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

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Sep 4, 2015; Kalamazoo, MI, USA; Western Michigan Broncos wide receiver Corey Davis (84) makes a catch for a touchdown against Michigan State Spartans cornerback Arjen Colquhoun (36) during the 2nd half of a game at Waldo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

4. Arjen Colquhoun, CB

The quest to solidify the secondary continues after starting cornerback Vayante Copeland’s season-ending injury and Montae Nicholson’s disappointing play at safety have left MSU coaches searching for answers.

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Demetrious Cox, the one healthy solid corner on the team, was moved to his previous safety position to replace the struggling Montae Nicholson against Central Michigan last week. Darian Hicks, who has roared back from mono, took his place and impressed Mark Dantonio with his play.

"“He [Darian Hicks] ended up playing and played well and played very confidently. Graded winning,” Dantonio told reporters on Sunday."

Dantonio was less enthused about Colquhoun’s play, but he took notice of his improved tackling after finishing with seven tackles.

"“I thought he tackled well. Needs to get up there and play at corner, you know, but I thought he did all right. I thought he did OK,” Dantonio said."

Colquhoun gave a little too  much cushion to Central’s receivers, allowing for easy completions. Dantonio wants to see him be a little more aggressive and tight with his coverage.

If Colquhoun steps up in the same way as Darian Hicks, that would allow Demetrious Cox to play at safety in place of Montae Nicholson. That would likely put an end to the Spartans’ secondary woes and put them in position to achieve their goals of a Big Ten Championship and playoff appearance.

Next: 3. Dennis Finley