Spoilermakers? Purdue takes down Michigan State for another historic top-five win

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The worst thing a top-five team can see on their schedule is an upcoming matchup against Purdue. No. 3 Michigan State learned that the hard way on Saturday.

The Spartans took their first loss of the season on Saturday, with unranked Purdue winning 40-29 at home for its second win over a top-five team this season. It was also Purdue’s 17th win against a top-five opponent as an unranked team, the most among FBS teams.

Earlier this year, Purdue defeated No. 2 Iowa 24-7 on the road.

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This has become something of a theme for the Boilermakers. Back in 2018, Purdue defeated No. 2 Ohio State 49-20 as an unranked team, handing the Buckeyes their only loss of the season and ultimately dooming their College Football Playoff chances that season.

This is only the second time Purdue has defeated multiple top-five opponents as an unranked team in program history. The last time the Boilermakers beat multiple top-five foes came in 1960, when it knocked off No. 3 Ohio State before later beating No. 1 Minnesota.

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Here’s a look at all the times they’ve pulled off this underdog feat.

Year Opponent Score
2021 No. 3 Michigan State 40-29
2021 No. 2 Iowa 24-7
2018 No. 2 Ohio State 49-20
1998 No. 4 Kansas State 37-34
1984 No. 2 Ohio State 28-23
1976 No. 1 Michigan 16-14
1974 No. 2 Notre Dame 31-20
1970 No. 3 Stanford 26-14
1964 No. 5 Michigan 21-20
1961 No. 1 Iowa 9-0
1960 No. 3 Ohio State 24-21
1960 No. 1 Minnesota 23-14
1958 No. 5 Michigan State 14-6
1957 No. 1 Michigan State 20-13
1953 No. 3 Michigan State 6-0
1950 No. 1 Notre Dame 28-14
1947 No. 5 Illinois 14-7

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And Purdue might not be done. Next week, the Boilermakers will travel to Columbus to take on No. 5 Ohio State, which beat Nebraska this week.

Following Michigan State’s loss, Ohio State could now be in a position to move up into the top-four. The Buckeyes will have to be on alert for the Spoilermakers eyeing another potential upset.



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