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

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Sep 26, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans players enter the field as a team prior to a game against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

3. Dennis Finley, OL

With projected first-round pick, and offensive tackle, Jack Conklin suffering an undisclosed injury against Central Michigan, Michigan State is now without both of its starting tackles. Kodi Kieler hasn’t played since leaving the Oregon game but is expected to be back in the next few weeks. Conklin was seen on the sidelines Saturday in a knee brace and wearing street clothes. I think it’s safe to say we will not see him this week.

Related: MSU Football: 5 takeaways from win over Central Michigan

We do know the injury to Conklin is not season ending, as Dantonio indicated there were no new season-ending injuries when asked by reporters Tuesday.

"“There’s been no season-ending injuries other than the two we’ve talked about,” Dantonio said, referring to Ed Davis and Vayante Copeland."

With Conklin out, it is Dennis Finley’s time to shine. Finley, a red-shirt sophomore, has seen limited playing time in his career, but was a highly recruited four-star tackle out of Detroit Cass Tech High School. He opted to play for Michigan State over offers from Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin among many others.

Finley had a rough first series after taking over for Conklin, but played well the rest of the way.

"“This was his first opportunity with a lot of football plays, and he got better and better as the game went,” Dantonio said, having had the opportunity to review the film. “I thought he played winning football. He did exactly what he needs to do,” Dantonio told Spartanmag.com."

Finley will have to continue to improve and play well now that Michigan State has entered Big Ten play, especially with an Oct. 17 game against Michigan looming. However, it is possible the Spartans could have both Kieler and Conklin back in time for the trip to Ann Harbaughr.

Next: 2. Receivers not named Burbridge