Big Ten Matchup

East Lansing , MI - A dramatic win kept alive Michigan State's hopes for its first Big Ten championship since 1990.

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The No. 18 Spartans look to further preserve that goal while trying for a third straight victory when they host conference rival Purdue on Saturday.

Oddsmakers from have made Michigan State -10 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 87% of bets for this game have been placed on Michigan State -10 (View College Football bet percentages).

Brett Swenson's 44-yard field goal with 7 seconds left capped a comeback from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit and gave Michigan State (8-2, 5-1) a 25-24 home win over Wisconsin last Saturday. The victory left the Spartans second in the conference behind 5-0 and third-ranked Penn State, and one-half game ahead of 4-1 and No. 12 Ohio State.

Michigan State has next week off before concluding its regular-season schedule Nov. 22 at the Nittany Lions.

A win over Purdue (3-6, 1-4) followed by an upset victory at Penn State would at the very least make the Spartans conference co-champions. If the Spartans, Nittany Lions and Buckeyes each finish with one loss, Michigan State would win the tiebreaker and a berth in the Rose Bowl by virtue of not having played any teams from the Football Championship Subdivision. Penn State and Ohio State each beat one FCS school.

Spartans coach Mark Dantonio, though, is concerned with the matter at hand.

"The focus has to be on Purdue, and the focus has to be on re-charging and getting our emotions in check, and re-focusing," Dantonio said."

Michigan State hopes the momentum of last week's thrilling win will help lead to a second straight victory over the Boilermakers after losing four in a row in the series.

Though Heisman Trophy candidate Javon Ringer ran for a season-low 54 yards on 21 carries against the Badgers, Swenson went 4-for-4 on field goals and receiver Blair White caught seven passes for 164 yards. The Spartans also took advantage of Wisconsin's 12 penalties for 121 yards.

"Good teams find a way to win those games and that's what we've become,'' said senior quarterback Brian Hoyer, who completed 43 percent of his passes and didn't throw a TD pass.

The Spartans will look for better efforts from Ringer and Hoyer. Ringer, who did rush for two TDs against Wisconsin, ranks second in the nation with 142.7 yards per game and needs 21 yards to top his career high of 1,447 from last season. He has struggled in three games against Purdue, though, gaining 169 yards on 45 carries with no touchdowns.

Hoyer, meanwhile, went 22-for-31 for 266 yards and two touchdowns in a 48-31 road win over the Boilermakers in last season's meeting.

Defensively, the Spartans can't afford to be as generous after allowing a season-high 281 rushing yards to the Badgers last week. The challenge will be to stop Purdue running back Kory Sheets, whose 924 yards rank fourth in the conference.

Sheets ran for 118 yards and three TDs last Saturday as the Boilermakers snapped a five-game losing streak with a 48-42 victory over Michigan. The senior has 164 yards and a touchdown in three career games versus Michigan State.

In his first career start in place of the injured Curtis Painter last Saturday, sophomore and Detroit native Justin Siller was 21-for-34 for 266 yards and three TDs. He also rushed for 77 yards with a TD and completed a pass to Greg Orton, who lateraled to Desmond Tardy for the final score with 26 seconds left to beat the Wolverines.

"He played an outstanding game,'' Purdue coach Joe Tiller said of Siller. "I liked the decisions he made. I really liked his composure, and of course he brings an element of athleticism to the position that otherwise we don't have.''

It's uncertain which quarterback Tiller will start if Painter is able to play after his streak of 40 consecutive starts was snapped due to a separated shoulder. Painter has completed 65.4 percent of his passes for 856 yards with four TDs in three contests versus Purdue.

Purdue, which has won its last two visits to East Lansing and needs to win its final three games to become bowl eligible, tries to snap an 18-game losing streak to ranked opponents since a 27-14 victory over then-No. 10 Iowa on Nov. 8, 2003.

Top Betting Trends:
All games in this series since 1992
MICHIGAN ST is 8-6 against the spread versus PURDUE since 1992
PURDUE is 7-6 straight up against MICHIGAN ST since 1992
5 of 10 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games over the last 3 seasons
MICHIGAN ST is 1-1 against the spread versus PURDUE over the last 3 seasons 
MICHIGAN ST is 1-1 straight up against PURDUE over the last 3 seasons 
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
All games played at MICHIGAN ST since 1992
MICHIGAN ST is 6-1 against the spread versus PURDUE since 1992
MICHIGAN ST is 4-3 straight up against PURDUE since 1992
3 of 5 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games played at MICHIGAN ST over the last 3 seasons.
PURDUE is 1-0 against the spread versus MICHIGAN ST over the last 3 seasons 
PURDUE is 1-0 straight up against MICHIGAN ST over the last 3 seasons 
1 of 1 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
Key Player Injuries
(!) [QB] Curtis Painter injured last game, %27?%27 - Shoulder - 10/25/08
[QB] Joey Elliott downgraded to out for season - Shoulder - 10/20/08
[RB] Jaycen Taylor is expected to miss the rest of the season. - Knee - 08
[TE] Kyle Adams missed last game %27?%27 - Knee - 10/25/08
[OT] Garret Miller is out for the season. - Foot - 10/15/08
[LB] Jason Werner missed last game %27?%27 - Back - 10/25/08
[S] Enrique Shaw has left the team. - Personal - 08/15/08
(!) [RB] Javon Ringer injured last game, probable. - Shoulder - 10/29/08
[S] Otis Wiley missed last game, probable - Leg - 10/26/08
[S] Roderick Jenrette has left the team. - Personal - 08/31/08

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Posted: 11/04/08 1:45 PM

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