While the Michigan State Spartans had a shaky start to the season, no one can deny that since Big Ten play began, Michigan State has looked like a better football team. Nonetheless, now is not the time to get cocky, because Michigan State still has plenty of games to go. This Saturday they face-off against the Purdue Boilermakers who are currently 1-5 and while this team may be struggling right now, Michigan State should still be ready to compete and finish strong.
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Michigan State must first get off to a good start both offensively and defensively. Offensively it starts with the continuance of the running game. Running the ball makes the Spartans a two-dimensional team and opens up things for the passing game which is what they ultimately want. If they can get running back Jeremy Langford to continue running the ball like he did last week, they should be in good shape. I also hope to see the Spartans use RJ Shelton more in this game, because he offers the dynamic speed that can be used both in the passing and running game. I expect quarterback Connor Cook to be challenged somewhat in this game by Purdue’s secondary. While Cook hasn’t been known to turn the ball over, he still should be aware of where corner-back Ricardo Allen is at all times and take what the defense gives him. Most importantly Cook should make a point to spread the ball around, he has various targets at his disposal such as Aaron Burbridge, Macgarrett Kings Jr and Tony Lippet.
Defensively, Michigan State should look to continue to dominate. Purdue is not known for being able to score well or even move the ball well. Michigan State should start with getting consistent pressure on quarterback Rob Henry, typically when pressured he forces passes. So if Michigan State creates consistent pressure there is no doubt the Spartans secondary will be able to make a couple plays on the ball. Spartans defense mainly needs to come in focus and ready to hit them fast and hit them hard. No need to come in, just going throw the motions. If the defense pounces early it puts the offense in a good position.
Overall I have Michigan State winning this game. They are clearly the better team but I also feel they understand what a crucial game this is to their conference record and even overall record. All Michigan State has to do is come into this game focus, ready to play and execute and they will win the game.
Written by LBeasley, Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
Listen to LBeasley’s Radio Show, “Sports Talk with L-Beasley” every Mon, Wed & Fri from 6-8pm (ET) on LBeasley.com