Narduzzi Must Find Answer to Spread, QB Lewis

"Michigan State is a different kind of football team," first year Indiana head coach Bill Lynch, whose team is only one win away from qualifying for a bowl game, said at his weekly news conference. "When you watch a lot of tape, they are a good football team."

EAST LANSING - For Michigan State, scoring has not been an issue.

Javon Ringer has been explosive, breaking off long runs; Jehuu Caulcrick has been a reliable short yardage back with 10 touchdowns; Devin Thomas has developed into a legitimate star returning kicks and receiving; and Brian Hoyer has been consistent with 10 touchdowns to 3 interceptions.

Stopping other teams from scoring, however, is another matter.

After two weeks of defensive thrashings, the Spartans will look to do what they do best against Indiana.

"They have a good pressure package, just like we have developed a pretty good pressure package as well," Indiana coach Bill Lynch said at his weekly presser about the challenge his Hoosiers will face against Michigan State. "They can get pressure with their four-man rush but when they go to their blitz package, they can create some confusion as well."

And establishing that pressure might be a little bit easier for the Spartans. Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, whose defense never found an answer to Northwestern's C. J. Bacher who was sacked only once while he threw for over 500 yards, should have a good grasp of Indiana's offense.

"One interesting thing about this game is that Pat Narduzzi is their defensive coordinator," said Lynch. "Pat was (former Indiana) coach Hoeppner's defensive coordinator at Miami University for a couple years."

But despite being familiar with Indiana's spread offense, prior knowledge may not be entirely reliable.

"No matter if a coach has worked on the same staff or not, things evolve through the years with different players," Lynch said.

Besides, with an athlete like quarterback Kellen Lewis, who leads the Big Ten in total offensive production with 318 yards per game and Indian with 535 rushing yards, offenses don't always need consistent game plans.

Lewis is the type of player that can take over a game, as MSU discovered last year. He compiled 261 passing yards, ran for 75 more and connected with wide receiver James Hardy on 4 touchdowns.

"They've got a great, outstanding quarterback, and he's got all kinds of statistics to back it up," MSU coach Mark Dantonio said.

For Dantonio, finding a way to limit the numbers Lewis puts up, perhaps with a speed scheme that hounds him the entire evening, would go a long way to making his first homecoming as head coach enjoyable.

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