(Updated: CHANGED: date in lede REWORDED: 1st sentence in 2nd graph ADDED: Griggs’ missed FG and yardage in graph 4 CORRECTED: not top overall defense, tops in YPG in note 1)
Michigan State 14, Purdue 0: Linebacker Denicos Allen ran back a fumble 45 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and the host Spartans earned their first shutout since 2011.
Wide receiver Tony Lippett took a pitch and hit tight end Andrew Gleichert for a 5-yard touchdown pass with 8:55 remaining to give Michigan State (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) a 14-point cushion. Jeremy Langford gained 131 yards on 24 carries for the Spartans, going over 100 for the second straight week.
Freshman quarterback Danny Etling completed 14-of-25 for 160 yards in his second start for Purdue (1-6, 0-3), which ran for only 66 yards. The Boilermakers, who gave up an average of 42.8 points the last four weeks, held Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook to 107 yards passing.
Purdue had more yards and first downs in the first half, but turned the ball over twice and Paul Griggs missed a 51-yard field goal to trail 7-0 at intermission. Max Bullough’s hit forced the Etling fumble that Allen scooped up and easily ran it in for the Spartans’ fifth defensive touchdown of the season with 10:17 left in the second quarter.
Griggs missed another field goal attempt - this time from 41 yards out - but Michigan State could not sustain drives while failing on third down twice in Purdue territory during the third quarter. The Spartans finally put together a nine-play, 73-yard drive that ended with Gleichert’s third career catch and first-ever touchdown.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Michigan State earned its first shutout since beating Florida Atlantic 44-0 on Sept. 10, 2011, as the nation’s leader in fewest yards per game never allowed the Boilermakers into the red zone. … Purdue RB Brandon Cottom had only three carries on the season coming in, but ran the ball five times on the Boilermakers’ opening drive and gained 39 yards on 12 attempts in the contest. … Michigan State has beaten Purdue five straight times and leads the all-time series 33-28-3.