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TOC Staff Picks: Indiana vs. Michigan State

The Spartans look to gain bowl eligibility.

Syndication: Lansing State Journal Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State has put itself back in the conversation of bowl eligibility and currently sits just one win away from gaining some key practices and another game on the schedule.

The Old Brass Spittoon is on the line. The Indiana Hoosiers have struggled all season and enter Saturday’s contest with a 3-7 overall record and a 1-6 conference mark.

MSU is a double-digit favorite for the second weekend in a row, and the Spartans are looking to head into Happy Valley on a high note against Penn State next week.

Our writers break down what to expect from the Spartans and Hoosiers this weekend.

Ryan O’Bleness

Michigan State 30, Indiana 13

These two teams are going in opposite directions. Indiana has lost seven games in a row, while Michigan State has finally seemed to find its footing with three wins in the past four games, including two in a row. Indiana doesn’t do a whole lot well — the Hoosiers rank 120th (out of 131 teams) in the FBS in points allowed per game (34.6) and rank 102nd in scoring offense (22.4 points per game). That is a bad combination. MSU keeps the momentum rolling at home on senior day and covers the spread against the struggling Hoosiers to become bowl eligible.

Paul Fanson

Michigan State 32, Indiana 21

The spread in this game is between 10 and 11 points and that is essentially where I see this game ending up. The Hoosiers have not won a game since Sept. 17 and I don’t think that trend will be reserved on the road, on senior day, in the winter, with a bowl appearance on the line for the home team. This is a game the Spartans need to win to keep the rebuild on a solid foundation. I believe that they will get it done.

Zach Manning

Michigan State 27, Indiana 13

Michigan State is the better team and will have no issues with Indiana this weekend. MSU gains bowl eligibility thanks to a three-touchdown performance from wide receiver Keon Coleman and a stout defensive performance.

Brendan Moore

Michigan State 24, Indiana 14

This will be a sloppy game played in tough, freezing conditions. Indiana hasn’t scored more than 17 points since Oct. 15. The Michigan State defense shouldn’t have an issue with the Hoosiers’ offense.

The Michigan State ground game will have a solid day. Look for running back Jalen Berger to have 80-plus rushing yards. The run game will need to be good because quarterback Payton Thorne has been inconsistent as of late. The Spartans will win, but Indiana covers.


Michigan State 24, Indiana 20

The last home game for Michigan State presents the best opportunity to achieve bowl eligibility versus a reeling Indiana team that has lost seven-straight games.

I expect a plucky Hoosiers team that will be bothersome if not exasperating in their ability to keep the outcome questionable. Dexter Williams II poses problems as a running quarterback, he replaced Connor Bazelak in outings against Penn State and Ohio State and showed flashes of playmaking with his feet. Though he’s not a refined passer, he presents issues particularly when the Spartans are using defensive tackles on the edge.

The snowy weather is an added element along with the emotions of senior day. The conditions will like dampen MSU’s passing attack, requiring more reliance on a rushing attack that has been less than effective at several points of the season.

In the end, Spartans grind out an ugly but essential victory for the program.

Some of The Only Colors staff will participate weekly in full conference picks, using Tallysight. You can keep up to date with our staff’s selections here.