Ricky Jones, the Indiana receiver who had a career day last week, has a message for Michigan State:
IU wants the Old Brass Spittoon back.
While it may not receive the publicity of the Old Oaken Bucket of the Indiana-Purdue rivalry, the Old Brass Spittoon is IU’s only other trophy game and it goes to the winner of the annual game between the Hoosiers and Spartans.
“It is big time. It is my last year going at it. This would be big for me and the squad to finally get it,” said Jones, who had 208 receiving yards last week, the sixth 200-yard receiving game in school history.
“It has been about, I believe seven years, six or seven years, since we won it. This is a big game for us. I don’t know if they take it serious, but for sure they should know that IU is going to take it serious.”
The Spittoon became part of the IU-Michigan State rivalry in 1950. The student council at Michigan State initiated the idea and it was accepted by the Indiana Student Senate.
Michigan State leads 45-12-1 since the trophy became part of the rivalry.
MSU has won seven in a row. IU’s last victory in the series came in 2006, a 46-21 victory at Memorial Stadium.
The longest winning streak by either school in the trophy game is eight, Michigan State, 1950-57.
“Just having a trophy game to play for, and just knowing those guys probably don’t take it as serious it fuels our fire more,” Jones said. “Just to have a trophy in our possession besides the Bucket game.”
The Hoosiers (2-1) host the 17th-ranked Spartans (2-1) at 8 p.m. on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. General tailgate lots open at noon with the student tailgate lot opening at 4 p.m.
Trophy games get mentioned plenty among the IU players and coaches.
“We talk about it all the time. That’s what coach (Kevin) Wilson stresses a lot. It is going to be big time for us.”
The Spartans were a top-10 team, ranked No. 8, before last week’s 30-6 loss to No. 11 Wisconsin.
Facing a team that has been top-10 isn’t really part of the motivation for the Hoosiers in their Big Ten opener.
“I don’t really think so. I think it is more of, this is a big-time Big Ten showdown that we need to win,” Jones said. “If we want to be the champs, they’re in the way.”
Last year, Indiana played toe-to-toe with Michigan State before the wheels came off in the late going.
The Hoosiers trailed just 28-26 entering the fourth quarter and were down just 31-26 with five minutes to play before falling 52-26.
“Just competing at a high level. We did compete to the fullest, but we’ve just got to finish at the end of the game,” Jones said. “When the game is close, we’ve got to believe that we’re going to win with confidence.
“Coach Wilson has been building that throughout the summer, and I believe we are going to be able to do that this year.”
Jone said last week’s 33-28 loss to Wake Forest hasn’t derailed IU’s confidence.
“We took a little step back, but we’re going to get right back on track and believe that we’re going to win this game,” he said, later adding: “I believe we can go to a bowl and we can win a championship.
“A lot of people, fans, might not believe that, but as a team, IU believes that.”
(SEE ALSO: Kevin Wilson radio show recap)
(SEE ALSO: Michigan State week Q&A: Danny Friend)
Below: Video interview with IU receiver Ricky Jonesnull