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Game Preview: Indiana Hoosiers vs. Michigan State Spartans

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 16 Michigan State at Indiana Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michigan State (5-5, 3-4 in the Big Ten) hosts Indiana (3-7, 1-6 in the Big Ten) on Saturday at Spartan Stadium. The game is scheduled for a noon Eastern Time kickoff and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

The Spartans are just one win away from bowl eligibility, while the Hoosiers have lost seven games in a row. It’s senior day in East Lansing, and in addition to a guaranteed bowl bid, the very prestigious Old Brass Spittoon is also on the line.

Michigan State enters Saturday’s contest as 10.5-point favorites, according to the DraftKings Sportsbook.

Let’s get right into the preview for the Big Ten East battle.

Tale of the Tape

Michigan State:
2022 Record — 5-5 (3-4 in Big Ten)

2022 Offense (per game averages) — 344.2 total yards, 235.3 passing yards, 108.9 rushing yards

2022 Defense (per game averages) — 430 total yards allowed, 257.4 passing yards allowed, 172.6 rushing yards allowed

2022 Cumulative Points Scored: 246 (24.60 ppg)

2022 Cumulative Points Allowed: 255 (25.50 ppg)

Current SP+ Ranking: 58th

2022 Record — 3-7 (1-6 in Big Ten)

2022 Offense (per game averages) — 323 total yards, 237.2 passing yards, 85.8 rushing yards

2022 Defense (per game averages) — 446.3 yards allowed, 270.2 passing yards allowed, 176.1 rushing yards allowed

2022 Cumulative Points Scored: 224 (22.40 ppg)

2022 Cumulative Points Allowed: 346 (34.60 ppg)

Current SP+ Ranking: 92nd

Series History/All-Time Records

All-time head-to-head record: Michigan State leads 49-17-2
Current streak: Michigan State won the previous matchup
Last Michigan State win: Oct. 16, 2021 (20-15)
Last Indiana win: Nov. 14, 2020 (24-0)
Michigan State all-time record: 726-477-44 (.600)
Indiana all-time record: 502-703-44 (.420)

Uniform Watch:

Michigan State:

It’s “Gruff Sparty” time! Michigan State will go with the all green look — green jerseys, green pants and green helmets featuring the “Gruff Sparty” logo on each side.

A closer look:


No official word on Indiana’s uniforms, but expect red helmets, white tops and either red or white pants.

Previous Game Results

Michigan State 27, Rutgers 21

This game started a little slow before the scoring got going. Late in the first quarter, Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne found tight end Daniel Barker for a 26-yard touchdown. The Spartans took a 7-0 lead.

Rutgers tied things up at 7-7 in the second quarter when quarterback Gavin Wimsatt found running back Aaron Young for an 18-yard touchdown.

Michigan State responded with a touchdown of its own, capped up by a two-yard touchdown run from running back Jalen Berger. The Spartans took a 14-7 lead into halftime.

MSU would extend its lead in the third quarter as Thorne found wide receiver Jayden Reed for a 25-yard score. The Spartans led 21-7 at that point.

Later in the third quarter, though, Rutgers drew closer. Tight end/wildcat quarterback Johnny Langan rushed into the end zone from a yard out to make the score 21-14.

Early in the fourth quarter, Michigan State defensive tackle Jacob Slade blocked a 39-yard field ago from Rutgers. This led to an eventual 39-yard field goal from MSU kicker Ben Patton that gave the Spartans a 24-14 advantage with 7:16 to play.

With 3:28 remaining in the game, Patton added another clutch kick, this time from 48 yards out. Michigan State led Rutgers 27-14.

However, the Scarlet Knights would not quite go away. A fourth-and-28 pass from Wimsatt was caught by wide receiver Shameen Jones for a touchdown. Rutgers cut into MSU’s lead, and the score was at 27-21 with just 47 seconds remaining.

However, Michigan State recovered Rutgers’ onside kick attempt and ran the clock out from there to get the victory.

For more on Michigan State’s win over Rutgers, please read our full game recap, peruse the postgame notes and quotes and check out the Film Room.

Ohio State 56, Indiana 14

The Buckeyes obliterated the Hoosiers, as expected.

Ohio State jumped out to an early 21-0 lead in the first quarter. Quarterback C.J. Stroud found wide receivers Emeka Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr. for touchdowns, and running back Dallas Hayden had a rushing score as well.

Indiana would find the end zone just before the first quarter ended when quarterback Dexter Williams II hit tight end A.J. Barner for a seven-yard touchdown. The Buckeyes led 21-7 after the first 15 minutes of action.

The second quarter was less eventful, as just one touchdown was scored. Ohio State running back Miyan Williams scampered into the end zone from 48 yards out to extend the Buckeyes’ lead. OSU led 28-7 at halftime.

Ohio State would also outscore Indiana 28-7 in the second half. Stroud connected with tight end Cade Stover for two touchdowns in the third quarter, giving the Buckeyes a commanding 42-7 lead.

In the fourth quarter, wide receiver Xavier Johnson scored a 71-yard rushing touchdown to extend Ohio State’s lead to 49-7.

Indiana then finally found the end zone again, when Williams hit wide receiver Donaven McCulley for a 19-yard touchdown strike. Ohio State still had a large advantage at 49-14.

For good measure, Stroud later found wide receiver Kamryn Babb for another touchdown. Ohio State won by a final score of 56-14.

Key Matchups

Dexter Williams II/Connor Bazelak vs. Michigan State defense: Michigan State is going to need to be prepared to play two very different styles of quarterbacks. Michigan State is still dealing with several suspensions and injuries on the defensive side of the ball, which has forced MSU to make adjustments that have included starting defensive tackles Dashaun Mallory and Jalen Hunt at both defensive end spots. With slower players on the edge, Williams’ ability to make plays with his feet and run the football could hurt the Spartans. Bazelak is the much better passer, but Williams has come in to provide a spark for the Indiana offense from time to time and his mobility makes him a threat with the ball in his hands. However, Williams has completed just 10 of 30 passes this season (33.3 percent) for 158 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Bazelak has completed 54.9 percent of his passes, and thrown for 2,111 yards with 12 touchdowns and nine picks. If Williams draws the start, MSU needs to keep him contained and force him to win through the air.

Jalen Berger and Michigan State running backs/offensive line vs. Indiana front seven: For much of the year, the Spartans have struggled to run the ball. Going into Saturday’s game, Michigan State only averages 108.9 rushing yards per game, which ranks just 115th in the country. However, MSU has seemed to flip a switch on the ground in each of the past two weeks. The Spartans have averaged 154.5 rushing yards per game in the past two contests. Meanwhile, Indiana allows 176.1 rushing yards per game (100th in the FBS). Berger has rushed for over 80 yards in each of those games and scored a touchdown against Rutgers. Expect him to lead the charge against Indiana, with Jarek Broussard and Elijah Collins mixing in.

Daniel Barker/Maliq Carr/Tyler Hunt versus Indiana defense: Offensive coordinator Jay Johnson finally featured the talented tight ends in the passing attack last week. Barker had four catches for 64 yards and a touchdown, while Carr added two catches for 22 yards and Hunt would have had a possible touchdown if Payton Thorne would have been on-target. As my good buddy Matt Sheehan pointed out in this week’s 3-2-1 preview, Indiana has allowed a touchdown to tight ends in four of its last five games. As mentioned earlier, Ohio State’s Cade Stover had two touchdowns against the Hoosiers last week alone. If Barker, Carr or even Hunt draw one-on-one coverage with a linebacker or smaller defensive back, expect Johnson and Thorne to exploit those matchups.

Game Info

Time: Saturday, Nov. 19 at noon Eastern Time (kickoff scheduled for 12:01 p.m.)
TV Channel: Big Ten Network
Location: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Michigan
Weather expectations: Cloudy, temperatures around 24 degrees at kickoff, snow showers possible toward the end of the game, winds blowing south/southwest at around 16 to 18 miles per hour — it’s going to be cold, bundle up, folks!
DraftKings Line: Michigan State -10.5


Truth be told, Indiana does not do much of anything well. The Hoosiers rank 102nd in the FBS in scoring offense (22.4 points per game) and 120th in points allowed per game (34.6). IU also rank toward the bottom of the country in rushing yards per game (85.8), rushing yards allowed (176.1) and passing yards allowed (270.2). There is a reason this team has dropped seven games in a row.

Sure, Michigan State has had its struggles this season, and suspensions and injuries have depleted the team’s depth. However, on paper, this looks like a game MSU should win going away to clinch a bowl berth. Then again, the Spartans’ inconsistency this year makes any game hard to predict.

It’s also senior day for Michigan State and the Spartans will want to retain the Old Brass Spittoon, so there are a lot of extra incentives for a Michigan State win here. Also, MSU is simply the better team.

If Williams — who has limited tape out there — draws the start for IU, the Hoosiers might make a few more plays and hang tough early, but I expect the Spartans to eventually pull away and get a double-digit victory.

For more on Indiana, please read our “Get to Know the Opponent” article and our “5 Questions with The Crimson Quarry” conversation.


Which program takes home the Old Brass Spittoon?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    Michigan State
    (23 votes)
  • 4%
    (1 vote)
24 votes total Vote Now

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.