If teams were ranked on how well they handle adversity on Saturday afternoons, No. 2 Michigan State may well move up to the top spot in the country this week. Fair or not, that's not how it works, however, and the Spartans face the real possibility of slipping in the polls -- or at least losing votes -- because after taking a 21-0 lead into the locker room at halftime, they had to hold on to beat Purdue, 24-21, in their Big Ten opener at Spartan Stadium.
Mark Dantonio was asked a question last week about Jack Allen, his fourth-year starting center, and the Michigan State coach gave an unexpected response. "I think Jack Allen can play every position up on the offensive line," Dantonio said on Tuesday. "I think he can pop out to tackle. His stature, maybe not a 6-5, 6-6 guy, but he's athletic enough and has enough power and enough snap and explosiveness to be able to play out there."
MSU's 24-21 win over Purdue is in the books, MSU now having won five straight in games decided by a touchdown or less dating back to a loss at Notre Dame in 2013. "We won the football game, and that's the bottom line," Dantonio said, very much with the tone of a man who is growing weary of having to be defensive in victories.
Colquhoun’s pass breakup with 58 seconds to go clinched a narrow 24-21 victory for No. 2 MSU (5-0 overall, 1-0 Big Ten) over Purdue (1-4, 0-1) in the Spartans’ 100th homecoming game. “I'm not going to change the way I play because of a couple pass interferences,” Colquhoun said. “Being here for five years, I just wanted to contribute to the team and put my best foot forward. Do whatever I can to make sure the team wins.”
Zone and press — those are dirty words in coach Tom Izzo’s basketball dictionary. But the popularity of “freedom of movement” in college basketball is part of the reason he revealed over the summer that he has been uttering both. Before the first practice of the season for the 2015-16 Spartans on Friday, Izzo reiterated his interest in one and downplayed the other. “We are working on a 2-3 zone today,” Izzo said with a smile. “First day, I want you to know that. I thought that would excite you.”
As the calendar changes from September to October, the Spartans return home to East Lansing to host Ohio State on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 1 p.m. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Connor Cook went 13 of 19 for 139 yards and a touchdown, and he became the school's career leader with his 28th victory as the starting quarterback. Kirk Cousins won 27 games. Cook is now 28-3 as the starter. ''It's a great accomplishment and it means a lot,'' Cook said. ''It's a credit to all the guys that have been around the team. Football's a team sport.''
No. 2-ranked Michigan State remains unbeaten, survives late surge from Purdue MLive
Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook became the winningest quarterback in school history, but the game ball belonged in the defense's trophy case. Purdue scored 21 points in the second half and was threatening to score again before Spartan senior cornerback Arjen Colquhoun broke up David Blough's fourth-down pass attempt in Michigan State territory with 58 seconds left.
Too much drama: MSU flirts with disaster, prevails Detroit News
The pattern is getting all too familiar for Michigan State this season – get up big, watch the opponent come storming back then make enough plays in the final few minutes to come away with a victory. The 24-21 victory over Purdue on Saturday in front of 75,418 at Spartan Stadium followed that script to a ‘T,’ and this one might have induced the most stress.
Scott helps Spartans survive Boilermakers, 24-21 Detroit Free Press
Michigan State freshman stud LJ Scott muscled into the end zone for his second touchdown, right around the same time Michigan State future stud Miles Bridges announced in Flint that he will be joining Tom Izzo’s basketball program in 2016.
MSU 24, Purdue 21: Kneejerk reactions The Only Colors
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.
Spartans' conservative play nearly costs them game Spartan Ave
Saturday’s Michigan State vs Purdue game was a tale of two halves. The Spartans started off the game against the Boilermakers, on the Spartans’ 100th Homecoming, clicking on all cylinders. Michigan State got out to a 21-0 lead and this looked as though this would be the first time in the season that they put a full game together.
Dennis Finley suffers broken leg against Purdue MLive
Michigan State's offensive tackle depth is getting dangerously low after a gruesome injury to to another player. Dennis Finley, a redshirt freshman who started Saturday's game against Purdue, suffered a broken leg and is out for the season, Spartans coach Mark Dantonio said after Saturday's 24-21 Michigan State win.
Dantonio lauds crowd, despite fans’ halftime flight Detroit News
Let’s be honest. It didn’t look good, at all. The No. 2 team in the country was playing its homecoming game, and when the teams came back for halftime, the Spartan Stadium stands might’ve only been half full.
Spartans survive Purdue isportsweb
Most fans and students filed out of Spartan Stadium in the first half. The score being 21-0 and the Spartans looking comfortable to run away with the game and an easy victory in sight. Then, most fans wake up from their naps to hear that Purdue scored 14 fourth quarter points and had to be stopped potentially on their go-ahead drive. This was a terrifying realization for most fans.
Cook passes Cousins for most wins in MSU history isportsweb
It wasn’t pretty at times and it wasn’t easy at times, but like so many of his other starts, for Connor Cook, it ended in a victory for MSU. With the 28th win of his career today, Connor Cook has passed Kirk Cousins in the Michigan State record books for most wins all-time by a starting quarterback. Cook improved to 28-3 in his — can we now call it — illustrious career, as the No. 2 ranked Michigan State Spartans (5-0) held on against the Purdue Boilermakers (1-4) 24-21.
MSU 24, Purdue 21: How the Spartans won Detroit Free Press
The No. 2 MSU football team went from a 21-0 lead in front of a nearly full Spartan Stadium to a mere three-point lead in front of a stadium that was more than half empty. But the Spartans (5-0 overall, 1-0 Big Ten) survived, with senior cornerback Arjen Colquhoun deflecting a fourth down pass in the final minute to secure a 24-21 victory over Purdue (1-4, 0-1) in the Big Ten opener.
Harlon Barnett: 'We're the No. 1 drama on TV' MLive
Michigan State football is "the No. 1 drama on TV," according to co-defensive coordinator Harlon Barnett. The No. 2-ranked Spartans (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) didn't secure Saturday's 24-21 victory over Purdue (1-4, 0-1) until senior Arjen Colquhoun broke up a fourth-down pass in MSU territory with under a minute left.
MSU Stays Unbeaten, Despite Purdue Final Drive Impact Sports
The No. 2 Michigan State Spartans escaped with a win over the Purdue Boilmakers 24-21, improving their record to 5-0 on the year. Michigan State is now 1-0 in Big Ten play and celebrated the 100th Homecoming Game in East Lansing in winning fashion.
Michigan State secures its fourth commitment in its 2016 class with a verbal commitment from 5 star forward Miles Bridges from Flint
Top-15 recruit Miles Bridges commits to MSU Detroit Free Press
Beneath the table Saturday, Miles Bridges kept his secret hidden. He pulled out a hat that announced he would play at Michigan State, not Kentucky or Indiana. A few minutes later, his gray, hooded sweatshirt came off to reveal a green, white and bronze T-shirt he had received from a fan.
Miles Bridges picks Michigan State over Kentucky and Indiana MLive
Hearing the old-school tales of Michigan State legend Terry Furlow were normal to Miles Bridges growing up. Bridges still remembers the impact of the Tom Izzo’s first national championship team in 2000, led by Flintstones Morris Peterson, Mateen Cleaves and Charlie Bell.
Miles Bridges commitment gives Tom Izzo his best recruiting class MLive
The five-star forward becomes the fourth verbal commitment for Michigan State for the class of 2016, joining five-star guard Joshua Langford, four-star point guard Cassius Winston and four-star forward Nick Ward. And after a few recent down recruiting cycles, the 20th-year head coach has bounced back with his best-ever recruiting class.
MSU basketball adds recruit Miles Bridges State News
Bridges, listed on ESPN at 6-foot-6, 225 pounds, is a scout-rated five-star recruit who played his high school basketball in West Virginia at Huntington Prep. He made his decision at Mott Community College, a school in his hometown of Flint, Mich.
Miles Bridges commits to MSU isportsweb
It has happened, Spartan fans. Michigan State’s 2016 class has become all Plan A targets. 5 star Small Forward Miles Bridges, who is originally from Flint, picked Michigan State today over his finalists Kentucky and Indiana at Mott Community College in Flint.
Michigan State's 1965 and 1966 national championship teams broke too much ground to be limited to a ceremony for homecoming against Purdue Saturday at Spartan Stadium. So the school began recognizing the old-timers on Friday. The weekend began when Michigan State president Lou Anna K. Simon invited the 1965 and 1966 players to a reception at Cowles House, home to the university’s president since 1941. It was fitting because John Hannah, the school’s president from 1941 to 1969, often strolled down to Spartan Stadium to visit practice.
Shilique Calhoun is a freak. The Michigan State defensive end has heard the description plenty of times over the past few seasons. It began when he was named the Big Ten’s top defensive lineman in 2013 and was being used again after last week’s performance against Central Michigan when he had three tackles for loss, including 2.5 sacks, and blocked a field goal.
"It's a really big deal to me," said Dantonio, whose No. 2 Spartans (4-0) will start the race today at homecoming against Purdue (1-3). "We coach in the Big Ten, so that's what I'm concerned about. I think coaches basically put themselves in a bubble. I don't care what conference you're in, you sort of submerge yourself in that conference. You really don't know too much what's going on in other conferences, other than what you may read from time to time or as it gets near the end of the season. I just think that's the norm."
The tandem of junior Athena Trouillot and freshman Davina Nguyen opened the Purdue Invite in West Lafayette with a strong performance in doubles on Friday, claiming two matches. The Spartans picked up three wins in singles play during the afternoon session.