach of the Year presented by ProGrass.
Perhaps no play serves as a more perfect metaphor for a season than 4th-and-1 at the Rose Bowl. Needing one stop to clinch the program's biggest victory in a quarter decade, the Michigan State defensive line stonewalled the fearsome Stanford offensive line, and the Spartans held. Final score: Michigan State 24, Stanford 20.
It was that kind of season for Burton's troops, as the Spartans allowed only 1,212 rushing yards (second nationally) and eight touchdowns (ditto) on 425 carries (2.85 per carry, third). Only 35 of those attempts gained 10 yards or more - 8.24 percent, best in the nation. Opposing offenses had a 0.92 percent chance of breaking off a run of 30 yards or more on Burton's spectacular front.
Michigan State had the second-best third down defense in FBS, surrendering only 57 conversions in 204 attempts (27.94 percent).
The Spartans also created enough pressure to make life miserable for opposing passers. Michigan State permitted only a 47.5 percent completion rate for 5.2 yards per attempt, equating to a third-best 165.6 yards per game. The Spartans also ranked among the top quarter of FBS with 32 sacks and 91 tackles for loss.
Sophomore Shilique Calhoun won the Smith-Brown Award as the Big Ten's defensive lineman of the year, compiling 37 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and one interception, with a return of 56 yards.
"Ron has done an unbelievable job for us at Michigan State," said Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi. "Although he has only been with our staff for a year, he has picked it up like a 10-year veteran and kept us going in the same direction. We always talk about how it starts up front with our defensive line, and when you're in the top five in almost all defensive categories - it's clear Ron has done one heck of a job. We're lucky to have his knowledge and passion."
As a team, Michigan State ranked second nationally in total defense at 252.2 yards per game, just 0.7 yards per game behind national leader Louisville (third-ranked Florida State finished nearly 30 yards per game behind the Spartans). The Spartans led FBS in yards per play allowed (4.04) and finished third in scoring defense at 13.2 points per game. Led by that fanatical defensive effort, Michigan State closed the year with a 13-1 record, a Big Ten and Rose Bowl championship and a No. 3 national ranking.
Hailing from Highland Springs, Va., played at North Carolina and then spent four seasons in the NFL. Following his playing days, Burton returned to Chapel Hill as a graduate assistant in 1992-93, and then bounced to Morehead State, Eastern Michigan, Indiana and Grand Valley State before spending a decade at Air Force from 2003-12. He joined the Michigan State staff on Feb. 8, 2013.
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by ProGrass are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Burton, Randy Hart - Stanford, Craig Kuligowski - Missouri and Jon Sumrall - Tulane) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winner.
Burton will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Defensive Line Coach of the Year award are Dick Bumpas (TCU, 2008), Jim Panagos (Central Florida, 2009), Bill Kirelawich (West Virginia, 2010), Brick Haley (LSU, 2011) and Randy Hart (Stanford, 2012).
2nd Nationally - Rushing Defense
2nd Nationally - Third Down Defense
3rd Nationally - YPC Allowed
2nd Nationally - Total Defense
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