Khari Willis Named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week

MSU S and Captain Khari Willis (PHOTO:  Duffy Carpenter)
MSU S and Captain Khari Willis (PHOTO: Duffy Carpenter)

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State senior safety Khari Willis has been named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, the conference office announced on Monday.

Willis led the Spartans with a season-high nine tackles, including seven solo stops, in MSU's 21-17 win at No. 8 Penn State last Saturday. The Jackson, Michigan, native also forced a fumble on PSU quarterback Trace McSorley in the first quarter, and recorded his team-leading fifth pass break-up of the season later in the game.

Willis' effort helped the Spartans hold Penn State to a season low in points (17) and first downs (14). The 17 points scored by Penn State were the fewest by the Nittany Lions since scoring 10 in a loss at Michigan on Sept. 24, 2016. In addition, the 397 yards of total offense was the second-lowest offensive output for PSU this season. MSU also held PSU under 200 yards passing for just the second time this season (179 vs. Pittsburgh).

No. 24 Michigan State (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) returns to action Saturday, Oct. 20 to host No. 6 Michigan (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) in Spartan Stadium at noon. The game will be televised on FOX.

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