Michigan State Spartan fans and head coach Mark Dantonio are searching for answers as the Spartans have played un-Spartan football the past two weekends against Wisconsin and again with Indiana on Saturday night.
If something could go wrong with what the Spartans did after having a 14-0 lead against the Hoosiers with four minutes remaining in the third quarter, it did.
It was then that Kevin Wilson fired up his offensive attack while the Hoosiers revamped defense, slowed down the Spartans allowing quarterback Richard Lagow to post three scoring drives, one in the third quarter that went 75-yards on seven plays followed by two fourth quarter drives consisting of a 90-yard, eight play drive and then a 70-yard, five play drive to take a 21-14 lead with 4:38 left in the game.
Mark Dantonio praised the play of Lagow following the game.
“Obviously he played pretty well,” said Dantonio. “He won the football game as quarterback. He aired a couple of throws. He threw very well. He won the football game. I thought he showed toughness.”
The Spartans did come together for a final fourth quarter drive that ended with a Josiah Price two-yard touchdown catch from Tyler O’Connor with 11 seconds remaining in the game and forcing overtime.
For the second time of the game the Spartans loss the coin toss with Indiana putting the Green and White on offense.
It was during this drive that things fell apart with O’Connor committing the worst errors of the night by being sacked back-to-back as Hoosier defensive tackle Patrick Dougherty sacked O’Connor for a three yard loss followed by another sack from the Hoosiers defensive line as Nate Hoff posted an eight-yard loss on the Spartans.
Michael Geiger would miss from 49-yards out giving the Hoosiers the ball and chance for the win.
However, much like 2015, lady luck looked to be shinning on the Spartans as the Hoosiers struggled to put anything together and were ready to settle for the field goal and the win.
Indiana kicker Griffin Oakes, who already had missed attempts in the second and third quarter, would miss again giving the Spartans new life. At least they thought they had new life.
Instead of the game going into a second overtime, officials called a personal foul against Drake Martinez for jumping and the Hoosiers would run two plays and put Oakes back on the field for the game winning field goal and their first win over a ranked Big Ten opponent since 2006 when they knocked off Iowa in Memorial Stadium.
Many questions will be asked and answers needed if the Spartans are to turn things around against BYU next weekend.
Sacks, missed blocking assignments, dropped balls, penalties and personnel confusion late in the game are just some of the things needing addressed if the Spartans are to salvage the rest of this season.
Spartan Digest will have more on another Spartan defeat from Dantonio and a few of the Spartan players.