After a big night game at home against Nebraska, the Spartans spend back-to-back Saturdays in the Hoosier State facing Purdue and Indiana. These will be Michigan State’s first games on the road in the Big Ten.
Purdue and Indiana will likely be the easiest of opponents the Spartans will play in the conference in 2014. Last year, the Boilermakers finished a horrendous 1-11 season with their only victory coming in a close battle against Indiana State early on. They nearly pulled off an upset against Notre Dame, but the Irish scored 21 of their 34 points in the fourth quarter to get the win. After narrowly defeating Purdue, Notre Dame went on to hand Michigan State their only loss of the season in 2013.
Indiana is looking better, but not much better than Purdue. Last year they finished 5-7 with wins in the Big Ten over Illinois and Penn State. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld, who threw for 21 touchdown passes last season, will be returning for the Hoosiers.
What the Spartans Need:
This is very simple: Win.
On paper there is no comparing these teams with MSU, and it is likely Michigan State will win these two games, but it would be ideal for the Spartans to win big. If Michigan State hopes to finish in the top four and be selected in the inaugural College Football Playoff, big wins in these games will help.
The schedule for Michigan State is rather favorable in 2014, with a handful of easy-win games, and Purdue and Indiana are two of them.
If the Spartans are coming off of an emotional win vs. Nebraska, there is a chance some may look for the game vs. Purdue to be a “typical Spartan let-down” game. However, Purdue just does not have the talent to keep up with Michigan State. The Spartans will roll against Indiana, too.
Bradley Allen is a multimedia journalist and host of Secret Society for Impact Sports.
Photo: David Defever