Game Analysis: IU-Michigan State

Here is an analysis of what went right and what went wrong in Saturday's 56-17 loss to Michigan State.

p>Instead of a traditional game story, we’ll do more of a game analysis at AllHoosiers.com. Here’s our latest installment following Indiana’s 56-17 loss to No. 8 Michigan State Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

WHAT LOOKED GOOD:You could argue that the first 20 minutes was pretty good from an Indiana standpoint. With 5:25 to play in the first half, the Hoosiers scored a touchdown on a 9 yard run by Zander Diamont to take a 17-14 lead over the No. 8 team in the land. Of course, Michigan State would go on to score the final 42 points but for a short time it looked as if IU might be able to hang around. The Hoosiers utilized three big plays in particular to get off to the good start. Tevin Coleman had a 65 yard run on a first quarter drive that resulted in a 27-yard Griffin Oakes field goal. Shane Wynn took a pitch from Coleman on a reverse and raced 75 yards for a touchdown that cut the deficit to 14-10. And after a Tegray Scales interception, Coleman ran for 30 yards to the 9 and Diamont scored to put Indiana ahead. Those three plays, unfortunately for IU fans, were the highlights of the day. Those three plays netted 170 yards of offense for Indiana. On IU’s other 46 plays in the game, the Hoosiers managed a total of 54 yards. That was clearly the difference.

WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE:Indiana wasn’t getting enough of a pass rush and pressure with a three or four man rush and Connor Cook had way too much time to throw the ball. He finished with 332 yards passing and three touchdowns. Michigan State also rushed for 330 yards and five touchdowns but that number was a little skewed by a 76 yard TD run by Nick Hill with 1:24 to play in the game. Michigan State wasn’t trying to run up the score. The Indiana defense simply looked beat. The other area that obviously needs to improve is quarterback play. There was nothing easy about the situation Diamont found himself in. First collegiate start against a great defense and the No. 8 team in the nation. The game was played before an announced crowd of 44,000 and a national television audience on ESPN. Pretty much the deck was stacked against him. And he didn’t respond well either. He was not sharp on his throws, he did a poor job in ball protection and made a couple of ill-timed decisions. After three quarters he was 4-of-13 for minus-2 yards before throwing a 13-yard completion to Simmie Cobbs. With that completion he finished the game throwing for 11 yards. The only good news for Diamont and company is that IU has a bye this week and won’t be back in action until Nov. 1 against Michigan. At least that way he’ll have an extra week to prepare for the next game.

MOMENTUM CHANGER:It came on a freshman mistake by cornerback Donovan Clark. After IU had taken a 17-14 lead with less than 6 minutes to play in the first half, Clark gambled and went for a pick. Instead, however, the pass from Connor Cook to Josiah Price was completed for 67 yards to the IU 8. On the next play, Jeremy Langford scored on an 8 yard run and just like that Michigan State had regained the momentum. After a quick three-and-out by IU, the Spartans scored again to lead 28-17 at the half.

SUPERLATIVE EFFORTS:Tevin Coleman had his ninth consecutive 100-yard rushing game as he had 132 yards on 15 carries. That’s the longest streak in the nation and it also sets an IU school record. The old record was eight held by Coleman, Anthony Thompson and Vaughn Dunbar. … Coleman is also the first rusher to go over 100 yards against Michigan State this season. … True freshman linebacker Tegray Scales had his second interception of the season and the fifth for IU on the year. The pick led to a touchdown that put the Hoosiers up 17-14. … Griffin Oakes kicked a 27-yard field goal in the first quarter. He is now 4-of-5 on the season.

BEST POSITIONAL UNIT:It would have to be the offensive line that opened up holes for Coleman and company allowing them to rush for 213 yards against a defense that was only allowing 82 yards per game rushing for the season.

UP NEXT: Indiana is off next week before traveling to Michigan on Nov. 1 to face the Wolverines in a 3:30 p.m. kickoff in the Big House.

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