A three-point win over Purdue isn't usually a sign of one of the nation's best teams.
No. 2 Michigan State could see a significant tumble in the rankings this week after clinging to life against Purdue, which made a late comeback but came up just short in a 24-21 Spartan win.
Michigan State led, 21-0, at the half and remained ahead by three touchdowns deep into the third quarter.
But Purdue roared back as the game wore on. David Blough pitched a touchdown pass with five and a half minutes remaining in the third quarter, and Markell Jones' 68-yard touchdown run made things real interesting not even a minute into the fourth.
The Spartans responded with a field goal to go up 10 with a little under 10 minutes to play, but the Boilermakers answered that with a seven-play, 79-yard touchdown drive, capped by another TD run by Jones.
[MORE BIG TEN: Northwestern moves to 5-0 with dominant win over Gophers]
Purdue got the ball back with a little less than three minutes to play, but a 10-play drive ended on a turnover on downs when a Blough jump ball was batted down.
Michigan State has looked shaky since a huge Week 2 win over Oregon. The Spartans' defense, which has been terrific in recent seasons, has failed to put a lid on its opponents, injuries and inexperience causing significant problems.
But the offense had its fair share of woes, too, Saturday, with Connor Cook — who's supposed to be among the nation's top quarterbacks — completing just 13 passes for 139 yards. The Spartans' rushing attack performed well, with LJ Scott leading the way with 146 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Michigan State rushed for a team total of 267 yards.
Purdue had three turnovers, which surely could have made the difference in the game.
Judging by the comments on social media, Michigan State likely won't hang on to its No. 2 ranking when the latest AP poll comes out Sunday. Still, the Spartans are a perfect 5-0.