Despite recent win streak, MSU and Purdue have history of competitive games
The matchup of No. 8 MSU (4-1 overall, 1-0 Big Ten) and Purdue (3-3 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) might not spark the same kind of passions in fans that games against Michigan or Ohio State might, but recent history shows games between MSU and Purdue have been very competitive.
Although MSU has won the last five games in the series, the games have been closer than many expected. In the last 13 games, Purdue leads MSU 7-6.
Last season, MSU might have had their worst game in the Big Ten season when they won 14-0. The Spartans needed a defensive touchdown and a touchdown pass from senior wide receiver Tony Lippett to beat a Boilermaker team that finished the season 1-11.
“They seem to play up to their competition,” head coach Mark Dantonio said. “You look at last year’s game and what they were able to accomplish ... it was a close football game.”
A lot of recent games in the series have been close for these two teams. The last time MSU traveled to West Lafayette, Ind. they needed a last-second field goal to knock off Purdue 40-37.
The series has seen 12 of the last 13 games decided by 20 points or less and eight of those games have been decided by 10 points or less.
The last time Purdue beat MSU was in 2006 after Purdue forced a turnover on downs with under two minutes to go to beat the Spartans 17-15 in East Lansing.
“I think that they played well,” Dantonio said regarding last season’s game. “I think they played up when they came here and I expect a very competitive game over there.”
MSU has not played a road game since losing to Oregon on Sept. 6. Dantonio said it is important for them to get back on the road and gain some experience away from home, but he recognizes the challenge in playing at Purdue.
“It’s tough to play at Purdue, we’ve been there before,” he said. “We’ve always had great games with them. I think there is a sort of a history, or tradition in that we’ve always played close games.”
MSU and Purdue kickoff at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 11 in Ross-Ade Stadium. The game will be televised on ABC.