Michigan State had another comeback victory this weekend against Purdue to improve to 10-1 on the year. They defeated the Boilermakers 35-31, after falling behind 28-13 early in the 4th quarter. It was another stellar performance from a Spartan team that is beginning to make this comeback thing a habit. They definitely make it hard on themselves, but they always seem to get the job done in the clutch. Saturday was no different, as the Spartans rallied late to win the game on Senior Day. As a result, Michigan State is still tied for first place in the Big Ten with Ohio State and Wisconsin. Ohio State must lose in order for the Spartans to have any shot of going to the Rose Bowl. This means that Spartan fans everywhere will have to root for their hated rival this weekend. I know for myself that this will be very tough, and I am not even sure that I will be pulling for Michigan because it just seems sacrilegious. Not only must the Buckeyes lose, but Michigan State must take care of business in Happy Valley, where they have never won a game. This will be a very difficult road test for the Spartans, but I truly believe that if there is a team that can handle this daunting test, it is this MSU team.
Kirk Cousins again showed why he is one of the best quarterbacks in the country during crunch time. He was absolutely brilliant in the 4th quarter, throwing for 2 touchdowns, while also running one in from 3 yards out. He showed the toughness and grit that a quarterback should have on an elite team, and this is very exciting considering we get him back for another year. He played through pain on Saturday, in which he showed exactly the kind of leadership that is expected of such a great quarterback. The play of the day though belonged to the punt return team, as they blocked a punt with just under five minutes to go in the game. Defensive back Denicos Allen came through the Purdue line untouched and took the ball right off the foot of the Boilermaker punter. The Spartans recovered the ball at the Purdue 3 yard line and scored on the next play to take their first lead of the day with about four minutes to go in the game.
Cousins finished the game with 276 yards on 28 completions. He accounted for 4 touchdowns on the day, 3 through the air and 1 on the ground. His top target on the afternoon was Mark Dell, who had 108 yards on 8 receptions and 2 touchdowns. The senior wide receiver was active all day, making key catches at critical times in the game. B.J. Cunningham also had a solid day, catching 6 balls for 51 yards and 1 touchdown. The run game never really got going, as a result of the Spartans falling behind so early. Edwin Baker led the rushing attack with 90 yards on 16 carries. He ran very hard all day and if MSU was able to get the lead, he would have had a monster day, considering he averaged 5.6 yards per carry yesterday.
Michigan State has won 10 games for only the second time in their storied history. This has been a magical season thus far and I believe the only appropriate way to end it is with a trip to Pasadena, California…
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Written by David Lesmeister