There was only one outcome today. No matter how good anyone looked, how well or poorly either team played, this was destined for one ending. And it happened.
Three plays killed Indiana today. Early in the game, Bryant Fitzgerald dropped a sure pick six that would have completely changed the game early. In the second half, Michael Penix overthrowing Whop Philyor by centimeters on what would have been a sure touchdown. Then, a defensive holding on what would have been a turnover for Indiana extended Michigan State’s drive that ended in a field goal to make it a seven-point game.
Those are the types of plays that you can’t have go against you if you want to upset a ranked team on the road.
Same story, different season
At the risk of self-promoting, this tweet was on the nose in the second half today.
gotta say it’s amazing how quickly the turn happens every time— crimson quarry (@crimsonquarry) September 28, 2019
Today, it was a sequence where Indiana returned a punt deep into Michigan State territory only to have a holding penalty send the team back to it’s own 11-yard line. A quick three-and-out (which included the near-miss to Philyor) and a penalty on the Hoosiers on the punt set up Michigan State perfectly and two plays later, the Hoosiers were down four.
It’s the same story every year with Indiana.
Michael Penix is That Dude
If there was any questions about whether Michael Penix wasn’t the right option for the Hoosiers, Saturday’s performance put an end to all debates. On the road against one of the best defenses in the nation and he looked nothing like a redshirt freshman. He broke the school record for consecutive completions with 20 straight in the second half. The streak was only snapped after Ty Fryfogle couldn’t get in-bounds in the endzone. One play later, he threw a perfect pass to Donovan Hale.
Kalen DeBoer called a good game save for some big head-scratchers
For the majority of Saturday, DeBoer was really good at mixing up runs, passes to the flats and plays downfield. It was a great game plan executed perfectly by Penix. But in short-yardage situations, he had some head-scratchers.
The attempt on fourth-down early in the game that ended with an odd handoff to Sampson James was doomed from the start. Not throwing a pass into the end zone on a goal line situation early in the third before settling for a field goal was bad.
DeBoer is a massive improvement over DeBord but some odd playcalls really hurt Indiana at key times.