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.
Connor Cook says the Spartans noticed the disappearing crowd. Says if you let that bother you, "you don't belong on the field."— Joe Rexrode (@joerexrode) October 3, 2015
- 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.