Regardless, it still wasn't enough for MSU to be named within the top 25 by the Associated Press on Sunday, and head coach Mark Dantonio certainly feels the frustration.
"I can say that if we win our next five games and we're 11-1, we're probably in the Top 25, (and) that's really all that matters,'' Dantonio said after the victory on Sunday. "How you get there is unimportant. Statistically, all everybody wants are stats. They want to know we're 'x' amount on third downs or this or that. The bottom line is that if we win the game 43-40 next week, we're 7-1. We're not feeling as good defensively, we're feeling great offensively. You weigh these things.
"You say you have a championship defense, you have a shutout, that's tremendous. Can you play championship football on defense? Yes.''
And the Michigan State defense was certainly on top of things. The shut out marks the first time the team has kept an opposing Big Ten opponent from scoring since 1999.
What was disappointing about the match up turned out to be the Spartans' offense that had seen such an improvement over the last few games. Michigan State's offense was only able to muster a mere 112 yards passing under Connor Cook and just a lowly total of 294 yards in total offense.
The only bright spot on the lackluster offense? Once again, that belonged to running back Jeremy Langford, who ran for 131 yards on 24 carries, averaging 5.5 yards per carry.
Linebacker Denicos Allen added the Spartans' fifth defensive touchdown of the season when he returned a Purdue fumble for 45 yards in the second quarter, which opened the scoring for Michigan State after a stagnant start. MSU wasn't able to pass the Purdue 32-yard line until the fourth quarter, when wide receiver Tony Lippett threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Gleichert on a trick play that finally saw an offense score for the Spartans - their one and only offensive scoring play.
There's little doubt as to the reason why Michigan State doesn't find themselves within the AP top 25 this Monday morning; their poor offense is just too lopsided when posed against their top-ranking defense in the nation. Should MSU hope to find themselves in the top 25 sometime before the season's end, Dantonio is going to have to find a way to make his offensive unit function as well as his defensive unit can on the field.
You can follow MSU writer, Michael Ferro, at twitter.com/MichaelFerro.