Michigan State Vs. Purdue: Chess Match or Football Game?

John Rozum@Rozum27Correspondent INovember 8, 2010

EAST LANSING, MI - NOVEMBER 08:  Johnny Adams #5of the Michigan State Spartans runs an interception past Dan Dierking #25 of the Purdue Boilermakers for a touchdown at Spartan Stadium on November 8, 2008 in East Lansing, Michigan.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The game of football is just a more physical version of a chess match (unless you're an extremely intense chess master).

With two weeks to prepare for Purdue, you have to expect the Spartans will be able to anticipate almost every move.

The Boilermakers, on the other hand, have their own objectives to strive for:

1. Become bowl eligible.

2. Play the role of "Spoilermakers" (clever, I know).

3. Finish with a winning season.

Therefore, with these objectives in mind, and regardless of the result between Purdue and Michigan, Michigan State must recognize the significance of its Week 10 contest.

Now although Sparty has this extra week to buff out the rough spots, all coaches and players alike must be cautious of over-analyzing the game. If they get to the point where they begin to "second-guess," then the chess match favors the versatile offense that is the Purdue Boilermakers. 

However, the Spartans having two weeks to prepare for the Boilermakers suits them well because of what looks to be a rare dual-QB system. 

Through nine games, QBs Robert Marve and Rob Henry have 99 and 97 attempts respectively. In addition, both have just over 500 yards passing with three TDs and four picks. Obviously not great stats for each, but it could be a lot worse.

The ground game for Purdue is rather dynamic because they average 173 yards per game (ranks them in the top one-third echelon in all of college football).

Not to mention Henry is second on the team in carries (71) and yards (391) and also leads the team with four TDs.

With all this being said, don't be surprised if Purdue plays in a shootout against Michigan (and wins) since neither school knows how to play defense.

When Purdue comes into East Lansing to play the "Spoilermakers" role, Kirk Cousins MUST get back on track.

His previous two performances combined for a total of only one TD with four picks and a season-low 131 yards versus Minnesota. Not good as the season winds down.

Now to prevent from being completely derailed, Cousins should try these obvious recommendations:

1. Mark Dell (41 catches for 653 yards and four TDs).

2. B.J. Cunningham (41 catches for 527 yards and six TDs).

3. Let your running backs take over.   

As for the Brahma Bulls, expect Edwin Baker to reach the 1,000-yard milestone and Le'Veon Bell to pound the rock in short yardage/goal-line situations.

As a team, Michigan State bounced back well against the Golden Gophers. But anticipate the level of difficulty to rapidly increase against Purdue and Penn State.

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