Notebook: Indiana edition

Looking at what keyed the Spartans victory against Indiana and the little details that might go under-the-radar.

**The offensive line is playing its best football of the Mark Dantonio tenure at Michigan State. This is a credit to many things: Jim Bollman joining the staff, Mark Staten doing a great job and the consistency without season-ending injuries. You also could throw in there that players are playing their true positions (i.e. Dan France at right guard). Indiana was pushed back consistently and MSU ran for 238 yards. Connor Cook was sacked for the first time since Notre Dame. Just very good play.

**The best play by the offensive line might have been Blake Treadwell's pull on Delton Williams' long run. Treadwell got out and cleaned up his block and Andrew Gleichert got the seal and Williams had huge gaps.

**MSU ran a lot of a 4-2-5 type defense with Taiwan Jones out in space to negate the screen game which Indiana loves to run. It was pretty effective, but IU also exploited that and the MSU linebacker alignment on Tevin Coleman's long touchdown run. You really can't argue with the success through the rest of the game, however.

**Getting R.J. Shelton the ball early on a pass helped majorly to set up the big run later. Once a team has to respect the ball being thrown to a wide receiver that is usually used on jet sweeps, it changes the defense and makes them think more. That will help MSU moving forward to get Shelton involved, too.

**MSU is more willing to get the fullback involved in the offense lately. Two straight games it has gone to fullbacks in the flat in the passing game for first downs on play action. It is effective and helps as the tight ends still are emerging as threats.

**Speaking of the tight end, Josiah Price had a huge play. His development continues to be important to this team and go keep the offense diversified.

**The early pass game stayed short to MacGarrett Kings and Tony Lippett, which in turn opened things up downfield later. It is clear Dave Warner is settling in as offensive coordinator.

**The one peeve to have with the play calls was opening the second quarter with a short reverse to Bennie Fowler in the red zone. The second play was a wildcat with Langford, who fake pitched to Fowler. Those cute plays are not necessary against a team like Indiana. The screen pass was brilliant, however, as it found Langford in open space where IU blitzed from.

**Jamal Lyles still has work to do at tight end. He got absolutely driven back by a defensive end a couple times. His blocking development needs to speed up if he wants to be a valuable contributor there, which he can be given his hands and athleticism.

**MSU ran a set with Delton Williams and Riley Bullough in there. Williams went in motion and the pass went to Lippett, but that was an interesting set. MSU could do a lot of things out of it.

**Lippett has been more and more of a player lately. He is the kind of player MSU wants to use in the red zone. He said after the game the coaches have challenged him to play up to his size.


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