Purdue Falls to Michigan State in Season Opener, 52-14

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- True freshman Sedrick Irvin scored four touchdowns to lead Michigan State to a surprisingly easy win over Purdue. The Spartans scored on five of their first six possessions, while Purdue didn't score until Edwin Watson ran six yards with 6:51 remaining in the third period. MSU led 28-0 at halftime and 35-0 until the Boilers' first score. Irvin scored three touchdowns on runs of 17, 6 and 5 yards, and snared a 12-yard pass to set an MSU freshman record with four TDs. Senior quarterback Billy Dicken came off the bench to engineer both of Purdue's TD drives, the first an 80-yard, nine-play effort. The second drive was capped by a 26-yard TD catch by Brian Alford. Dicken had a nice day, completing 11-of-20 passes for 189 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Junior Edwin Watson rushed for a game-high 74 yards, and junior linebacker Chike Okeafor had a game-best 14 tackles. Statistically, the game was closer than the score indicated (Purdue had 397 total yards, MSU 472; Purdue 21 first downs, MSU 26).

GAME NOTES: Senior Brian Alford caught a career-high nine passes for 156 yards (previous high was seven for 91 yards last year against Notre Dame). Alford was named Purdue's TV Player-of-the-Game...seven Boilermakers made their first career starts (C Brian Nicley, ST Chad Manning, TE Brandon Jewell, TB Lee Johnson, LE Rosevelt Colvin, WLB Noble Jones and MLB Chris Koeppen). In addition, kicker Chris Arnce and punter Danny Rogers made their first appearances as Boilers...Koeppen had a career-high 10 tackles (eight solo).

MICHIGAN STATE 52, PURDUE 14

Game 1, Aug. 31, 1996
(Attendance -- 72,511)
SCORE BY QUARTERS   
Purdue  0    0   7   7  -- 14
MSU    15   13  14  10  -- 52
SCORING SUMMARY
First Quarter
    MSU: Irvin 12-yard pass from Schultz (Gardner kick), 5:15
    MSU: Irvin 17-yard run (Reece fumble recovery for two points), :18
Second Quarter
    MSU: Gardner 37-yard field goal, 12:21
    MSU: Gardner 49-yard field goal, 8:19
    MSU: Irvin 6-yard run (Gardner kick), 4:24
Third Quarter
    MSU: Irvin 5-yard run (Gardner kick), 9:10
    PU: Watson 6-yard run (Arnce kick), 6:51
    MSU: Reece 9-yard run (Gardner kick), 2:16
Fourth Quarter
    MSU: Gardner 43-yard field goal, 8:40
    PU: Alford 26-yard pass from Dicken (Arnce kick), 5:49
    MSU: Scott 54-yard pass from Ornstien (Gardner kick), 2:25
TEAM STATATISTICS             PU      MSU
First Downs                   21       26
Net Yards Rushing         36-127   48-224
Net Yards Passing            270      248
Passes (Att.-Comp.-Int.) 39-20-0  33-23-0
Total Net Yards           75-397   81-472
Possession Time            28:38    31:22
Punts                     8-40.1   4-37.5
Penalties                   7-50     3-20
Third Down Conversions      2-14     8-15
Total Turnovers                1        0
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Rushing--Purdue: Watson 22-74, Matthews 5-30, Haddad 1-14, Dicken
2-5, Johnson 3-2, Trefzger 3-2. Michigan State: Irvin 13-73, Crenshaw
10-57, Goulbourne 15-51, Reece 3-21, Greene 1-9, Walker 2-6, Gould
1-3, Ornstein 3-2.
Passing--Purdue: Trefzger 19-9-0 (0 TD), 81; Dicken 20-11-0 (1 TD),
189. Michigan State: Schultz 27-19-0 (1 TD), 174; Ornstein 6-4-0 (1
TD), 74.
Receiving--Purdue: Alford 9-156, Watson 3-14, Tillman 2-16, Jones
2-33, Matthews 1-11, Daniels 1-22, Jewell 1-4, Haddad 1-14. Michigan
State: Irvin 7-59, Carter 5-40, Mason 3-62, Goulbourne 2-2, Scott
2-56, Hiram 1-5, Keur 1-6, Crenshaw 1-13, Long 1-5.
Tackle Leaders--Purdue: Okeafor 14, Koeppen 10, Burroughs 8, Brown 8.
Winston 7. Michigan State: Reese 10, Garnett 9, Austin 7.