Michigan State downs IU in a laugher, 55-3

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State could’ve named the score of Saturday’s game at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans mercifully settled on 55 points.

Indiana matched it’s most lopsided loss in a season full of them, falling 55-3 in front of 74,218 on Michigan State’s Senior Day and allowing the Spartans to earn a berth in the inaugural Big Ten championship game on Dec. 3 in Indianapolis. The 52-point final margin matches the 59-7 loss at Wisconsin for the worst this season.

“I guess it just wasn’t our day, man,” junior defensive tackle Larry Black Jr. said. “We were bad. Bad game. I played bad. Starting with myself, it was just a bad game.”

In so many ways.

After making some baby steps of progress in a 34-20 loss to Ohio State on Nov. 5, the Indiana defense took a significant regression. At the 11:35 mark of the third quarter, they had already surrendered 41 points and it could have been so much worse if the Spartans didn’t pull their starters late in that quarter.

The secondary was shredded as per usual. Michigan State senior quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 16 of 23 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns. Senior wide receiver B.J. Cunningham caught six passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns while fellow senior wideout caught eight passes for 99 yards and a score. Martin also ran for a touchdown on a 19-yard reverse. Junior tailback Edwin Baker only rushed for 34 yards, but he scored twice.

“These guys were last in the league in rushing,” IU first-year coach Kevin Wilson said. “They had 174. When they can run, they get normal downs, you’re playing with a decent quarterback, you can’t give them (short) third downs. You saw at Wisconsin. You saw it at Iowa. You saw it against Northwestern. You’re playing a team that has a good quarterback and can throw it well and then they run it, you’re playing on your heels. That’s just a credit to their line and their run game and their backs. Poor tackling, poor execution on our part to start the run game.”

The Hoosiers have given up more yards than the 470 they surrendered on Saturday, but it was made worse because the Spartans shut them out after a second-quarter field goal by Mitch Ewald.

Freshman quarterback had what was by far the worst game of his young career. After flummoxing opposing defenses with good option play in his first three starts and leading the Hoosiers to at least 20 points in each of those games, Roberson looked like a freshman on Saturday against a Michigan State team that led the Big Ten in total defense coming into the game. Roberson completed just 10 of 23 passes for 92 yards and threw two interceptions, one of which was taken bck 86 yards for a touchdown  by Michigan State cornerback Johnny Adams.

After rushing for at least 159 yards in each of the past four games, the Hoosiers were held to just 94 on 37 carries on Saturday, a mediocre 2.5 yards per carry. Roberson netted just 12 yards on 10 rushes and was sacked twice. Sophomore tailback Stephen Houston rushed for 40 yards on 13 carries. It was the first time he was held under 50 since the North Texas loss, when he had just seven carries.

The Hoosiers head into the Old Oaken Bucket game at home against Purdue next week assured of their worst record since at least 2003. They are one of just four BCS conference schools without a conference victory, along with Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. They are the only program in the BCS without a win over any team in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

AUDIO: Kevin Wilson

AUDIO: Larry Black Jr.

19 comments

  1. Oh well…Hopefully ESPN was correct when they picked IU B-Ball as a 2011 sleeper.

  2. OSD said they would be terrible after like the second game of the season. Now we will be put out of our misery next weekend by PU. Only 6 more years of the Wilson regime left. Enjoy boys and girls.

  3. either we need to hire a coach ( and coaching staff) with a proven track record of turning football programs around or drop out of the BIG 10 football program.

  4. No, I really do.

    On a slightly unrelated matter, do you guys know what is the difference between my Huskies and a bowl of Cheerios? Answer: cheerios belong in a bowl…

  5. Just to be clear: I miss Bill Lynch! I really do. I never understood why Glass fired him.

    Hey, do you guys know what Billy Graham and my Huskies have in common? Answer: they can both make 60,000 people stand up all at once and yell: “Jesus Christ!”

  6. I love it when the absolutely nonsensical notion of dropping out of the Big Ten rears its head. Given that such a move would obliterate our entire athletic department, how about we stop bringing it up?

  7. Cin, nobody is going to drop out of the Big Ten (I don’t think…), but look for the big boys, Ohio State, MIchigan, Wisconsin, maybe MSU and Penn State, to start lobbying for a proportional rather than even split of Big Ten football revenues before long, to give them a bigger share of that pie because they make more money from football than “we” do.

    That will put the little guys, IU, MInnesota, maybe Illinois and Northwestern, further behind and unable to compete. It’s gonna happen, and IU will be under pressure unless it can win a lot more and fill its stadium.

    We are gravitating to a TV (read: ESPN…) super national conference of big powers that threatens to put an end to traditional conferences once and for all. Other, lesser, non-revenue and women’s sports be damned. Too bad; the idea of the student athlete and maintaining geographic integrity in conferences now seem like quaint concepts. It’s all about the Benjamins.

  8. I don’t see it. Certainly not through ESPN. The BTN divides money among the member schools. A network like ESPN would simply pay a fee. They are gonna get more through a conference network because they can force advertisers to pay for time on volleyball games and wrestling matches in order to get time on football games. As far as cash goes, you maximize it by having a conference network like the BTN. After that you reach the point of diminishing returns.
    Ohio State, because of the BTN, and Texas, because of the Longhorn Network, having the highest athletic cash flow in the country. They don’t want to share it with ESPN.

  9. JohnnyCee,

    Last time I checked, the B1G football powers don’t earn their perennial winning records without beating other teams in their own conference, so each piece of the conference serves a purpose as a means to putting a winning product on the field, even if some teams aren’t winning.

    The revenue shares won’t become disproportionate because every team needs the other in some way.

  10. I’m with Chet, I just do not see disproportional shares of BTN $ to each B10 school ever happening. That is the bitch in the B12 about Texas(by the way you can always tell a Texan…you just can’t tell him much). How is that working? The reason the B10 is so strong and the financial envy of all collegiate sports is BTN equal revenue sharing. AD’s at almost every school would like to be receiving those checks as members of the B10. Go IU, POTFPUkes.

  11. Macca’s right about the usual suspects needing victims to feast upon to rack up 11-1 records. But I can’t say johnnycee is wrong about a TV created “elite only” national super-conference.

    This is where the NCAA has to step in and establish a playoff for football, as it does for EVERY OTHER COLLEGE SPORT. THE “BCS CHAMPION” IS NOT THE “NCAA CHAMPION, AND THAT IS RIDICULOUS! Eight conferences decide, according to their own formulae, their champs. The playoffs would be “bowl games” of ascending importance (and would give them more cachet and indentity than the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, fercryinoutloud) ’til the NCAA championship Rose Bowl. Such a system would also end the insanity of teams having a four to six weel layoff between the end of the regular season and a bowl game. That break is longer than the time between the first two-a-day practices in Aug. and the season opener.

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