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MSU 24, Purdue 21: Kneejerk reactions

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Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

MSU held a 21-point second-half lead against Purdue, but needed a defensive stop to hold on for the win. This statement applies to both the 2014 and 2015 teams.

MSU once again struggled to hold on to a second-half lead, but they did hold on, moving to 5-0.

- LJ Scott was a beast

The true freshman had 146 yards on 18 carries (8.1 ypc) and two touchdowns. You've gotta run the ball in a bad-weather game like this, and MSU did, even behind a makeshift offensive line. After struggling to run in recent weeks, this was a good sign for MSU.

- Injuries continue

Dennis Finley left the game with a gruesome leg injury, and one has to imagine he's out for quite a while. RJ Williamson was in and out and appeared to hurt himself running with a non-fumble(?) Coupled with Conklin, Kieler, Copeland and Davis, this team's depth is being tested.

- Montae Nicholson struggles again

He started the game on the bench, but had to come in for the injured WIlliamson. He continues to take poor angles to the ball-carriers and get burned. But if Williamson is hurt, he might be their only option.

- Second half... again

MSU is now being outscored 73-50 in second halves this year. They've "won" one second half. Michael Geiger missed another field goal. The play-calling got strange: Running on 3rd-and-6 in the red zone to set up the missed field goal, telegraphing a swing-pass to the RB on third down on their final true offensive drive.

But they also couldn't run to convert 2nd/3rd-and-short, before Jake Hartbarger fumbled the snap, eventually leading to Purdue's first touchdown.Jamal Lyles had a touchdown catch ripped out on MSU's last scoring drive. The play-calling has been questionable, but the execution isn't there, either.

Fans left, but it was a cold rain in a boring 21-0 game. I'm not going to tell fans what they can and can't do. Connor Cook summed it up well.

- What does it all mean?

MSU should drop in the polls, but it doesn't matter. They're 5-0 overall and 0-5 against the spread. Only the first number means something. What does matter are the same problems the team is making. I think we've officially reached the point where we can stop the "What if" game with MSU and the Playoff. There's a LONG way to go until then, and MSU won't get there if it doesn't fix things.

Next up is a trip to Rutgers, who will be rested off a bye.