What it means: Michigan State escapes with win over Indiana

Michigan State didn’t make it easy against Indiana, scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter in a 17-9 victory Saturday night. Here’s what we learned:

1. Michigan State’s defense has its groove back.

One bad quarter doesn’t make a team. Coach Mark Dantonio wondered if his defense thought the game was over when it gave up 21 fourth-quarter points to Minnesota last week. But the Spartans responded with a fantastic performance, holding a fast-paced Indiana offense to 253 total yards. As the second half rolled on, it became clear that the defense had begun to tire out. It didn’t get the help it needed from quarterback Brian Lewerke and the offense for the majority of the afternoon.

2. The weather didn’t help Michigan State’s offense.

In fact, the Spartans looked worse for much of the game than they did the last two weeks in rainy weather against Michigan and Minnesota. The play calling proved to be predictable, and Lewerke’s passing was largely off-target. Michigan State’s offensive line probably looked the worst of all, struggling to get a push. Indiana’s penalties largely kept Michigan State in the game. The Hoosiers were called for 10 penalties for 115 yards. Sometimes when co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner thought outside the box, it worked. Most of the time, it didn’t.

3. But when Michigan State needed it, the offense did just enough.

Coming off of four three-and-outs on its last six drives, Michigan State needed a touchdown to grab a lead. Lewerke took a sack when he couldn’t take a sack, putting the prospect of scoring at all in doubt. But he hit Cody White on fourth down, and then Felton Davis made two big plays. He took a jet sweep to a reverse for 16 yards and then found himself wide open for a touchdown two plays later to give the Spartans a 10-9 lead.

The post What it means: Michigan State escapes with win over Indiana appeared first on Land of 10.

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