Michigan State (5-5, 3-4 in Big Ten play) remains in East Lansing as it prepares to host Indiana on Saturday at noon Eastern Time on the Big Ten Network.
Here, we take a look at MSU’s opponent as the Spartans’ hope to clinch a bowl berth with a win this weekend. The Old Brass Spittoon is also on the line.
School: Indiana University
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Head Coach: Tom Allen. In his seventh year with the Hoosiers, Allen posts a 29-39 record. After departing from South Florida after one year as the Bulls’ defensive coordinator. Allen has led Indiana to three bowl appearances, most recently the Outback Bowl in 2020 following Indiana’s surprise 6-2 season fueled by the heroics of quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who is now the signal caller for the Washington Huskies.
After starting the season with victories over Big Ten West co-leader Illinois, Idaho and Western Kentucky, the Hoosiers have dropped seven-straight games. Indiana now sit at the bottom of the Big Ten East standings at 1-6 in conference play and 3-7 overall. Indiana is also yet to gain a victory on the road.
Series History: MSU leads 49-16-2. Following a 24-0 shutout at the hands of IU in East Lansing in 2020, MSU eked out a 20-15 victory in Bloomington in the most recent meeting in 2021.
Players to Watch:
Indiana likes to throw the ball. Junior quarterback Connor Bazelak’s 384 attempts are good for 2,111 yards and 12 touchdowns on the year, but he’s completing it at just a 54.9 percent clip. Bazelak’s also thrown nine interceptions to his 12 scores and has been susceptible to being taken down, sustaining 23 sacks on the year for 195 yards lost on sacks.
Dexter Williams II
Fellow quarterback Dexter Williams II has provided an occasional spark for IU, throwing for 148 yards and rushing for 70 yards in limited attempts in each category. Williams could draw the start on Saturday, but that remains to be seen.
With Connor Bazelak at QB, IU’s offense had 15 yards and no first downs on three drives. With Dexter Williams in, he has a 16-yard run, a 49-yard bomb to Andison Coby and a touchdown pass to A.J. Barner.— Patrick Felts (@patrickjfelts) November 12, 2022
This begs the question: why on earth was he not starting? #iufb
Shaun Shivers and Josh Henderson
Indiana’s lead running back Shaun Shivers posts 419 yards rushing and four scores. He’s been able to break it open for a 47-yard score in a season where he averages 3.7 per carry. IU truly does it by committee, though, featuring Josh Henderson quite a bit also. Henderson has eclipsed 300 yards on 4.4 per carry for three touchdowns.
MSU opened as a 12.5-point favorite, but the line now sits at MSU (-10), according to DraftKings. The Spartans are clearly heavy favorites coming off two-straight wins for the first time since September.
Last one in the Woodshed #GoGreen pic.twitter.com/lWJyEvLef8— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) November 16, 2022
Indiana has struggled this year, especially on the road. The Spartans have become galvanized in a sense following their loss to Michigan three weeks ago. There was a point earlier this year where many couldn’t see MSU favored in another matchup the rest of the season, but the past two games have proven otherwise. With a bowl berth on the line for MSU and a home crowd in East Lansing for senior day, this matchup bodes well for the Spartans vying for their sixth win on the year.