Michigan State vs Purdue: 5 Spartans who need to step up

1 of 6

Oct 11, 2014; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Aaron Burbridge (16) runs through the tackle of Purdue Boilermakers defensive back Anthony Brown (9)at Ross Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 Michigan State comes out of non-conference play unblemished for the first time since 2010 with a perfect 4-0 mark. The Spartans will open Big Ten play this week against the struggling Purdue Boilermakers (1-3), who lost at home last week to Bowling Green. For everyone complaining about beating Central Michigan by 20, hey, it could be a lot worse.

Must Read: MSU Football: Final grades for Spartans win over CMU

Michigan State is favored by 21.5 points in what will be the Spartans’ homecoming game in East Lansing. If history has shown us anything, Purdue has played Michigan State inexplicably close the past few seasons, despite the large disparity in success the two programs have achieved during the same time period.

Last season, Michigan State needed a pick six by linebacker Darien Harris late in the fourth quarter, with Purdue driving and down just a touchdown to seal a 45-31 victory.

In 2013, Michigan State’s Rose Bowl Championship team struggled to put up points in a sleepy 14-0 victory in East Lansing, with the offense scoring only one touchdown.

If the Boilermakers are going to keep it close this year, it will be because of newly minted starting QB David Blough, who completed 29-of-39 passes for 340 yards with two touchdowns and only one interception in his first start against Bowling Green.

The fact that Purdue lost to a MAC team, despite impressive quarterback play, illustrates that the rest of the Boilermakers have a lot to work on.

Let’s take a look at five Michigan State players who need to step up their game this week against Purdue, and beyond.

Next: 5. Jamal Lyles