The Spartans could only watch helplessly as Indiana redshirt freshman Kellen Lewis threw five touchdown passes including four to receiver James Hardy as the Hoosiers blasted the Spartans 46-21 and in the process claimed the Old Brass Spittoon.
In the process, Lewis-and-Hardy turned MSU's bowl hopes into a joke.
The momentum MSU brought in after an NCAA record setting comeback against Northwestern a week ago lasted just one series. The Spartans took a short-lived 7-0 when Drew Stanton culminated a 10-play, 80-yard drive, hitting receiver Kerry Reed on a bubble screen that hit paydirt.
But the Crimson-and-Cream responded with 46 unanswered points in a dominating performance which raises questions about the ability of Spartans defensive coordinator Chris Smeland to put together a scheme that allows his players to compete against Big Ten caliber opponents. MSU has given up 30 or more points in six of its nine games and won just one of the six.
Equally as disappointing was the MSU offense which did nothing all afternoon until senior starting quarterback Drew Stanton was lifted to start the fourth quarter trailing 46-7.
Kahn cashed in on a five-yard run on Hoyer's first drive and then caught a 14-yard pass out of the backfield from Hoyer to pull State to within 46-21, but MSU never got the ball again.
Hoyer's effectiveness against IU's starting defense raises questions about Stanton's health or whether the team just doesn't respond to his leadership. While it could be expected that MSU would struggle with a makeshft line, one would have expected better than Stanton 9-of-21 for 95 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception in three quarters of work.
Kahn's performance (six carries, 25 yards, 1 TD run, 1 TD receiving) could lead to a shakeup on the depth chart at running back after starter Jehuu Caulcrick rushed for just 8 yards on seven carries and freshman A.J. Jimmerson was even worse (five carries for 0 yards and two catches for 3 yards)
After yet another putrid performance the Spartans (4-5) will now try to circle the wagons in an effort to get bowl eligible but it won't be easy.
With just three games left to win at least two for a likely Motor City Bowl invite, MSU has Purdue (5-4, 12-0 loser to Penn State) and Minnesota (3-6, 44-0 loser to Ohio State) in East Lansing before traveling to State College to face Penn State (6-3) in the season ending Land Grant Trophy game.