Michigan State back on the road

After more than a month at home, the Spartans will play away from Spartan Stadium for the second time this season.

It has been more than a month since Michigan State played a game away from Spartan Stadium.

After falling short against Oregon on Sept. 6, the Spartans returned to East Lansing for a bye week before wins against Eastern Michigan, Wyoming and Nebraska.

Now, the Spartans head to Purdue to take on the Boilermakers on Saturday.

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said playing on the road is another challenge but that they have had success on the road in the past.

“I think our football team is ready to go play on the road,” Dantonio said. “It will be a change for us. Keeps us fresh and it’s another challenge.

“It's more challenging when you go on the road and I think you have to rise up to those challenges.”

Michigan State players have been ready for that challenge the past few years, as the Spartans have lost only two true regular season road games – at Notre Dame on Sept 21, 2013 and at Michigan on Oct. 20, 2012 – since the start of 2012 season.

The Spartans also have won at very Big Ten venue on the road since Dantonio took over as head coach in 2007, a list that was completed last season with a 41-28 win at Nebraska.

Junior quarterback Connor Cook said road games have fewer distractions but require more meetings and focus.

“You’re staying in a hotel, more meetings I think, when you go on the road,” Cook said. “You’re away from everything, less distractions so it gives you more time to focus.

“More opportunities to focus on the game plan, to look it over because you go to sleep. But I feel like they’re just a little bit different in the sense, more focus.”

The Spartans have not played at Purdue since 2009, so for the current players, it will be their first trip to West Lafayette, Ind. Junior linebacker Ed Davis is looking forward to his first – and only – road game at Purdue.

“I’m very excited,” Davis said. “I’ve never been to Purdue before and it looks like it’s going to be a fun place to play.

“It’s always good to go on the road with my brothers and see what we can do when we’re not at home and the crowd’s not on our side.”

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