Memorial Stadium Bloomington

Michigan State Spartans vs. Indiana Hoosiers Pick & Prediction OCT 16TH 2021

Logo Michigan State Spartans
Logo Indiana Hoosiers

52.5o -110
3.5 -104



Michigan State has been one of the biggest surprises in the Big Ten season.

Picked to finish as low as last in the Big Ten East in some national publications, the Spartans are undefeated through six games and this week vaulted to No. 10 in the AP Top 25.

But second year Michigan State coach Mel Tucker doesn't think the Spartans have arrived yet. He is pushing for more consistency when Michigan State plays Indiana Saturday at Bloomington, Ind.

"We have so many areas where we need improvement in all three phases, individually and collectively," he said. "It never stops. You're never there, you never arrive. If you turn on the tape of the games, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see what areas we need to improve.

It's the first top 10 ranking for the Spartans since Sept. 18, 2016, when they were No. 8 in both polls, but promptly tumbled into a seven-game losing streak.

Michigan State (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) is coming off a 31-13 win at Rutgers. The offense has been sparked throughout the season by freshman running back Kenneth Walker III, who leads the nation in rushing with 913 yards and 9 TDs. Peyton Thorne has provided stability at the quarterback position, passing for 1,575 yards with 14 TDs to 2 interceptions.

Although Michigan State has beaten Indiana in 10 of the past 12 meetings, the Spartans will be looking to avenge a 24-0 home loss last season when the surprising Hoosiers were the No. 10 team in the country.

"They're all a big game, especially a rivalry game for a trophy," Tucker said. "We're playing for the (Old) Brass Spittoon."

Indiana (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten) is looking to build some momentum after a disappointing start to conference play. The Hoosiers have yet to score a touchdown in two Big Ten games, and likely will be without starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who suffered a separated AC joint in his throwing shoulder during Indiana's 24-0 loss at Penn State on Oct. 2.

If Penix can't go, Indiana will turn to backup quarterback Jack Tuttle, who went 1-1 as a starter last season and has passed for 564 yards and 3 TDs in three seasons at Indiana.

"He's started for us against one Big Ten team on the road, which was huge last year and has played many minutes beyond that," Indiana coach Tom Allen said.

Indiana's three losses so far this season have already eclipsed its loss total from last year's 6-2 breakout campaign. But the Hoosiers are hoping a bye week will offer a fresh start and fresh perspective that will carry through the rest of the season.

"That's the way we have to look at it," Allen said. "That's the way we're going to look at it and be able to approach it in a way that we can't change the past, we can learn from the past.

"We don't like where we are. But we'll tackle where we are. That to me is the focus. And that to me is the mindset we have."

--Field Level Media

Michigan State Spartans
Indiana Hoosiers

Michigan State Spartans vs. Indiana Hoosiers Recap OCT 16TH 2021

Payton Thorne threw for a touchdown and Kenneth Walker III rushed for 84 yards to lift No. 10 Michigan State to a 20-15 win over Indiana on Saturday in Bloomington, Ind.

Thorne completed 14 of 26 passes for 126 yards for the Spartans (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten), who forced three turnovers on defense to help secure the road win.

Stephen Carr rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown for the Hoosiers (2-4, 0-3), who were without starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. due an injured throwing shoulder. Jack Tuttle, making his third career start at quarterback for Indiana, completed 28 of 52 passes for 188 yards and two interceptions.

Indiana outgained Michigan State 217-57 in the first half but settled for just a 9-7 lead at intermission. The Hoosiers had two drives stall inside Michigan State's 10-yard line, which resulted in field goals of 24 and 25 yards from Charles Campbell.

Michigan State's lone touchdown of the first half came on defense, with linebacker Cal Haladay returning a Tuttle interception 30 yards for a touchdown. That score put the Spartans up 7-3 with 4:33 left in the first quarter.

Campbell connected on a 44-yard field goal with 14:21 left in the second quarter to cut Michigan State's lead to 7-6. Then, Campbell put Indiana up 9-7 with a 25-yard attempt with 6:55 left in the first half.

Indiana had a chance to add more points before the end of the half, but a 55-yard attempt by Campbell at the end of the half sailed wide left.

Michigan State took a 10-9 on a 51-yard field goal by Matt Coghlin with 7:54 left in the third quarter. Then, off Tuttle's second interception of the game, Thorne found tight end Tyler Hunt for a wide open 12-yard touchdown to extend Michigan State's lead to 17-9 with 1:49 left in the third quarter.

Indiana finally broke through for its first touchdown in three Big Ten games when Carr scored on a 1-yard run with 12:56 left in the fourth quarter.. But Indiana's subsequent two-point conversion attempt to tie the game came up short.

Coghlin put Michigan State up 20-15 with his second field goal, this one from 49 yards, with 8:31 left in the fourth quarter.

The Hoosiers were also without preseason All-American cornerback Tiawan Mullen, who sat out the game with a leg injury.

--Field Level Media

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