Michigan State hopes to stay unbeaten in Big Ten; Spartans host Purdue

Michigan State is quietly emerging as a factor in the Big Ten title race.

The Spartans (5-1, 2-0) looked out of sorts at times in September, when coach Mark Dantonio was still trying to decide on a quarterback and the defense scored most of the touchdowns for the first couple weeks. Now Michigan State is one of only three teams undefeated in Big Ten play, and the Spartans are favored again this weekend at home against Purdue.

Michigan State can ill afford a slip-up now — especially when the November schedule includes Michigan, Nebraska and Northwestern in consecutive games.

Purdue (1-5, 0-2) dropped its first two conference games to Wisconsin and Nebraska by a combined 85-17.