A week after going to West Lafayette and controlling Purdue most of the day (aside from a fourth quarter scare), Michigan State continued their tour of destruction across the Hoosier State yesterday, with an easy 56-17 win over a shorthanded Indiana Hoosiers squad. At 3-4 on the season and 0-3 in the Big Ten, the Hoosiers are in trouble as they go into their final five-game stretch, and the situation feels even murkier than it did after last weekend. A scary injury to offensive tackle Jason Spriggs put a damper on what was already a tough day.
This certainly wasn't the way Zander Diamont envisioned starting his collegiate career. The son of a soap opera star was not able to provide much drama yesterday, and after the third quarter, he was 4-for-13 with negative-2 pass yards. Diamont showed some legs as he ran it in for a touchdown that briefly put the Hoosiers ahead in the second quarter, but his passing looked like it still needed much work. To be fair, he was going up against a tough MSU defense; however, there were not many positives to take away from his performance. In addition, seeing the offense struggle was particularly frustrating, because entertaining offenses have been a highlight of the Kevin Wilson era.
The other side of the ball was not much better. The Spartans showed why they were ranked fourth in points per game score going into this season, and their balanced attack put up 662 total yards. While he struggled at times, Connor Cook finished 24-for-32 with 332 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception. Many of the rushing yards came in garbage time; however, the Spartans still had two 100-yard rushers in Nick Hill and Jeremy Langford on the game.
Late in the fourth quarter, offensive tackle Jason Spriggs was taken off the field in a stretcher after suffering a cervical neck injury. Spriggs, a junior from Elkhart, wasn't moving as an ambulance rushed him to Bloomington hospital. Thankfully, the tackle was released from the hospital with a "clean bill of health later on Saturday evening, but his future availability remains in doubt. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery.
The Pivotal Play
In the third quarter, it was still an 11-point deficit, and the Hoosiers had the Spartans pinned at their own 22. On third-and-9, Connor Cook threw a 41-yard pass to Tony Lippett, who made a great grab to keep the Spartans' drive alive. This play led to another MSU touchdown, putting the game out of hand, and after that, the victory was elementary.
The Game Ball Goes To...
Tevin Coleman, I guess. His touchdown streak was broken, but he now has nine straight 100+ yard rushing games, and the Spartans haven't allowed anyone to rush over 100 yards this season, so nice work on his part. Also, I'll give one to Spriggs, since our offensive line will miss him going forward.
First Downs: Indiana had seven all game, with two of these coming on penalties. Michigan State had THIRTY.
Offense: D. MSU DC Pat Narduzzi will likely get a sweet head-coaching gig within the next season or two, and his defense yesterday showed us why. Making his first start, Diamont was unable to get anything going, and aside from a couple huge Coleman runs and the sweet double-reverse touchdown, nothing good happened all day, and in the second half, our only first downs were coming off of penalties.
Defense: D+. Six hundred and sixty-two yards of total offense for Michigan State. 662. SIX SIX TWO. I know the defense looked alright on a few drives, had a nice interception that led to a score, and got decent pressure on Cook, but MSU basically burned us all day. And unfortunately, our poor showing on offense meant that an already burnt out defense had to put in even more work, and they couldn't keep it up. With that in mind, the final score could have been a lot worse.
Special Teams: A-. Ehh, we made a field goal and didn't give the Spartans good field position, but ultimately that didn't matter very much.
Overall: D. A lot of the circumstances of this game were out of the team's control, and we were playing a team that is very much in contention for a College Football Playoff berth. We played tough for a while, but ultimately, the Spartans were too strong for us. It's hard to see the result being much different, even if Sudfeld wasn't out for the season.
Song That Best Describes This Game
It's all falling down in Bloomington. Who will Kevin Wilson and company call now?
The Hoosiers mercifully get a bye next weekend. Two weeks from now, they travel to Ann Arbor to play Michigan. With the turmoil up in the Michigan Athletic Department, this would ideally be our best chance to beat the Wolverines; however, it's hard to envision the team in its current format winning another game this season.
The Game in Tweets
New feature! I enjoyed the Tom Crean and Yogi Ferrell tweetcasts earlier this week, so I'm going to highlight some of my favorite tweets from yesterday, both from our account and other accounts. Here we go:
STOP. ZANDER TIME.— The Crimson Quarry (@crimsonquarry) October 18, 2014
You can't spell 'Zoolander' without Zander. IU's starting QB today used to do some modeling. pic.twitter.com/VLiqVmvvSl— Brian Bennett (@BennettESPN) October 18, 2014
sooooo just found zander diamont's modeling portfolio and yes we will be using it to live-tweet the rest of this game— The Crimson Quarry (@crimsonquarry) October 18, 2014
DOUBLE REVERSE? ZANDER IS A GAMBLER. pic.twitter.com/HNZ32HbHWk— The Crimson Quarry (@crimsonquarry) October 18, 2014
"Is Connor cook elite?" - @PFTCommenter— The Crimson Quarry (@crimsonquarry) October 18, 2014
Indiana obviously not confident in passing. Hoosiers ran Coleman on third-and-8. #iufb— David Woods (@DavidWoods007) October 18, 2014
I feel like the defense played well. They also gave up 28 points and 341 yards in one half. hOoOoOoOoOoOoSiEr foOoOoOoOotBaLl— The Crimson Quarry (@crimsonquarry) October 18, 2014
Zander Diamont's father, ex-soap star, has written the finish to this game. Zander is kidnapped, has amnesia, is replaced by evil twin.— Brian Bennett (@BennettESPN) October 18, 2014
Get the heck out of here Tony Lippett. You're not supposed to catch that.— Mike Miller (@MikeMillerHT) October 18, 2014
It's not shocking that Diamont would be overmatched in debut. But 4-of-13 for MINUS-2 yards is astounding. #iufb— David Woods (@DavidWoods007) October 18, 2014
"I caught gonorrhea from a tractor." "I spent my entire day watching Indiana football." Same thing, really— The Crimson Quarry (@crimsonquarry) October 18, 2014
Given the last two weeks, think it's time to full erase that penciled-in "W" versus Purdue.— The Crimson Quarry (@crimsonquarry) October 18, 2014
That Zander Diamont intentional grounding was neither bold nor beautiful. (That's gold, Jerry. Gold!).— Brian Bennett (@BennettESPN) October 18, 2014
An Indiana spokesman says Jason Spriggs has been discharged from the hospital with a "clean bill of health."— Mike Miller (@MikeMillerHT) October 19, 2014
/ahem THAT'S "SEC EAST CHAMPION" INDIANA HOOSIERS TO YOU pic.twitter.com/zEeSfEhjz4— The Crimson Quarry (@crimsonquarry) October 19, 2014
More Game Thoughts, Links, and Other Miscellany
- Why was this our homecoming game? I thought that homecoming was usually reserved for an opponent that a team could beat. Which means, of course, that we usually get stuck as the homecoming for other Big Ten teams.
- Helmet Update: We wore the chrome domes this week. I guarantee at least a dozen disgruntled IU fans blamed the helmets for the loss.
- IU vs. Florida Update: still tied at three wins apiece. However, the Gators lost 42-13 to Missouri, who we actually defeated. That win seems like it was a decade ago at this point.
- Pete DiPrimio of the News-Sentinel wonders what's next for this team.
- Good news about Jason Spriggs from the H-T.
- Box Score
- Kevin Wilson Presser