#20 Purdue Boilermakers 52 – #5 Michigan State Spartans 28
I have talked about the 2000 Minnesota game a lot on this blog. An entry about that game can be found here. I thought that today it would be cool to talk about the only game that I have seen to this point on October 16th. Eleven years ago I went to Ross-Ade not knowing what to expect. The Boilers had a nine game home winning streak, but Michigan State was undefeated, and looking very tough. Sparty’s 6-0 record was the best since the 1966 team. Purdue on the other hand was 4-2 with a 1-2 record in conference. At the time Nick Saban was the coach of the Spartans. As much as he is looked upon now it is funny to look back at how much Sparty wanted him out there. At the time Purdue had State’s number. The past two seasons they had improbable comebacks at the expense of the Spartans. Would they need a late comeback this time?
Things did not go well off the bat as Plaxico Burress scored the games first touchdown to put his team ahead. Purdue jumped to a 28-6 lead though against the favorites. Chris Daniels and Drew Brees hooked up early and often in the first half. By halftime Daniels had 12 catches for 200 yards and three touchdowns. Most players would take that for a game!
In the second half the Boilers let the Spartans back into the game with turnovers. Brees had two passes returned for touchdowns. The 88 yard and 76 yard scores cut the Boiler led to 35-28. The Boilers responded though and went on a touchdown drive of their own to get back to a fourteen point lead. Late in the fourth quarter the Boilers scored 10 points in 18 seconds to ice the game and give them the upset win.
Brees finished the game with 509 yards and five touchdowns. All five of his touchdowns were in the first half. Daniels ended up with a Big Ten record 21 receptions for another Big Ten record 301 yards. He was unstoppable. I remember the quick out pattern that they kept hitting. Every time they would do it those of us in the student section would go crazy. You could see the big day unfolding. This game was a sign of better days to come in the program. This game was also huge because it set up a big matchup the following week against the #2 team in the country Penn State. If we could beat number 5, then why not number 2?
Michigan State went on to amass a 10-2 record on the season including a win over #10 Florida in the Citrus Bowl. That bowl win was without head coach Nick Saban who had already left the team to coach at LSU.