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Upsets Create a Big Tie Atop Big Ten

Purdue: No. 9 Boilermakers squander opportunity to wrap up Rose Bowl berth by losing to Michigan State, 30-10.

November 12, 2000|From Associated Press

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State may have shocked the college football world, but the Spartans are not surprised one bit.

Michigan State defeated ninth-ranked Purdue, 30-10, on Saturday, adding yet another upset to a season full of them.

T.J. Duckett ran for 174 yards and a touchdown to keep the Spartans' bowl hopes alive.

Purdue, 7-3 overall and 5-2 in the Big Ten, would have clinched a Rose Bowl berth by winning. The Boilermakers can still advance to the Rose Bowl with a victory Saturday against Indiana at West Lafayette, Ind., because of Northwestern's 27-17 loss at Iowa.

"It's probably one of those things that will sink in later," said Michigan State Coach Bobby Williams, a former Purdue captain. "It's big because there were a lot of Purdue people here, a lot of former teammates and a lot of people thinking the train was going through East Lansing."

Michigan State (5-5, 2-5) led the entire game and broke it open with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Entering the game, the Spartans ranked second in the nation against the pass while Purdue was the nation's No. 4 passing team.

Those who believe a good defense will beat a good offense were correct once again.

Purdue's Drew Brees completed 26 of 43 passes for 279 yards and one touchdown, with three interceptions.

Brees was reminded that his team can still go to the Rose Bowl.

"That's because we're very lucky," he said. "I'm just disappointed about the way we played in all facets of the game. We just didn't seem like we were in it. The fact is if we beat Indiana, we're going to the Rose Bowl."

Michigan State will not be headed for a glamorous bowl if it beats Penn State on Saturday at State College, Pa., but it would be a satisfying way to close a disappointing season.

"It definitely is a huge win for us and our program," Michigan State's Jace Sayler said. "It definitely makes a lot of wounds heal faster and it makes you feel better about where this team is going."

The Spartans should have a quality quarterback leading the way wherever they're headed.

Freshman Jeff Smoker completed 12 of 23 passes for 195 yards and one touchdown, with one interception. He also ran for 46 yards in 11 carries.


Times Have Changed

It used to be so simple when Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes were coaching. The winner of the Michigan-Ohio State would usually go to the Rose Bowl, while also-rans such as Purdue and Northwestern would play for the Old Oaken Bucket and Sweet Sioux Tomahawk, respectively, in their conference finales. In this age of Big Ten parity, however, there are several Rose Bowl scenarios in the conference's final Saturday involving the four teams--Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State and Purdue--tied for first place:

* Purdue goes to the Rose Bowl if it beats Indiana.

* If Purdue loses, Northwestern can go to the Rose Bowl with a victory over Illinois.

* If Purdue and Northwestern both lose, the winner of the Michigan-Ohio State game goes to the Rose Bowl.

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