Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/18/13
After the program was seemingly in peril a few short weeks ago, the Michigan State football team (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten), has rebounded with two nice wins and will hope to continue their winning ways at home this Saturday against the Purdue Boilermakers (1-5, 0-2 Big Ten). Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. and will be televised on Big Ten Network. The game will serve as a chance for the MSU football team to improve to 6-1 and become bowl eligible, a feat that took them until the final game of the regular season last year to do so. Again, for a Michigan State team that was thought to be down in the dumps a few weeks ago, with seemingly no capabilities on offense whatsoever, it’s been a different story as of late. After moving the offense well on the road against Iowa, winning 26-14, Michigan State sophomore quarterback Connor Cook continued to spread it around to several different receivers, who found a way to make plays the next week against Indiana. In that contest, the Spartan offense moved the ball at will, going on six touchdowns drives on the afternoon to come away with the victory, 42-28. The improved play of quarterback Connor Cook has been much of the reason for the offensive success as of late for MSU. (Photo by Mike Carter/USA Today Sports) “I think it’s natural when you have an opportunity to play as the starting quarterback, you’re going to start to mature,” MSU head football coach Mark Dantonio said of Cook’s improved play as of late. “I think that’s what you’ve seen him do. I think he’s growing with his presence on the field… He’s making good decisions down the field. I just see him taking big steps every single game to get better and better.” And that next step will be against Purdue on Saturday. Against all the turmoil and despite all the problems this Michigan State football team may have had at some point this season, what they have in front of them now is an opportunity to go 6-1 against a struggling Purdue team. And this Purdue team has struggled mightily this season. For starters, in four of their five losses, they’ve been absolutely blown out, with the lone win on the season coming against Indiana State. And if Michigan State fans thought the Spartans had a bad offense, wait until the get a look at this Purdue offense. Thus far on the season, the Boilermakers have put up just 15.3 points a game. That’s 121st in the country out of 126 teams. In addition, Purdue rushes for just 77.8 yards a game, putting them at 119th in the country in that category. Put this offense up against one of the top defenses in the nation in Michigan State and it’s no question that the Spartans should be able to shut this Purdue offense down. As for Purdue defense, it doesn’t get much better, as they’ve given up a whopping 37.8 points a game (117th in the nation). With Michigan State’s offense seemingly catching fire these past two weeks, if they can put in another strong showing on Saturday, Michigan State should easily come away with a victory. However, despite being heavily favored in a game for really the first time in a long time, Dantonio is doing his best to have his team focus on what’s directly in front of them and not looking down the road or thinking about the past. “I want to see our football team come ready to play,” Dantonio said of the game on Saturday. “We need to understand what’s in front of us, not what lies behind us, but what’s in front of us. Learn from our mistakes and grow. We want to constantly be stretched as a football team. We’re getting better. We want to play our best football in November.”   Follow Ryan Squanda on Twitter @squandaryan
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jarryd Hayne wants to return to NFL

Jones: I ‘scream in my pillow’ being at Super Bowl, not in it

Phil Jackson reportedly does not have opt-out until 2017

Byron Scott: D’Angelo Russell’s immaturity ‘at times’ a problem

Kevin Love: Shoulder injury ‘just a stinger’

Nets’ Joe Johnson would ‘welcome’ a trade


Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

Robert Kraft compares Tom Brady to Peyton, Eli Manning

WATCH: Markieff Morris appears to flip the bird to heckler

Prediction for each NBA award heading into the All-Star Break

Did Clippers reenact Paul Pierce stabbing during pregame intros?

Kobe Bryant gives LeBron James his game-worn Kobe 11s

The most and least improved MLB teams this offseason

Terrell Owens tells Skip Bayless to stop ‘misinforming’ people

8-year-old Panthers fan writes adorable letter to Cam Newton

Donovan McNabb: I did not throw up during Super Bowl loss

Seven teams that must target a quarterback in 2016 NFL draft

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker