MSU Stays Unbeaten Despite Purdue Final Drive


Photo: Bradley Allen/Impact

Matt Mika

The No. 2 Michigan State Spartans escaped with a win over the Purdue Boilmakers 24-21, improving their record to 5-0 on the year. Michigan State is now 1-0 in Big Ten play and celebrated the 100th Homecoming Game in East Lansing in dramatic fashion.

The Spartans started fast scoring 14 points off turnovers and taking a 21-0 lead into halftime. However, the second half seemed to last for eternity to Spartan fans.

[su_pullquote align=”right”]“Terrible weather conditions, and a nearly empty crowd added to the eerie feeling throughout Spartan Stadium.”[/su_pullquote]Trailing big, the Boilermakers were able to start their engines on the ground after miscues from the Spartan special teams. Purdue running back Markell Jones scored twice to close in within three points. Terrible weather conditions, and a nearly empty crowd added to the eerie feeling throughout Spartan Stadium.

Purdue closed in on the upset but failed to convert on a fourth down, giving all Michigan State fans a chance to catch their breath.

“The bottom line is do you win, or do you lose,” head coach Mark Dantonio said. “That’s the bottom line – just win. We are going to get the best shot from everyone.”

“There’s no such thing as a perfect football game,” Quarterback Connor Cook said. “There’s always going to be bad plays, but it’s how you respond.”       

Cook went 13-for-19 for 139 yards and one touchdown in the win.

“We have to capitalize in the redzone,” Cook said. “If we did that, I don’t think we would be as worried as we were.”

Spartan running back LJ Scott set the tone early imposing his will on the Purdue defense. By the end of the day, the true freshman rushed for 146 yards and scampered in for two touchdowns.

Scott’s effort sealed his first 100-yard performance of his collegiate career.

Despite the second half scare, the Spartans defense forced three turnovers, two of which turned into Spartan touchdowns.

Multiple storylines developed from the game, however the senior under center notching his 28th victory might have been the biggest.

Cook is now the all-time wins leader in Spartans history surpassing Kirk Cousins.

“It’s a team sport,” Cook said. “It’s a team game. It’s not all about me.”

“I would like to congratulate Connor on winning his 28th game and becoming the all-time leader in wins at Michigan State,” Dantonio said. “It’s a great accomplishment, but at the same time it’s a program accomplishment as well.

“Quarterbacks play to win. They don’t play for statistics. They play to win.”

Needless to say, Cook has done a lot of winning during his time at Michigan State.

The Spartans travel to Piscataway, New Jersey to face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-2) next weekend.

Relive the live Purdue vs. No. 2 MSU blog here