Indiana Hoosiers vs. Michigan State Spartans match preview

Michigan State (5-5, 3-4 in the Big Ten) hosts Indiana (3-7, 1-6 in the Big Ten) at Spartan Stadium on Saturday. The game is scheduled to kick off at 12 p.m. ET and will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

The Spartans are one win away from bowl eligibility while the Hoosiers have lost seven straight games. It’s Seniors’ Day in East Lansing, and in addition to a guaranteed bowl bid, there’s also the very prestigious Old Brass Spittoon at stake.

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

Let’s get straight to the Big Ten East battle preview.

history of the band

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

Offense 2022 (average per game) – 344.2 total yards, 235.3 passing yards, 108.9 rushing yards

2022 defense (average per game) — 430 total yards allowed, 257.4 yards allowed for passing, 172.6 yards allowed for rushing

2022 total score achieved: 246 (24.60 ppg)

2022 Eligible Cumulative Points: 255 (25.50ppg)

Current SP+ ranking: 58th place

Record 2022 — 3-7 (1-6 in Big Ten)

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

2022 defense (average per game) — 446.3 yards allowed, 270.2 passing yards allowed, 176.1 rushing yards allowed

Total score 2022: 224 (22.40ppg)

2022 Eligible Cumulative Points: 346 (34.60ppg)

Current SP+ ranking: 92nd place

Series history/all-time records

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

uniform clock:

State of Michigan:

It’s Gruff Sparty time! Michigan State will go for the all-green look – green jerseys, green shorts and green helmets with 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.

Results of previous games

state of michigan 27, Rueger 21

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

Rutgers went 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 their own, topped off by a two-yard touchdown run by running back Jalen Berger. The Spartans went into halftime with a 14-7 lead.

MSU would extend their lead in the third quarter when Thorne found wide receiver Jayden Reed for a 25-yard score. The Spartans were leading 21-7 at this point.

Later in the third quarter, however, Rutgers came closer. Tight end/wildcat quarterback Johnny Langan rushed into the end zone from one yard to make the 21-14.

Early in the fourth quarter, Michigan State defenseman Jacob Slade blocked a 39-yard field in front of Rutgers. This eventually led to a 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 left in the game, Patton added another clutch kick, this time from 48 yards. Michigan State led Rutgers 27-14.

The Scarlet Knights would not go away entirely, however. A fourth and 28th pass from Wimsatt was intercepted by wide receiver Shameen Jones for a touchdown. Rutgers cut MSU’s lead and the result was 27-21 with just 47 seconds remaining.

However, Michigan State bounced back from Rutgers’ onside-kick attempt and ran the clock from there to claim the win.

For more on Michigan State’s win over Rutgers, please read our full game recap, read the post-game notes and quotes, and watch the Film Room.

State of Ohio 56, Indiana 14

The Buckeyes wiped out the Hoosiers as expected.

Ohio State took a 21-0 lead early in the first quarter. Quarterback CJ Stroud found wide receivers Emeka Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr. for touchdowns, and running back Dallas Hayden also had a quick score.

Indiana found the end zone just before the end of the first quarter when quarterback Dexter Williams II hit the tight end of AJ Barner for a 7-yard touchdown. The Buckeyes led 21-7 after the first 15 minutes.

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

Ohio State would also beat 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 hit a 71-yard rushing touchdown to extend Ohio State’s lead to 49-7.

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

Finally, Stroud later found wide receiver Kamryn Babb for another touchdown. Ohio State won with a final score of 56-14.

Important matchups

Dexter Williams II/Connor Bazelak vs. Michigan State Defense: Michigan State must be prepared to play two very different types of quarterbacks. Michigan State is still grappling with multiple suspensions and injuries on the defensive side of the ball, which has forced MSU to make adjustments, including starting defensive tackles Dashaun Mallory and Jalen Hunt on both defensive endpoints. With slower players on the fringes, Williams’ ability to play with his feet and run the football could hurt the Spartans. Bazelak is the much better passer, but Williams has come to provide a spark to the Indiana offense from time to time and his mobility makes him a menace with the ball in his hands. However, Williams has completed just 10 of 30 passes (33.3 percent) for 158 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions this season. Bazelak has completed 54.9 percent of his passes and thrown for 2,111 yards with 12 touchdowns and nine picks. If Williams pulls the start, MSU will have to keep him in check 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 struggled to manage the ball. At the start of Saturday’s game, Michigan State is averaging just 108.9 rushing yards per game, which ranks only 115th in the country. However, MSU has flipped a switch locally in each of the past two weeks for the past two weeks. The Spartans have averaged 154.5 rushing yards per game in the last two competitions. Meanwhile, Indiana allows 176.1 rushing yards per game (100th in FBS). Berger has rushed for 80 yards in each of those games and has one touchdown against Rutgers. Expect him to lead the charge against Indiana, with Jarek Broussard and Elijah Collins interfering.

Daniel Barker/Maliq Carr/Tyler Hunt vs. Indiana Defense: Offensive coordinator Jay Johnson finally showed off 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 had Payton Thorne been on target. As my good buddy Matt Sheehan pointed out in this week’s 3-2-1 preview, Indiana has conceded touchdowns to tight ends in four of their last five games. As previously mentioned, Ohio State’s Cade Stover had two touchdowns against the Hoosiers last week alone. When Barker, Carr, or even Hunt cover one-on-one with a linebacker or a smaller defender, expect Johnson and Thorne to take advantage of those matchups.

game info

Time: Saturday, November 19 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (kick-off scheduled for 12:01 p.m.)
TV channel: Big Ten Network
location: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Michigan
Weather Expectations: Cloudy, temps around 24 degrees at kick-off, possible snow showers towards the end of the game, south/southwest winds around 16-18mph – it’s going to be cold, get dressed folks!
DraftKings line: State of Michigan -10.5


To be honest, Indiana doesn’t do much of anything well. The Hoosiers rank 102nd on the FBS in offense rating (22.4 points per game) and 120th in points per game allowed (34.6). IU also ranks near the bottom of the country for rushing yards per game (85.8), rushing yards allowed (176.1), and passing yards allowed (270.2). There’s a reason this team has lost seven games in a row.

Sure, Michigan State has had its troubles this season, and suspensions and injuries have reduced the depth of the team. On paper, however, this looks like a game MSU should win to secure a spot in the bowl. On the other hand, the Spartans’ inconsistency this year makes every game difficult to predict.

It’s also Senior Day for Michigan State and the Spartans will want to keep the Old Brass Spittoon, so there’s plenty of added incentive for a Michigan State win here. Also, MSU is simply the better team.

If Williams — who has limited tape out there — pulls the start for IU, the Hoosiers could go a few more games and hang hard early, but I expect the Spartans will eventually pull out and pull off a double-digit win.

For more information on Indiana, see our Getting to Know the Opponent article and our 5 Questions With The Crimson Quarry conversation.

opinion poll

Which program is taking home the old brass spittoon?

  • 100%

    State of Michigan

    (14 votes)

14 votes in total

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