EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — After what many would consider a tumultuous week, Michigan State’s football team was able to get back in the win column after rolling into Champaign and taking down No. 16 Illinois.

What made Mel Tucker proud was his team’s ability to play complimentary football.

One of the stars of the day was Cal Haladay. His performance caught the conference’s attention and it’s why they tapped him the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.

Not only was he able to come up with some monster stops on defense, but he also recorded a career high three and a half tackles for loss. And as he shared with our Nick Mantas, his dedication to detail is paying off.

The linebacker said he knew Illinois’ running game was super strong going into the game, and he just focused on playing downhill and trying to bottle up their running backs.

Haladay’s teammates say he’s the smartest player on the team, and that’s not just on the football field.

He’s studying chemistry right now, and has big goals for when his playing days are over.

To hear more from the future chemist, watch the video player at the top of the page.