Second-ranked Michigan State begins its quest to win the Big Ten title when it hosts struggling Purdue on Saturday afternoon.
-CB Anthony Brown (No. 49 cornerback, 505th overall) – Brown certainly can impress National Football League scouts with his durability.
Shilique Calhoun. If there’s one player on MSU’s defense that can disrupt the running game and rattle quarterback David Blough, this is him.
Jamal Lyles has all the tools to be a big-time player for Michigan State, but he’s yet to become a consistent weapon for the Spartan offense. You can use your strengths to match up against their weaknesses. No team has allowed more passing yards (1,518), pass plays of 10-plus yards (57) and pass plays of 20-plus yards (24) nationally than the Huskers. He’s already missed five attempts, one more than he did all of a year ago.
Purdue: QB David Blough. “We have a good locker room with a ton of leaders”, Purdue linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley told reporters. I think that plays into our hands. Hard to believe, but this is the Hawkeyes’ first trip to Madison since 2009, which is coincidentally (A) the last time the won the Heartland Trophy and (B) the last time they started 4-0. On the ground, D.J. Knox rushed for 42 yards in 19 attempts while Markell Jones added 19 yards in six carries.
MC: They’re not get-on-the-edge type of guys, they are between the tackles, that’s where the big focus of Purdue’s running game has been this year. They bounced back with an 18-point win over South Florida, only to follow that up with a 39-point loss at West Virginia. They’ll hit you, and they’re not afraid of contact.
Q: Is the offensive line stronger this year?
Now comes the real question: Has it made the Boilermakers more battle-tested for No. 2 Michigan State this weekend or has it cost them confidence? Purdue’s defense has been vulnerable against both the run and the pass, while turnovers plague the offense. And of course against Indiana State they did the same thing.
The Boilers are off to a 1-3 start to this season after suffering a tough 35-28 loss at home to Bowling Green last week. “Michigan State runs an offense that they’re going to try to grind the clock down and wear you down”. Third down remain a Purdue defensive disaster.
MC: If you start up front, their tackles are pretty solid… they can plug up the middle. It’s also four more than any other team in the Big Ten. Check out the Michigan State vs. Purdue game preview and prediction.
“No, I didn’t, to be honest with you”, Hazell said Tuesday.
Purdue (1-3) is the only Big Ten team under.
Purdue missed a chip-shot field goal, and BG raced 80 yards to score the game-winning TD before time expired. The Boilermakers have played the Spartans tight the past couple seasons, so this weekend’s game could be closer than a lot of people are expecting. – Purdue coach Darrell Hazell, on what his team has done well through the season’s first four games. “I am pleased with what he has done, but we need to get him a few more catches”. We have to know where he is every time. “He drops his shoulders better than anybody I’ve ever seen. But we’re all at the same slate right now, and that’s what makes it exciting”. He knows what he’s doing.
“I think it’s definitely going to help us”, Hazell said. They have to stay healthy in a lot of areas, but they need more playmakers, especially on the perimeter to jump start their offense.