Defense carries Spartans to 14-0 win over Purdue

Denicos Allen returned a fumble 45 yards for a touchdown, and
Michigan State’s offense finally added an insurance score in the
fourth quarter of a 14-0 win over Purdue on Saturday.

The Spartans didn’t make it past the Purdue 32-yard line until
the fourth, when receiver Tony Lippett threw a 5-yard touchdown
pass to Andrew Gleichert on a trick play.

Michigan State (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten Conference) remains atop the
Legends Division but clearly has work to do with the toughest part
of its schedule still to come. Purdue (1-6, 0-3) kept it close
after being routed by Wisconsin and Nebraska in its first two
conference games, but Paul Griggs missed two field goals.

The Spartans entered with the nation’s top-ranked defense, and
Allen opened the scoring in the second quarter with Michigan
State’s fifth defensive touchdown of the season. Max Bullough hit
quarterback Danny Etling, the ball popped free, and Allen was able
to scoop it up and score easily.

Purdue converted a fourth down thanks to a penalty, which gave
the Boilermakers the ball at the Michigan State 34 with 9 seconds
left in the second quarter. That was as far into opposing territory
as either team advanced the ball in the first half, but Griggs was
short on a 51-yard field goal attempt.

Griggs also came up short from 41 yards in the third quarter,
and Michigan State scored again in the fourth. Connor Cook
completed a pass to Macgarrett Kings for 25 yards on third-and-12,
and a 26-yard catch-and-run by Josiah Price put the ball at the
Purdue 7.

Two plays later, Lippett took the ball on what looked like an
end-around, but he threw to an open Gleichert for a touchdown.

Cook went 13 of 25 for 107 yards, although at one point he had
only 17 yards on eight completions. Etling was 14 of 25 for 160
yards, but he also threw a crucial interception in the end zone in
the first quarter, after Purdue had reached the Michigan State 37
with a fourth-down conversion.

Jeremy Langford had 131 yards on 24 carries for Michigan
State.

While the Spartans were sputtering offensively, punter Mike
Sadler gave them a lift, landing three punts inside the 10-yard
line.