After holding on to beat Minnesota last weekend, the Spartans are now 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Big Ten. Can they remain unbeaten in Big Ten action this week? Check out what our writers have to say.
Ryan Okerstrom: Michigan State survived a late fourth quarter scare last week at Minnesota. A scare? Yes, a scare. MSU dominated the game. They had the game well in hand early in the final quarter. The Spartans then suddenly forgot how to play defense. Ridiculously soft defensive play calling is mostly to blame, however, the players on the field needed to finish the game and they simply did not. Indiana comes to East Lansing for Homecoming. The Michigan State players have vowed to learn how to close a game and put their opponents away from here on out. Indiana took Michigan to overtime last week and comes to town with a little confidence despite that loss. I think we will see a continuation of Spartan run game domination. I also think that Brian Lewerke will have fixed his communication issues with his receivers just in time for an aerial display this week. MSU is ready to explode on offense and this week will be the week. MSU 38, Indiana 23.
Brendan Childress: After finishing the first half of the first season at 5-1, the Spartans host the Indiana Hoosiers. The Hoosiers are 3-3, but have lost their only three Big Ten matchups against Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan. The Hoosiers use a two-quarterback system, with Peyton Ramsey and Richard Lagow. While the two have roughly the same numbers passing, Peyton Ramsey is more a dual threat option. Ramsey is the second leading rusher on the Hoosiers, with 63 carries for 185 yards. It is likely, especially after the Spartans defensive struggles against Minnesota and dual threat quarterback Demry Croft in the fourth quarter last game, that this week the Hoosiers will employ Ramsey more than Lagow. Offensively, the Spartans are still looking to play a complete game with the passing game and the rushing attack both clicking. L.J. Scott is also looking to build off of his 194-yard performance last week as well. The Hoosiers are allowing 25.8 points per game, so Michigan State should have a chance to put up points. This game will come down to the Spartans containing Ramsey and limiting the Hoosier offense that is averaging 28 points per game. If the Spartans take care of the ball, they have a chance to pull away from the Hoosiers, even if the Hoosiers are able to put up points. MSU 35, IU 23.
Justin Frommer: There was a lot that had to happen this season for the Michigan State football team to get fans back invested in the program. As the year has progressed, the Spartans have passed almost every test that they have faced, the latest being a road win at Minnesota. After two straight night game monsoons, the Spartans return to East Lansing to take on the Indiana Hoosiers, who almost completed an upset against Michigan last Saturday.
Indiana’s offense is in a transitioning period as they continue to move forward with redshirt freshman quarterback Peyton Ramsey at the helm. The only other time the MSU defense has seen a quarterback that is more dangerous with his legs than his arm was against Notre Dame’s Brandon Wimbush and that did not go well for the Spartans defense. However, Ramsey is not as much of a polished player as Wimbush was entering his game against MSU. The Spartan defense has also vastly improved since the Notre Dame game. As long as MSU can force Ramsey to make throws to receivers not named Simmie Cobbs, at the end of the day MSU will be bowl eligible for the first time since 2015. Michigan State 28, Indiana 14.
TJ Morris: Michigan State football continued its win streak last week and improved to 5-1. Unfortunately, I believe that win streak will end this week. A key to victory for the Spartans has been limiting turnovers. Although they only lost two fumbles the Spartans put the ball on the ground four times last week. They were fortunate to recovery two of them. Also Brian Lewerke threw one interception. I believe turnovers will come back to haunt the Spartans this week and they will fall to the Hoosiers. IU 14, MSU 10.
Grant Essenmacher: Indiana is coming off a strong week against Michigan in a game they had every chance of winning. Their quarterback, Peyton Ramsey, is developing into a playmaker. Their defense is fast and talented, particularly in the secondary. MSU was sloppy in the 4th quarter last week, but they should be able to dictate with their defense, much like Michigan did for the majority of their matchup last week against the Hoosiers. Expect a big game from LJ Scott again, as long as he solves his fumble problem he should be able to have space to run. On defense, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a defensive touchdown from the Spartans. In the end, the defense dictates, and Lewerke makes enough plays to win on Homecoming in East Lansing. MSU 30, IU 20.
David Harns: MSU is thrilled to be back in Spartan Stadium, playing in dry weather. Indiana puts up a fight for a half but the Spartans adjust at halftime and put the Hoosiers away with a strong third quarter. Michigan State 30, Indiana 16.
Zach Manning: The Spartans haven’t played a dry game in a while so the gameplan will be a little different on Saturday. MSU should win this game but Indiana is known for having good offense and the MSU defense has been beatable at times. Limiting big plays and taking care of the ball will be big for the Spartans. I think Indiana hangs around for three quarters, but MSU pulls away late to pull out another win. MSU 30, IU 20.
Max Lapthorne: After battling the elements the last two games, the forecast Saturday will allow Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke to air it out. But the Hoosiers will do the same, as the Indiana passing game, especially 6-foot-4 wide receiver Simmie Cobbs Jr., will test the MSU secondary like it hasn’t been tested yet this season.
The reemergence of LJ Scott last week was a boon for the Spartan offense, and while he won’t replicate his career-best performance from last week, he goes a full game without fumbling and has a few gritty runs in the fourth quarter.
Lewerke throws for more than 300 yards, but the Spartans need every one of them as the young MSU secondary’s struggles during the fourth quarter at Minnesota carry over. Michigan State 34, Indiana 28.
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