Is everybody just banking on the “hangover game” in the week 10 Michigan State at Purdue matchup? The #3 Spartans have run their record to 7-1 on the season following a 37-33 win over rival Michigan last week. That was an emotionally exhausting win that required Sparty to come back from a 16-point deficit in the 2nd half.
Purdue may not be making much noise for a Big 10 championship game berth at 5-3, but they have another great opportunity to be a spoiler for a conference opponent. That’s what the Boilermakers did in a dominating 24-7 win in Iowa City in week 7 as the Hawkeyes were celebrating climbing up to #2 in the top 25. Can Jeff Brohm’s team get a second win over a top 3 opponent? They are just +2.5 home underdogs.
MSU Knows the Formula
The ‘letdown game’ being engaged is no secret in the week 10 Michigan State at Purdue meeting. In fact it’s almost accepted that the Spartans are going to come out flat here after the thrilling win over then #6 Michigan last week.
The thing is, Michigan State could easily run away with this one – literally – as Kenneth Walker III continued his Heisman campaign with 197 yards and 5 TDs vs. the Wolverines. Maybe the Spartans would come out flat against Purdue if they had an intricate passing attack, but running the ball and playing well in the trenches travels well.
Walker has a 264, a 172, a 233, and a 197 rushing performance this season but his success hasn’t necessarily led to better performances from QB Payton Thorne. A running game like that is supposed to open things up for hte MSU air attack but Thorne has been held to under 200 yards passing the last two games and has thrown 4 INT to just 1 TD over that span. Is the pressure of rising in the ranking starting to get to the Spartans QB?
A Second Signature Win for Purdue?
The Boilermakers have the rare opportunity to upset a second top 4 team if they can get a win over Michigan State at home on Saturday. The Boilermakers not only beat Iowa in week 7, they dominated them 24-7 as QB Aidan O’Connell went 30/40 for 375 yards with 2 TD on the road. The Hawkeyes have the #2 total yard defense in the Big Ten, but had no answer for Purdue WR David Bell who caught 11 balls for 240 yards in that game.
Purdue is definitely going to try and throw the ball again on Saturday afternoon (3:30 PM ET, ESPN) as O’Connell hit 34 of 45 passes last week Nebraska with 2 TD and 0 INT. O’Connell completed 24/32 passes vs. Wisconsin in week 8, but he also threw 3 INTs that were crucial in the 30-13 Badgers win.
Wisconsin also ran for 297 total yards and only threw 8 passes in that week 8 matchup in West Lafayette which does cause some concern with the ground game of MSU coming to town. Purdue is a decent 9th in the Big Ten giving up 139 ypg rushing, but Michigan State struggles against the Boilers’ strength of the passing game giving up over 300 ypg which is last in the Big Ten.
Free Week 10 Michigan State at Purdue Pick
One of the biggest reasons Purdue was able to dominate Iowa earlier this season is because the Hawkeyes were coming off an exhausting 23-20 win over #4 Penn State the week prior. That’s the same situation the Spartans are in Saturday afternoon and on top of that Michigan State knows they have games against Ohio State and Penn State to close out the season. Great spot for the Boilermakers at home.
Purdue 21 – Michigan State 20
Free Pick: Purdue +2.5