#200 Indiana University Hoosiersvs.#199 Michigan State University Spartans
Saturday, October 10 2016, at 8:00pm EDT
Written by Chuck D
When and Where: Saturday, Oct. 1, Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Ind. 8:00pm EDT (BTN)
Line: Michigan State -7
After a trip to the College Football Playoff last season, The 17th-ranked Spartans looked to be a title contender again this year, particularly after their big win at Notre Dame. Then they ran into the buzz saw that is Wisconsin and left the Badgers left East Lansing with a 30-6 victory. Perhaps just what the doctor ordered is a trip to Bloomington to take on an Indiana Hoosiers side that is coming off of a 33-28 home-loss to Wake Forest. The teams have been meeting on the gridiron since 1922, with Michigan State holding a 45-15 edge in the series. The Spartans have not lost to Indiana since 2005 and have won seven straight, including last season’s 52-26 victory in East Lansing.
After a ho-hum victory over Furman to open the season, Michigan State garnered national attention with their 12-point win in South Bend. Many felt the team was primed to take down an undefeated Wisconsin team at home this past weekend, but that is far from what happened. Wisconsin had struggled in their home victory the week before against Georgia State but had no such issues against Sparty. The Badgers blew open a 7-point halftime game with a 17-0 third quarter en route to the 24-point victory. Badgers RB Corey Clement, who missed the game vs. GSU, found the end zone twice against Spartans as MSU allowed 122 yards on the ground. Michigan State actually won the overall yardage battle 325-317 but could not overcome four turnovers, three of which were interceptions. Tyler O’Connor was 18-of-38 through the air for 224 yards and no touchdowns, plus the three picks. LJ Scott led the way no th ground with 61 yards on 14 carries, and Donnie Corley hauled in four catches for 84 yards.
Indiana opened their season with a 21-point road victory over Florida International and followed it up with a 10-point home victory over the in-state Ball State Cardinals. A win over Wake Forest would have sent the team to a 3-0 start for the second season in a row. After entering the second quarter all knotted up at seven apiece, the Hoosiers allowed a 14-point quarter and went into the locker rooms down 21-7. The squad tried to mount a comeback in the second half, but it was no to be. Richard Lagow had a career day, throwing for 496 yards and three touchdowns, but unfortunately for the junior, he also threw five interceptions. Lagow has now thrown for 1,002 yards and seven scores on the season, to along with five picks. Overall, IU outgained the Demon Deacons 611 to 352 but were just 6-16 on third and fourth down and failed to force a turnover. The Hoosiers are trying to make back-to-back bowl appearances for the first time since the 1990-’91 seasons.
Michigan State is:
It is debatable which team is coming off of a worse loss. While IU’s defeat at the hands of Wake is not the greatest, Sparty falling in the fashion they did was downright embarrassing. The truth of the matter is that Michigan State is the better team and will be looking to bounce back. If Wake Forest can beat the Hoosiers by five in Bloomington, then the Spartans can beat them by a lot more than that.
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Chuck Dowling is a 30-something University of Florida J-School alum that lives in his mother’s basement. Just kidding... there are no basements in Florida (the ground is too moist). He has been in the “biz” for his entire adult life and specializes in NCAA football and basketball, as well as soccer, boxing, and MMA. When not writing, Chuck moonlights as a high school athletics radio and internet-television broadcaster.