When Indiana made a mistake against or lost to an opponent, it used a barbershop menality to get past both. Move on: to the next play, to the next opponent.
That mindset has been tested the last three weeks, though, with a blown 25-point lead against Rutgers in Week 7 and losses to Penn State and Ohio State in the two weeks prior.
Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game at No. 7 Michigan State (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) on ABC offers the Hoosiers (4-3, 0-3) a chance to bounce back and move on.
"We're sitting here as a team that's disappointed, and at the same time we've played enough good football," Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson We know we're a good football team, and we expect to keep playing and we're going to have our best week. It's going to be a tough, tough challenge against Michigan State, but we're going to do everything we can to continue to improve, get better, put a plan together and go up there and play as well as we can."
Having senior quarterback Nate Sudfeld, who threw for a career-high 464 yards last week against Rutgers, back for the second straight game will help the Hoosiers.
However, there's still some uncertainity with the status of junior running back Jordan Howard, who has yet to play in a game since injuring his ankle against Ohio State. Indiana will likely use a committee of sophomore Devine Redding, freshman Mike Majette and redshirt freshman Alex Rodriguez to try to counter the Spartan's run defense, which allows the fifth-fewest yards per game at 120.4.
Majette had his best game as a Hoosier against the Scarlet Knights last Saturday, gaining 116 total yards of offense. Redding has been the starter at running back since Howard went down.
"It was good to see Mike Majette stepping up and getting Devine going a little bit," Wilson said. "And then Rodriguez came in a couple. Those guys are coming along. We'll get Jordan back quickly. It was really good just to get the running game going, get the offensive line playing better. We're going to see a very, very stout Michigan State front that plays great run defense, so it's going to be hard to run on these guys. Great defense."
The Spartans' special teams has also performed well this season, returning a fumbled punt for the game-winning touchdown against Michigan last week. Sudfeld learned of the how that game ended from a phone call from his dad after Indiana's game, then checking the ESPN mobile app on his phone.
The outcome had a relatable lesson for the Hoosiers.
"For us, too, you've got to play every snap and the game's not over," Sudfeld said. "That would be tough to come from, but we're focused on ourselves and we have a lot to keep improving on."
Indiana's defense will need to improve the most as it was a big reason why the Hoosiers lost to Rutgers last week. Michigan State's offensive line has allowed the fewest sacks in the Big Ten.
Behind that offensive line is senior quarterback Connor Cook, whose 13 passing touchdowns are second-most in the conference.
"(Cook) doesn't ever look like he gets rattled," IU defensive coordinator Brian Knorr said. "People have tried to pressure him, tried to do a lot of different things and he's a big quarterback back there that makes great decisions."
Wilson said the Michigan State game is going to be a strong challenge for the team.
"We look forward to it," Wilson said. "(We) expect our guys as coaches, me and our players to have a great week and go up and play as hard as we can and go after Michigan State, then do our best to bring that Brass Spittoon back here to Bloomington."