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Spartan Digest publisher Dave Berk previews Saturday’s match-up between the Michigan State Spartans and Indiana Hoosiers.

Michigan State is coming off an embarrassing loss to Wisconsin and will look to rebound against the surging Indiana Hoosiers on the road in prime time. Can the Spartans get back to their winning ways? We preview the match-up between these two Big Ten Conference teams.


Who: No. 17 Michigan State (2-1) @ Indiana (2-1)
Where: Memorial Stadium (52,929); Bloomington, Ind. (Field Turf)
When: Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016; 8:05 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)
Weather Forecast: Partly Cloudy, High 67/Low 56. 80% humidity with 40% chance of rain
Indiana head coach: Kevin Wilson (22-42 career, 22-42 at Indiana)
2016 record: 2-1 (0-0 Big Ten)
2015 record: 6-7 (2-6 Big Ten)
Last meeting: 2015 – MSU 52, UW 26
Series record: MSU 45-15-2


Basic Offense

MSU – Multiple

IU – Multiple

Basic Defense

MSU – Multiple 4-3

IU – Multiple

Offensive Starters Returning

MSU – 3

IU – 8

Defensive Starters Returning

MSU – 6

IU – 8

Specialists Returning

MSU – 3

IU - 1


The Hoosiers have shown an improved defense and opened the season with wins over Florida International and Ball State before falling at home last weekend to Wake Forest 33-28 in a game that saw the Hoosiers trailing at the half only to fight back to make it a game.  Five interceptions cost the Hoosiers a chance to remain undefeated as they posted 611 total yards of offense.


“Kevin Wilson is in his sixth year, so we've got a history with those guys. All these games have been extremely competitive. They run a hurry-up offense, their wide receivers all have pretty much caught the same number of passes. Their three wide-outs, (Mitchell) Paige and Ricky Jones and (Nick) Westbrook are the three guys that are featured sort of guys.

“(Richard) Lagow, their quarterbacks, is a junior college transfer guy, sort of came on the scene and did a nice job this last game. (Devine) Redding is their running back; (Dan) Feeney probably anchors their offensive line.

“Defensively, their three linebackers probably are their three guys that lead the team in tackles with 44 each. Then in the back end, they have one safety that sort of anchors their group. They are a football team that's got to respond as well after losing this past week, so it will be a great match-up at 8 o'clock Saturday night.”


7-0: The Spartans under Mark Dantonio have not loss to Indiana in their seven games.  

Running Game: Michigan State should be able to run the football against the Hoosiers.  Last week Wake Forest posted 180 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the ground.

Stopping the Run: The Spartans strength should be stopping the run.  Despite the injuries at linebacker, MSU should still be able to pound green pound.


Pass Happy: Indiana can flat out throw the football against almost anyone.  Last week’s 496 yards and three touchdowns is no fluke.  Can the Spartans secondary step up their game?

Injuries: Two starting linebackers in Riley Bullough and Jon Reschke being out is a major concern.


Indiana receivers vs. Michigan State secondary: This is the key match-up as the Spartans secondary must be ready to go at a fast pace and stop a team that has already passed for over 1,000 yards in just three game.


A Michigan State win would have the Spartans tie their longest winning streak in their series against Indiana.  From 1950-1957 the Spartans won eight consecutive games against the Hoosiers.

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