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October 14, 2013

First look: Michigan State





Things get no easier for struggling Purdue this week as it travels to East Lansing, Mich., to face Michigan State.

GoldandBlack.com will have much more on the Spartans throughout the week, but here's a quick First Look.

For a Purdue offense that's profoundly struggling, this matchup couldn't look much worse.

Michigan State's ranked No. 1 nationally in total defense, allowing just 228.3 yards per game and just 58.0 against the run. The Spartans are the top-ranked unit in the Big Ten against both the run and the pass.

Indiana, a 42-28 loser in East Lansing this weekend, was the first opponent the Spartans have faced this season to score more than 20 points.

The Spartans' offensive difficulties from earlier in the season have seemingly taken a turn for the better in Big Ten play during 26-14 and 42-28 wins over Iowa and Indiana, respectively. As Coach Mark Dantonio has turned to a number of younger players, Michigan State's productivity has been on the up-tick. Its 473 yards against IU were a season-high.

Michigan State ran for 238 yards, with junior running back Jeremy Langford earning Big Ten Player-of-the-Week honors after running for 109 yards and three touchdown runs, in addition to a scoring reception.

Sophomore Connor Cook has seemingly solidified the QB position for Michigan State since being named the starter in Week 4, bringing some stability to a position that's been a sore spot, though the Spartans, statistically, remain one of the least productive pass offenses in the Big Ten.

Michigan State's co-offensive coordinator is Jim Bollman, who briefly served as Purdue's offensive line coach in the winter before moving to MSU in March.

Bollman worked alongside Darrell Hazell at Ohio State and offensive coordinator John Shoop with the Chicago Bears.






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