The script held true Saturday in East Lansing. The Indiana University football team’s road struggles continued as the homestanding Spartans rolled to a convincing 42-28 victory over the Hoosiers. IU (3-3 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) has not won at Michigan State since 2002, nor have the Hoosiers beaten the Spartans since 2006.
After IU’s Tevin Coleman broke into the open field on a 64-yard touchdown run to give the Hoosiers an early 7-0 advantage, Michigan State (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) began to flex its offensive muscles. Beginning with the Spartans third offensive possession, Michigan State used ball control to chew up chunks of yardage.
Spartans RB Jeremy Langford rumbled for 109-yards and four touchdowns as Michigan State piled up 238-yards on the ground against an undermanned Indiana defense. When Langford wasn’t finding running lanes, Spartans QB Connor Cook found cracks in the Hoosier secondary, completing 22-of-31 passes for 235-yards and a pair of touchdowns to Bennie Fowler and Josiah Price.
Meanwhile, the Spartans top-ranked defense backed up its lofty status by consistently pressuring IU’s Nate Sudfeld, causing the sophomore QB to hurry his throw and scramble out of the pocket, not his forte. Sudfeld was uncharacteristically off-target, finishing with just 14 completions in 30 attempts for 137-yards. IU head coach subbed backup QB Tre Roberson, who gave the Hoosiers a brief spark with a touchdown throw to TE Ted Bolser and a shovel pass to WR Shane Wynn. Roberson completed 11-of-17 passes for 122-yards.
The Hoosiers hung tough through the first half, trailing 21-14. But, with the MSU defense containing Indiana’s normally high-powered offense, the Spartans controlled the line of scrimmage, ripping off two 30-yard plus touchdown scampers to break the game open at 42-21. The Hoosiers added a late garbage touchdown to make the final score more respectable.
IU’s defense, a sore point all season, was plagued again by missed tackles and blown assignments. Often, it appeared the Hoosiers were in position to make the play, only to see the Spartans come up with a big play.
Extra Points: Michigan State regained control of the “Old Brass Spitton” for the fifth consecutive year….the game matched the Big Ten’s number one offense in Indiana against the nation’s number one defense, Michigan State…..Coleman managed just 15 yards in 14 carries after his touchdown run. The Hoosiers ground game, save for some big runs, has struggled to develop any consistency in 2013…..IU jumps out of the fire and into the frying pan for next Saturday’s road date at Michigan. The Wolverines are coming off a 40-37 four-overtime loss at Penn State.