Michigan State pounds Indiana 42-28

WHAT HAPPENED: Michigan State scored on five straight possession after starting the game with two straight three-and-outs and took down Indiana 42-28 in front of 73,815 at Spartan Stadium. Michigan State improved to 5-1 overall, 2-0 in the Big Ten. Indiana fell to 3-3, 1-1, failing to build off momentum built in last week’s win over Penn State.

WHO MADE IT HAPPEN: Michigan State tailback Jeremy Langford rushed for a career-high 109 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries while and also caught an 11-yard screen pass for a touchdown. That spearheaded a 238-yard rushing effort by Michigan State, giving the Spartans the most yards they’ve had against an FBS opponent this season. Tailback Delton Williams also rushed for 92 yards.

Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns, completing 22 of 31 attempts. Wide receiver Bennie Fowler caught a 34-yard touchdown pass and wideout Tony Lippett caught six passes for 64 yards.

Linebacker Denicos Allen led the defensive charge for Michigan State with eight tackles, including two for loss.

IU tailback Tevin Coleman posted a 64-yard touchdown run and wide receiver Cody Latimer posted seven receptions for 58 yards and a score.

WHY DID IT HAPPEN: Michigan State gave up more points than it has all season, but mostly, the Spartans were as good as advertised. They dared IU quarterback Nate Sudfeld to go deep with man press coverage on the outside receivers, but Kofi Hughes and Cody Latimer were always well defended when Sudfeld went deep and he never hit on any of the deep fade routes that are his specialty. He and Tre Roberson, who stepped in in relief, had some success with crossing routes — including a 53-yard catch and run from Sudfeld to Shane Wynn — but they were also facing constant pressure from Michigan State’s defensive line and blitzers and the Spartans swallowed up the run almost entirely.

Indiana offensive coordinator Seth Littrell — according to tailback Tevin Coleman — found a hole in the Michigan State offense that the Hoosiers believed they could exploit once. By shifting the offensive line to the left, they believed they could get Michigan State linebacker Max Bullough to flow to his right, leaving a hole for a counter through the right side of the shifted line. That’s what happened on the 64-yard touchdown run by Coleman on the first drive. After that, however, Michigan State made sure there was always a linebacker in that hole, and the Hoosiers managed a total of 28 yards on their other 26 carries in the game. Coleman finished with 79 yards on 15 carries, but only 15 yards on the 14 carries other than the touchdown run.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Hoosiers were simply overpowered at the line of scrimmage and they failed to tackle when they got to ball carriers. Cook barely faced any pressure and was sacked only once when a Michigan State tight end practically pushed IU defensive end John Lahinen into the quarterback.

But even when the Hoosiers were in position to make plays, they didn’t, plagued by missed tackles. On just about every scoring play by Michigan State, the Hoosiers had defenders in position to at least stop it, and they failed.

Just about every offensive number Michigan State put up was a season high against teams not named Youngstown State. The 42 points, 473 yards of total offense and 238 rushing yards were all season highs against FBS teams. They controlled the ball for 37:28, posting four touchdown drives of eight plays or more and two of at least 14. They made it a ball-control game, and they converted on 10 straight third downs to keep drives alive and keep IU’s offense off the field.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN: Indiana’s win over Penn State last week makes every road loss they suffer a little less painful. The Hoosiers can lose out on the road this year and still make a bowl game if they take all three of their winnable home games. That being said, a 6-6 season means a very nondescript bowl appearance, and the Hoosiers would certainly like something a little more transformational out of the 2013 season. Saturday’s game may have been their best opportunity to get one. Michigan State’s defense is nationally renowned, but Indiana’s offense was gaining a reputation of its own. The Spartans’ offense has been anemic enough that it appeared to be a group that Indiana could at least slow down. Plus, Spartan Stadium can be an intimidating place, but it’s not in the same class as the Big House, Camp Randall and the Horseshoe, which are Indiana’s three remaining road game destinations. Each attempt at an upset from this point forward gets harder, and failing to get one means they won’t have a cushion for a slip-up in the home games.

Failing to pull the upset there and also failing to keep the slow-moving Spartans under 42 points costs the Hoosiers a bit of the buzz they’d built with last week’s upset and once again raises questions of just how bad this defense still is and whether Penn State was simply an anomaly. There was some level of obvious progress in that game, and it wasn’t sustained in this one, and basic fundamental issues were to blame.

None of that does much to convert skeptics into believers. That being said, perceptions are not nearly as important to the Hoosiers as wins and their best chances for more of those still remain. They needed one big win to put them in solid position and they got it. Anything they would do between now and November would be gravy.

WHO SAID WHAT: 

From Michigan State Sports Info:

Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio

Opening statement…
I thought our football team came out to play today, which is always expected of them. We sort of characterized this game as an iron man lift. If you know anything about Spartan football, we have iron man lifts for our younger players at 5:30 a.m. Everybody in our football program has to go through that. We felt like that’s what it was going to be – you are going to be challenged, you were going to have adversity, you’re going to be pushed to the brink.

Offensively, we felt like we had to control the tempo of the game and had to definitely win the field position and had to take the air out of the ball some, which I felt like we did. Defensively, we were going to have to get back home and line up. I heard Coach Narduzzi talking about that, lining up, staying squared away and playing. I thought we played very well defensively. We gave up the first one and you’re going to have to respond, like I said. You’re going to have to handle adversity. Then we gave up two more after sudden changes, which really shouldn’t have happened. But you deal with it, it’s part of coaching. I thought our defense played well.

I give a lot of credit to our offense in terms of what they were able to do running the football. There were some big plays on the passing game. You had some explosive plays and different guys making plays. I felt like Langford would hit it, if he got a crease, he could take it the distance. He’s got great speed and you saw that happen. But also, you saw R.J. Shelton accelerate. You saw Delton Williams getting the ball. So we’ve got different guys making plays and that’s what’s exciting to me. Josiah Price with the big catch on third and long. Again, different guys and young players sort of transitioning into playmakers for us. That’s the thing that I felt like would happen. Connor Cook plays another solid game. I think he’s (22-for-31) for 235 yards. So good things are happening. Special teams were solid. Sadler had a big kick and huge punts. Special teams played well. I think overall it’s a good team win for us. We’re 5-1 and we can set the tone for the next phase. We’re halfway through the season. Now we start playing for things.

On message of opportunities for younger guys…
We’ve always tried to do that. In certain times, there are going to be opportunities because of need or because of depth. We have three good tailbacks – Langford, Delton Williams and Nick Hill. We’re always going to ride the hot guy. That’s what ends up happening sometimes. So you saw Delton and Jeremy get the majority of the carries there certainly. But Nick Hill is a quality back as well, so we feel good about him. I think it goes for all of our wide receivers. Lippett has a big day. Obviously, Bennie Fowler had a huge touchdown run after a catch. We can continue to get better, that’s the exciting thing. We’re focused. I think we’re focused as a football team. Our guys are hungry and it was great to get a win at Spartan Stadium on the 500th football game.

On Macgarrett King’s maturity of on offense…
I think so. He’s a playmaker. He’s a very confident guy. We’ve got guys like that. A.J. Sims is very much like that. We’ve got guys being selfless out there and we just want to play to win. That’s the basic mentality of our football team right now. I thought it was tremendous we scored when we were in the red zone today. We also got explosive plays and we finished. You have to make the play and be able to finish.

On carryover from last week’s win at Iowa…
I just feel like the more you do, the more confident you become. Confidence breeds success. I’ve said that all along. If you’re not being successful, you’re going to start having some self doubt. But if you are successful, confidence is going to grow. Especially in a young player where there’s a large learning curve. Connor Cook has a large learning curve because he’s playing for the third or fourth time. Macgarrett Kings or Delton Williams and R.J. Shelton and Josiah Price; it’s just good for confidence. That’s four names right off the bat that are very young players, playing as either a redshirt freshman, true freshman or redshirt sophomore in Connor Cook’s case. They’re making plays. Those are good things. We have to build on those things. We’ve got to keep coaching and we’ve got to get ready for Purdue. We cannot back off or slack off. We’ve got to get ready to get win number six.

On whether this was the offense he was imagining at beginning of season…
I came into the season knowing we were going to have to do some different things. We were going to have to have some change, have to have a little bit of an evolution and transition to these things. Sometimes, change takes some time. You have to be able to stay the course a little bit and understand some of the problems you’re going to have, whether it’s a young player or whatever the case. You just keep trying to push though. We’ve tried to stay positive with our guys and kept saying, `when it does turn, it’s going to turn in a big way.’ I think today was an indication of that. Are we a finished product? I don’t think we’re a finished product yet. There were too many penalties that were unforced. We get off the field on third down and we have a penalty. Too many penalties or unforced penalties, we have to clean those up. Our guys are going to play aggressive, but we can tolerate that; it will hurt us in the end.

On growing `swagger’ of Connor Cook
I think he’s growing. Like I said, there’s a big learning curve. There always is for a young player. But he can make plays. He’s got a good arm. I think he’s finding his receivers. He throws a very catchable ball. He’s growing in confidence.

On winning games at home…
We talk about that. We had a lot of close games last year that went down to the end and we lost them at home, other than the Notre Dame game. But prior to that for two years, we hadn’t lost. So the basic thought process is that we’re going to win in this stadium. That wasn’t ever taken away from us. Other than the Notre Dame game, I thought we ran out of time on those games last season. But a loss is a loss. You have to deal with it. We were resilient and we kept playing. The farther we go, the more our crowd comes, the more it becomes a community-type thing, and when I say community, I mean the state of Michigan, the better it is going to become. I was impressed with the crowd today and impressed with our students. I like the Iron Man song being played out there a little bit. Things went well.

On rhythm of Connor Cook
I thought he had rhythm, but again, I always think you can get better. I think he can take his game to the next level. I really do believe he could be a 100-yard rusher. I really believe that. I believe he can run with the football when given the opportunity, he can create and can make some big ones. He’s going to still grow in that area. I think he’s got good touch. The one pass that was picked was off a tip and almost a great grab by Aaron Burbridge. But you have to deal with it. I thought he played pretty well. He hit the big plays, he hit the plays on third down and long. I think he took one sack. It was a great performance by him and a very solid winning performance by him. Is it a Big Ten Championship performance? We’re going to see as we go.

On biggest improvements in running game…
My thoughts are that our offensive line is gelling. We’ve got good players there and we also have some depth there and are staying healthy. We’ve got some different types of runners. We’ve got the banger a little bit in Delton Williams. He had stepped in there for some tough yards and broke a couple. Then you have Jeremy Langford who is a little more of a slasher. Nick Hill is a very quick north-south runner when he has an opportunity. We just have different variances in there and they’re getting more experience. Again, I talk about Le’Veon Bell who had 390 carries last year. These guys weren’t playing much. So there is transition, there is opportunity now, but they’ve got to gain confidence as they go and this is a big confidence booster for these players.

On putting Delton Williams back into the game after the fumble…
I have confidence in our players and the worst thing you can do to a player when he has a problem is to take him out and yank him. If he does it over a period of time, you’re going to have to change. But I have to stay with him and have confidence in your players because it’s so important for them to have confidence. I asked Delton, `what’s up?’ He said something about a wrist band, he took it off and we got him back in there. He’s a physical runner. He’s got a little bit of Le’Veon Bell in the midst of the line vision, quick-cutting ability and that’s something that we can use.

On the evolution of Tony Lippett over past few weeks…
Tony has had a great two weeks. He’s playing much more confidently and I think the theme here is confidence. He’s playing harder and tougher. I said earlier last week, instead of watching film on Monday, I sat down with players. Two weeks ago, I sat down with Tony; just listening to him. Not talking to him or at him, but just listening to him. He had some things he wanted to say and I think that after that, he just moved forward. He got some things off his chest and just moved forward with life. I think he’s playing outstanding right now. He’s got a lot of confidence. He’s the guy that we thought he was going to be when we recruited him. He sat as a redshirt freshman. He made all kinds of plays. He was the guy as a redshirt freshman who started at corner for us. Now you see him starting to flourish again. I think that’s so important. Confidence breeds success. We’re starting to flourish and our offense is getting more confident and that becomes a team gain. It takes some pressure off the defense. Our special teams were solid today. So we just need to continue to move this progress forward.

On Bennie Fowler
I’m not sure about Bennie’s health, but I think he’s playing much the same way and making plays. There are a lot of guys making plays out there and that’s what you need. Swinging the ball around Macgarrett Kings last week, Fowler last two weeks, but guys are making plays. Lippett, Burbridge is playing well and A.J. Sims is making plays. R.J. Shelton is in there making plays on the run and pass. We’ve got some playmakers and we’ve got to use those guys. The exciting thing is that any one of them can take it the distance.

On the play to open up the second half…
It was called a smash-fade. He came off the x on the fade and came back to the tight end on the seam. Josiah caught it right in rhythm and ran it down to the four or three yard line. Josiah Price and Jamal Lyles both have great hands and are both young players, redshirt freshman, and are both a different type of tight end than Michael Dennis, Gleichert is a little bit of both. Dennis is a bigger guy. We use them all. When you’ve got a lot of people playing, your team is very healthy because there is a lot of input and a lot of enthusiasm.

On playing an offense like Indiana’s…
Their first drive took a minute and one second. To be able to play against Indiana, you’ve got to be able to keep that ball, you’ve got to make first downs, you’ve got to take some clock because you’re defense has to rest some because they’re going to be going every single play very fast at great speed.

 

Indiana Head Coach Kevin Wilson

On his team’s struggles today…
We’ve been pretty good throughout the year. There’s always going to be a glitch or two along the way. You’ve got to be strong enough and mature enough to overcome it, and you’ve got to be deep to overcome it.

On facing the defensive pressure of Michigan State…
Those guys have a lot of pride in their defense, the way they attack and play. There was some times where we actually did some things against them that sometimes are maybe a little bit quicker than we want. But you’re doing that so they can’t get us multiple in their looks. They can be very complex in their ability to disguise where they’re coming from – show you a blitz one way, come the other way – so that makes sense sometimes we will kind of take a stab at it and we’ll go fast enough to help ourselves but sometimes it’s fast enough to not be clean for your quarterbacks. It was competitive and tough, and that’s what happens when you play against a pretty good defense. Those 28 points are the most they’ve given up in two years. 27 was the most they gave up last year. This team doesn’t give up points. And again, you’ve got to beat this team as a team. We needed a pick six. We needed a blocked punt or a punt return, and we didn’t. We needed a couple defense stops.

On the success of Michigan State’s offense in today’s game…
I do think they wrinkled up a few things formationally that got us misaligned a bit more than it needs to be, so it will be interesting to see how can we continue to clean up. But again, you do need to tackle. We missed some. They’ve got a couple strong backs with a good runners, but then again, they played pretty good today. You can’t let them run it down your throat.

On the nature of today’s game…
We had a few opportunities to what ended up being a 14-point game. You’re sweating uphill but you had a few opportunities to get close, and when you’re playing not a heavyweight but a pretty good prize-fighter, you can’t go in there and spar and jab, you need to make some plays to connect and we just didn’t connect enough to me.

On the Michigan State coaching staff…
They made their adjustments. The best thing about Coach Dantonio and Coach Narduzzi is they know their package and how to adjust it, and we need to get to that point on both sides of the ball. They are a program I respect , and as we build our team, they do a lot of things in building their `O’ and `D’ they we need to do. There are some things they do that that’s why they’re the second-winningest team in the Big Ten over the last six, seven years since they’ve been up here. So it’s not an accident. So a lot of respect for them. Kind of battled toe to toe and came up a little bit short, but we’re going to keep rolling.

Michigan State Offensive Coordinator Dave Warner

Opening Comments… 
We started off slow obviously, something we didn’t want to do but as we got things rolling we were able to run the football pretty well and pick up 238 yards. We were also able to mix in the play action pass which was our goal coming into the game. So overall we had a good performance. We didn’t have to kick any field goals in the red zone for the first time this year which is a very big positive but still as always there is room for improvement.

On Connor Cook’s improvement over the last few games…
The neat thing about it is there are still mistakes that I can think about that he made throughout the game. You can see a lot of instances where if he just does a few things differently he could be pretty good. But he’s definitely playing well and he keeps getting better as the weeks go along.

On the effectiveness of the running game…
That’s the lifeblood of our offense. Any time you can run you have the ability to mix in the play action pass and create big plays and that was pretty evident today. That’s been our deal since we’ve been here is you have to be able to run the football. It makes my job easier because there are a lot of plays to choose from when the run game is working. Our offensive line was doing an outstanding job of blocking and our backs were running well so it makes it easier all the way around.

On what in particular he liked about the way Jeremy Langford and Delton Williams ran the ball today…
Jeremy got a crease and took it the distance which is something we’ve been waiting on for a couple games now. It was good to see that. Delton continues to be powerful and serve as our bigger power back for us. Both those guys performed as we expected and hopefully that will continue.

On how close the coaching staff was to making a decision on redshirting Delton Williams this season…
It was close. We pulled the redshirt off last week knowing that there are still a lot of football games in front of us and we knew we would need that big back. So far it looks like he’s going to be able to help us, hopefully that continues.

On the importance of dominating the time of possession today…
It’s always important to try and keep their offense off the field. Today was especially important because you could see they strike very quickly. We talked about that but in reality it doesn’t come into play calling a whole lot. You just want to be able to keep grinding out first downs and today we were able to do that.

On whether this was the best he’s seen Connor Cook play…
Yes it probably is. I think for him it’s a constant progress where he’s getting better every week. But yes he was good today.

Michigan State Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi

Opening statement …
First off you have to give credit to Kevin Wilson and the Hoosier offense for doing a nice job. They hit a couple of big plays on us which we know they’ve done in the past; they normally average (nearly) 600 yards of offense. There well coached and they probably do a good of a job scheming as any team in the big ten. With that being said I think our kids played pretty well. I was a little bit disappointed with some of the stupid penalties we had and we definitely have to eliminate those.

On how the defense was affected by the offense’s ability to dominate the time of possession…
It was huge. We’re up in the press box just saying `tic toc’, `tic toc’, just let that clock run. Our offense did a great job of controlling the ball. I don’t look at stats too much but the one stat I did look at was 18 minutes in time of possession in that first half which was huge and that’s a tribute to our offensive staff and our offensive players.

On how much Indiana’s up-tempo offense disrupts the way the defense is being called …
It all depends on what they do. They do a good job of tweaking things week-to-week kind of like we do. Their always going to run their base offense but they have little tweaks that they throw in and they do a nice job of that. Kevin Wilson is a guy I’ve worked with and a guy I have a lot of respect for. He’s one of the hardest working and smartest coaches I’ve ever worked for and I think he gets smarter as the years go on.

 

Michigan State junior running back Jeremy Langford

 

On posting four touchdowns, including one receiving touchdown…
It felt good. The offense executed very well. The offensive line had one of their best games. The quarterback had a good game and the receivers did a good job blocking downfield.

 

On picking up the pace early in the game…
We just stayed positive. We stayed with each other. We knew we could move the ball and that’s what we did during the game. We worked harder and kept pounding.

 

On coming off the team’s first Big Ten win of the season…
I feel like we gained balance. We’ve passed the ball well and ran the ball well. Like I said, the offensive line did a great job run blocking and pass blocking. We came together as a team and it clicked today.

 

On the offense’s performance…
I feel like we played great. Everybody played great. The receivers did a good job making catches downfield and the quarterback did a great job finding them. The offensive line did a great job helping Connor (Cook) get the ball down the field when he ran for yards.

Michigan State Senior Linebacker Max Bullough

 

Thoughts on offense fighting back after the first IU drive…
Anytime you play a team like Indiana, they run the ball fast and moved the ball on us quite a bit. So anytime our offense can have an extended period of time on the field is going to help us. It is going to get us fresh. It’s going to give us time to make adjustments. Sometimes we don’t have the time to make adjustments so we have time to make adjustments and get a break.

On trying to simulate the fast pace offense in practice…
You know we did the best we could at practice. It is a tough thing to simulate. Their offense is fast, they have good players, they do what they do and they do it quickly. So that is kind of the hard part. It is hard thing to do when you play a team like Indiana. More the most part we won the game and that’s what is important.

On the happiness around the team…
I like to see them doing better and scoring points. It is almost more fun to see them succeed as it is the defense the past couple of weeks. They have grown up so much with some young players and they have done so well with accepting the coaching. Taking the abuse early on in the year, they really took hold of it and took ownership of that offense.

Michigan State Sophomore Quarterback Connor Cook

 

On the effectiveness of third down…
I didn’t know our percentage exactly, but I knew that we were succeeding and converting on third down. I thought that Coach Warner did a great job calling the plays, putting us in the situations that we were in. I wasn’t looking at the scoreboard, I was just focused on winning the game and doing what I possibly can to put my team in a good situation.

Thoughts on difference in the red zone this week…
I don’t know, we have heard what everybody’s been saying and all year long. We get a little angry about it, especially as an offense. We want to make it personal. I think we made it personal this week. I really don’t think we got in the red zone as against Iowa. A lot of our touchdowns were from a little bit outside the red zone. But I feel we just took it upon ourselves as a team, as a unit about it earlier in the week, and we made it personal.

Thoughts on differences in rhythm between this week and the past…
It’s totally different, earlier I would have rushed throws, I wouldn’t have good footwork, I’d throw off my back foot, and I’d rush even quick throws. I feel like I am just doing a better job trusting my offensive line. Waiting for the routes to develop. I met with Coach Warner before Iowa and we said trust your offensive line and wait for things to develop. Go through reads, go to one, two, to three. I think I am doing a lot better job at that.

Thoughts on this game being a breakout game…
Yeah you could feel it. Heading into Iowa we were gelling a lot better in practice, guys were in sync, I was more in sync with the receivers and you could see an improvement in practice. We went to Iowa and played really well. I think you did see an improvement this week in practice. Just like a whole confidence level, guys having fun out there not stressing about anything. Focusing on the play but having fun while at practice. I feel like I have always said this, this is just the beginning. We know what we are capable of. We showed what we were capable of against Iowa and today against Indiana. We just have to build on our performance.

On getting more respect from opposing defenses 
I think defenses aren’t blitzing as much as they were early on. It has opened up the passing game. With us being successful in the passing game, it is opening up doors for the offense. I think all the running backs especially Delton (Williams) and J Lang (Jeremy Langford) had quite the day today. Seeing him succeed out there just with the whole balanced passing, it’s just a great reassuring feeling. Especially as a quarterback knowing we can run the ball like we did.

Senior defensive tackle Tyler Hoover

On Indiana’s first touchdown…
We said don’t let it get us feeling bad about the rest of the game. As long as we kept pushing, we knew we were going to do well. As long as we kept getting penetration and stopping the run, we knew they were going to start attacking with the pass.

On Max Bullough…
He does a really good job. He always stays calm, he’s always composed. That’s what you want from a middle linebacker.

On his own sack…
It was nice right? No really, I just came free. I think Shilique (Calhoun), he came down so the center went away, so I had a straight shot. It felt good.

On conditioning the week prior to the game…
The whole week Coach Narduzzi pushed it every day. We were sprinting back to the ball every play. Doing just random down ups and non-stop conditioning stuff. We were ready for it and as long as we kept getting back to the ball, that was key.

On if he was hurting in Tuesday’s practice…
They were definitely pushing conditioning, but I think I’m pretty blessed with my lungs.

Junior Wide Receiver Tony Lippett

On what was said between him and the coaches…
One way was I just wanted to figure out how I could help this team in any way I can as far as scoring points on the board. We talked about a lot of things, but that was the main focus. What can I do to help this team score points and help this team win?

On if he fell like he was on the outside looking in…
In some aspects yea, I felt like I was on the outside a little bit. I feel like any role I have I’m going to do the best at that role I can. Whatever that role is, I try to excel at that role. Sometimes you do feel like you’re on the outside looking in, but this is the game.

On what the coach staff said he needed to do…
They just wanted me to play bigger. He wanted me to play 6’3,” and that’s probably the one thing I got away from a little bit. He wanted me to extend my arms, he wanted me to play 6’3.”

On why it took him so long to figure out his role…
I had to sit down and reevaluate myself. Throughout spring ball and throughout camp, I feel like I’m one of the biggest critics on myself. I sit back and watch myself a lot. I wanted to figure out what things do I do well and what things don’t I do well so I can work on those things and make progress.

On being stuck between a defensive back and a wide receiver…
When I played DB, I was playing DB. When I play wide receiver, I strictly play wide receiver. I didn’t really think about going back or feel like I was going back and forth. I just tried to focus on wide receiver.

On the chemistry between the quarterback and the wide receivers…
We talk to Connor (Cook) a lot. We talk to him about anything, it doesn’t even have to be about football. That’s what we do well. I’m not saying we didn’t do that with (Andrew) Maxwell when he was the quarterback or Tyler O’Connor, but we actually talk back and forth to each other. It’s not just a lot of us talking at him or him talking at us. We’re actually going out there back and forth on what we see, what we feel like is open, on where we want the ball to be and where he wants us to be. We try to do that every day in practice.

Michigan State freshman running back Delton Williams

Overall assessment of his game today… 
I just felt comfortable out there. Felt good being out there with the rest of the guys contributing. It was good to get the win, all that matters is winning. They pulled me out sometimes when we got close to the end zone, but it felt good to get (Langford) the touchdowns he deserves. He’s been working hard keeping the team up and doing what he’s has to do.

On almost reaching 100 yards on the day… 
It felt good. That was one of the goals too for me; getting up to a noticeable number so everyone can know who I am. It looked like I did a good job and just felt good being out there with everyone else.

On his yards per carry… 
The offensive line made it pretty open. It felt good having huge gaps like that. It felt like I was in practice, felt like I was just working hard. My offensive lineman kept me up.

On bouncing back from his fumble… 
I was just trying to look too flashy. I had too much stuff on my arms. It wasn’t that he pulled the ball out, he was pulling on my arms and the ball just slipped out so I just took all the stuff off my arms and focused in. At the beginning of the game Coach Warner told me he wasn’t feeling too good about me having that stuff on my arms. Being young, I’m like alright I’m just trying to look good. I went with it, it’s a lesson learned.

On getting his redshirt taken off during Big Ten play and adjusting to physicality…
I’ve been going against a Big Ten defense all year through camp. Getting into this season and working hard against our starting defense every day. It’s just been getting me better everyday, making me run the ball harder. I know the difference between me and some of the other running backs is some of the other backs are speed backs and shifty guys, I can get a little shifty a little bit, but I’m a power guy. I know my role, so I do what I have to do so we can get this win.

Michigan State redshirt freshman tight end Josiah Price

On Connor Cook’s maturation over the past few weeks… 
I think you can see by the production on the field on Saturdays. He’s taking command of our offense and making plays through the air and making plays through the ground. As you saw, managing the game well today. The few weeks really I think he’s done a great job of that. Notre Dame was one of those games where he played well but could have played a little better and I think every week he’s just progressed and gotten better and better. You can see it in practice, he gets all the reps with the 1’s now that we’ve went with him and we’re all around him so he’s growing everyday just like the rest of our offense is and just getting better. That’s our goal, is just keep going on the uphill climb instead of taking a step back

On Connor Cook’s rhythm… 
We hit rhythm today, we scored 42 points against a Big Ten opponent. Our whole unit is just playing with a lot of confidence and that’s a huge thing at this college football level.

On his reception where he was tackled just short of the goal line… 
I saw all the green grass in front of me. When I caught it, I tucked it expecting a big hit because usually when I catch a ball over the middle there’s a safety or a backer or somebody. I turned and was like `where is everybody’ and I tried to turn on the burners.

On the involvement of the tight ends in the passing game… 
That’s something Coach Bollman has told us this week is to get the coach’s respect and confidence and the quarterback’s confidence we have to be able to make plays. I dropped a pass early on this week in practice and I hold myself highly accountable for that. I’m not allowed to drop a ball and every time it comes my way I have to make plays. I’m just thankful I got the ball thrown my way once today. So far in games, every time it’s been thrown my way I’ve been able to come down with it and that’s something I’ve been trying to pride myself on. To show that if you throw it my way I’m going make a play for you regardless of where it’s at or how I’m defended.

On being one of the young contributors on the team… 
I think a lot of us have gotten – including myself – finally our feet wet and get experience. The first few games I was super nervous. You’re just out there playing and it’s your first time out there in Spartan Stadium and then going to Notre Dame that was a huge experience for me. I feel like our confidence is growing the more we’ve been out there. You saw Delton Williams today play really well and he got a little experience last week and then this week he was able to play better. I think RJ Shelton, he’s gotten his feet wet here and there and then today you saw him make a big play. The young guys are finally starting to catch rhythm and feel what it takes to be successful on Saturdays.

On the offensive line’s play today… 
Up front we did really well today. As far as tight ends, we played a little shaky at Iowa but we bounced back really good this week. Coach Bollman talked about being a contributor at tight end. We need the tight end to play well. I think we definitely stepped up and did that today, we definitely contributed.

 

Indiana junior wide receiver Cody Latimer

On loosening up the Michigan State defense early…
It was very important. That’s what we were going for and we just couldn’t connect, so we’ve got to go back and work on some things.

On quarterback Nate Sudfeld’s play…
He wasn’t off today. It wasn’t just him, it was our whole offense. He was getting some pressure and there wasn’t much he could do about that, just try to make a play. He did a good job of getting out of a couple sacks. He played an okay game, like I said, it was a whole team effort, and we just need to play better.

On Indiana being competitive on the road…
It’s a big difference in our team. We’ve very competitive, we fight all 60 minutes. We just need a better outcome.

Indiana junior wide receiver Shane Wynn

On how he felt they played against the Michigan State defense…
Give a lot of credit to the Michigan State defense. We missed a lot of deep shots today, and when you play Michigan State you can’t miss those shots.

On Indiana’s downfield pass attempts…
A little bit of good coverage and a little bit of ball misplacement. We just got to practice and get better at it. Like I said before, you can’t miss those shots against Michigan State.

On Indiana’s inconsistency…
It’s not frustrating; we just got to learn how to keep working hard at it. Just keep finishing games.

Indiana sophomore running back Tevin Coleman

On his touchdown run in the first quarter…
It was designed to hit that hole and it worked. They capitalized on it the next play. They’re a smart defense, a good defense and they played hard.

On if Indiana knew there would be a hole in MSU’s defense on his touchdown run…
Coach [Seth] Littrell knew there was a gap right there and he called the play and it was a good play and it worked. We worked it in practice and it was designed to be that open so I just hit it.

On how the MSU’s defense changed after that touchdown…
They had a back in that hole and they kept eyes on the play. We just tried to look for holes inside and holes outside but as they are a smart defense, they capitalized on that. We played hard; we just didn’t get any plays in.

On what makes MSU’s defense good against the run…
They’re smart. They know the holes they’re supposed to fill up. They’re just a good defense.

On the disappointment of not being able to continue to score after the first touchdown…
It’s kind of disappointing, but we played hard. They played hard and we left a lot of plays on the field that we didn’t capitalize on.

Indiana sophomore quarterback Tre Roberson

On his thoughts about getting in the game…
It felt good to go out there and play and try to help the team the best that I can.

On Indiana’s success when he was in…
Everything was just part of the game plan. We got a couple of packages for me and we used the packages and knew they can response well to both of us.

On playing MSU’s defense…
They’re a real good defense. They challenge every throw, they rush really well. It’s just really tough playing the State defense.

Indiana redshirt Senior Safety Greg Heban

On missing tackles…
We try to clean up the communication and I think the communication this week was fairly well but we still have room for improvement always. I think we had guys moving where they needed to be we just didn’t get the tackles where they needed to be, too many missed tackles, and that’s something that we can’t go back to.

On missing a tackle for every Michigan State scoring play…
Even coach talked about before the game, trying to eliminate the explosive plays. I think we gave up way too many explosive plays. I’m not sure exactly how many, but those are going to get you beat and every time we had an explosive play, they scored.

On Michigan State’s score at the end of the half…
I think it was a big momentum boost for them. We try to keep our spirits high when we got a chance coming back in the second half to start on defense and kind of set the tone for the second half, it’s not something we succeeded with so it’s something that we got to continue to improve on.

Indiana junior cornerback Tim Bennett

On the loss…
The game came down to stopping the run and making tackles, and we didn’t do a good job there.

On working together as a defense…
We just need to learn from it, just look at it on film and try to get better, try to improve as a defense. We can’t harp on it now, we just need to get better on it. On what worked for Michigan State…
Basically by us not tackling, we had a good chance to stop them third down and we didn’t. We didn’t make the plays that we were supposed to. On Indiana’s defensive performance…
It’s basically our defense versus their defense and their defense won. They got more stops, more third down stops, they got more tackles in the backfield. Their defense outperformed our defense. On how this affects their momentum…
We just got to keep fighting and improve on this, watch more film and try to get better as a defensive unit.

Indiana sophomore Quarterback Nate Sudfeld

On Michigan State’s defense…
They’re very well-coached. If you beat them on one thing, they’re going to adjust the next time. We knew what we were getting into and they were a very good defense.

On Michigan State’s defensive pressure…
It really wasn’t that, I thought our offensive line blocked really well and I just missed a few shots; I was a hair off on four or five deep balls. We just weren’t in sync like we have to be against such a good defense. Don’t get me wrong, they’re a very good defense but we stopped ourselves more than they stopped us.

On the offense’s performance…
It was just us. They’re a good defense but we were just a hair off on some deep balls that usually are our bread and butter. Me to Kofi (Hughes), me to Cody (Latimer), we were just a hair off and I overthrew them, but we’ll get that fixed and we can’t afford to do that against such a good defense but it’s good to know that there are lot of things we can improve on and we really can play so much better than we did.

On Michigan State’s press coverage…
They have really good cornerbacks, who make you fight for every reception, but a few times I was just over-shooting it a little bit and they’re really good at press coverage so give them credit but we need to convert on those. On not having a running game…
Again, I missed throws that were there, just some deep throws. I don’t think the run game affected us very much. It was nice to see Tevin [Coleman] take off on that first run but again, we were just a hair off and when you pass as much as we do at times, you just can’t afford to be off like that. So, it’s frustrating but at the same time, we’re looking forward to this week and this challenge but we have a lot to improve on.

36 comments

  1. “We’ve been pretty good throughout the year. There’s always going to be a glitch or two along the way.” – CKW

    He’s joking right? He can’t be this clueless? Although not realizing with our patchwork offensive line that Tre gives us our best shot at winning in the B1G makes me wonder.

    Jeremy called it a while ago that this season would be a roller coaster so there’s no use complaining…basketball season is just a few weeks away.

  2. Not that I comment on football too often, but…

    1) that’s a good team that just beat us

    2) Mizzou just pounded Georgia in Athens, so that loss is looking more justifiable all the time

    3) PSU is giving UM all they can handle, so that win is looking more impressive

  3. Geoff is correct. MSU is a very good football team.

    And I take a bit of exception to the use of the word “pounds” when losing by two touchdowns on the road.

    Why do I get the sense that verb was used as retaliation an IU team that pounded somebody’s alma mater last weekend?

    Horrible pass interference call to decide the Penn State vs. Michigan game. I’ve never seen such a level of poor officiating in late game/crucial moments as this year in college football. There really should be an investigation. It’s shameful how home teams have been handed games.

  4. Pounded, spanked, schooled…whatever the phrase, even if it was only by 2 touchdowns, we lost. I wonder what our loss to MSU, coupled with Michigan’s loss to PSU, will mean in Ann Arbor next week? Mathematically, since we beat PSU by 20, and they beat Michigan by 3, we should win by 23. Golly, math is fun! Maybe when it’s our turn to tie the game with a PAT at the last second, we’ll fake and run it in for 2 (that’s the CKW in me). That should keep us from having to play all those overtime periods. The possibilities are endless! I can’t wait for Saturday!

  5. Mathematically speaking:

    (source: Chicago SunTimes)- “At your favorite new-ish Big Ten school, the University of Nebraska, 80 coaches and athletic-department staffers get the use of free cars, valued at a collective $2.25 million. The cars come courtesy of ‘‘non-profit’’ groups, including Omaha-area car dealers who are members of the Husker Athletics Wheel Club…

    “…Fifty lucky staffers also get free country-club and health-club memberships paid for by the University of Nebraska Foundation.”

    Note- “courtesy of ‘non-profit’ groups”- translated to English means ‘paid with your tax dollars and mine’.

  6. Gotta give MSU some deserved credit as they are better than I originally saw in 2 previous games. Talking out of both sides of my mouth I want to say I am disappointed in how the offense played but they did notch 28 against the best D in CFB. The missed tackles is something I’ve been pondering since navy. I still think it has much to do with talent but more so I believe it is still our youthfulness lacking strength that comes with physical maturity and game speed coming from experience. No doubt there has been improvement over the last 2 seasons. Sudfeld had a tough day but I would not have replaced him with a QB who cannot deliver a long ball on target. When you have to play catch up you need the long ball. I hated our white helmets over the last 2 seasons but the hats today could become my favorite.
    If you play with fire too many times you get burned, ask Brady Hoke. He hired in my opinion the best tandem of coordinators in CFB, Mattison and Borges, yet they play with their opponents like a cat with a mouse. Today the mouse got away. I have the feeling if Wilson had Meatchicken’s playing talent at IU we would already be adding 20k+ seats to Memorial. We should be disappointed with the loss to MSU but Meatchicken should be ashamed and demanding answers this week. IU can beat the Wolverines.

  7. I wanted to post yesterday but MSU’s Offense had me eating so much crow I was unable to do so. I knew their Defense was good, but prior to yesterday their Offense was inconsistent at best. Factoring in their Spring/Summer QB battle, led me to believe they would be ripe for the picking. No so much. IU bashers and non-believers will lay this loss at the feet of the Defense and defensive coaching staff. While they bear some of the blame, none of them will talk about our offensive play calling and inconsistency. Granted we became a one dimensional team after Tevin Coleman’s TD. However, Shane Wynn was a mismatch all day long, when we went to him good things happened. Then…we stopped going to him. Predictably our Defense played more snaps leading to more substitutions. I typically don’t single out guys for poor play, but twice Kenny Mullen was in at CB. Twice he got beat. Once for a TD, once for a big pass play where he lost the MSU TE. Each play was a result of not knowing the coverage. Both plays went for 30+ yards. This illustrates what happens when our Defense plays a ton of snaps, and we go beyond our two deep.
    To all the Prophets of IU Doom who would like to maintain the status quo of a poor football program and coaching carousel in Bloomington, please evaluate all phases of the game and stop picking the low hanging fruit.
    Lets put this one in the rear view mirror, and get ready for Michigan. They can be beat, but it will take a consistent effort in all three phases. Go Hoosiers.

  8. Clariton, a QB who cannot deliver a long ball on target, really? Sudfeld could not have been worse throwing the ball deep yesterday, and this is your takeaway, your fake criticism of Tre? Sudfeld was BRUTAL, just like he was against Mizzou, or anytime he faces a decent defense. He is lights out against the ISU’s of the world. Good for him. Tre was so much better than Nate today it wasn’t even funny, and anyone who says differently is blind or has an agenda.

  9. Dunbar, Be advised to read line 7 of my post “Sudfeld had a tough day” in which I referencing throwing the(long)ball. But TR has a career history of not being successful throwing the long ball. He can’t even do it against the ISU’s of the world. My ophthalmologist takes my $ guaranteeing his prescriptive lenses give me 20/15 sight. TR should try them to improve his accuracy on long throws. My agenda, is, the best players play and that means short armed passers who have to run because they are not a complete QB should set because he certainly could not win the game for us yesterday with his feet.

  10. 3 or 4 = 4 star recruits needed every year or more borderline 3/4 star recruits needed when they come out of high school to consistently when 7 or 8 games a year in this league…. 3 stars will get you a struggle to win 6 games per year.

    Penn State win was a solid win for IU played at home. Michigan State is a good football team. IU really scored 21 win game was

  11. continued…..when game was still within reach even though MSU had control of the game. A lot of times IU will get a late touchdown or 2 when game is pretty much over (I know there is always a comeback example but not for IU). It was very noticeable as it always is the physicality of MSU compared to IU when IU plays a very good team in a major conference…..IU has been a young team for the last 60 years except for a very small handful of teams….they are always going to get better and better. They go from 1 or 2 win seasons and climax at 5 or 6 wins.

    I feel IU is heading in a positive direction and Kevin Wilson should be kept for duration of contract. If and when he gets to 6 to 7 win level give him contract extension and keep building program. 4 star recruits coming out of high school are the bigger, faster, quicker, little more talented players at respective positions compared to 3 stars. I do not have 5 star expectations for IU football.

  12. Well, I’d say pound is pretty fair. Final score looked a lot better than it was, particularly in the second half when they dominated time of possession. Dominated the LOS from about 3rd series of game on.

    It was going to be a tough game to win. My main disappointment is still no shred of consistency on defense, other than to get gashed on the ground and little to no QB pressure. I will accept that this side of the ball is less experienced and less developed. But I’ll only buy it to a degree. Talent has improved their so I feel like play – even if far from stellar – should show some signs of stabilizing. Yet it never does.

  13. Describing the loss as a “pounding” may be perfectly fair. Maybe it would also be perfectly fair to use similar verbs last week. Indiana defeated a Penn State team by nearly three touch downs and here is the headline:

    “Indiana posts first ever win over Penn State, 44-24”

    Where’s my pummeled, pounds, wallops, embarrasses, destroys, dominates, crushes, massacres, humiliates, kicks in teeth, as descriptors?

    Here’s my suggestion:

    Hoosiers pulverize Nittany Lions into kitten litter.

    Feel free to offer your own alternative headlines.

    My take of listening to the IU radio announcing crew is that Sudfeld was tight and momentum could never be sustained primarily because of so many errant throws or passes not placed where Hoosier receivers could at least have a chance to make a contended grab.

  14. Good call by Keith on Mullens. I’ve never disliked an IU player as much as I have Mullens. He may be the worst defensive player in the history of IU football and that’s saying something.

  15. MSU was clearly better than IU. They may be better than MI or WI (and NE, NW too), we shall all see when (if) they play. But none of the above are as good as Mizzo. The B1G is OH St on top (top 10); MSU, MI, NE, WI, NW (good but not great, top 35); IU, PSU, IA, IL, MN (middle level, top 65); and Purdue (terrible). If IU can beat MN, IL and Purdue we will have “earned” a bowl berth in year 3 and we will be the 7th best team in the B1G (and a top 40 team). That will lead to a bowl game (shame on you Dustin “nondescript bowl appearance”!). The only bad game so far was Navy (poor coaching). How good can any football team be if they consistently can not tackle? That would be IU. MI is not unbeatable even at the “Big House”. WI will be painful away. OSU’s defense is probably not as good as MSU, they also may want to rest some players for their “Big” games, so IU might look good in that game (still a loss). But to have a successful season and to show real improvement, IU must defeat MN, IL, and Purdue! Go IU Beat Purdue!(and Dustin must stay home and not attend the “nondescript bowl” game)!

  16. Hoosier fans, lest coaching staff and players start criticizing individual fans; such as, “He may be the worst fan in the history of IU football, and that’s saying something”, let’s not call out an individual player like that. It’s one thing to note a players shortcomings, poor stats, particular misalignment, or the fact they got beat on coverage, but; wow….

  17. Aruss, Can you say Richard Council? He was a 1/2 notch lower in performance than even Mullens. If I were Coach Shelby I’d tell Mullens to remove the 2 knee pads from their proper location and insert them in the seat of his pants cause he is going to set for the rest of his FB life.

  18. HC, Mullens should carry a ‘squeegie’ of Windex and offer to shine the plastic glass on the headgear of the opposing back as he ‘accompanies’ them.

    Trying to figure out what it is and have been trying to figure it out for better than two years. But Coach Shelby needs to review how these players are developed in terms of the approach and the reason they feel they can play football. I do also have a question as to why (Hunter) they cover assignment allowing so much distance between them. I thought they were not allowed to use cell phones during the game.

    And, so much arm tackling. Arm tackling is a sign they are not moving their feet when they position for the tackle (just like reaching in basketball) and not moving the feet to put the body in the way is a clear sign they do not like to absorb hits. Ergo…how many points have we given up this year alone from broken tackles?

    I’m not one to criticize a player or a coach publicly. But, I have now been reluctant to do so in an area that simply glares back for two years. Watching players like Barnett, Mullens and Hunter just simply back off from contact or avoid physicality is painful. And, not seeing evidence that someone is holding them responsible and accountable for this critical failing is frustrating.

    So much of the excitement of having a creative, hard working staff and the obvious improvement in some areas is just being washed away by defenders who plain do not seem to like the essential ‘hitting’ that goes on in football.

  19. Keith, BeatPurdue, DBone…all good comments. I do think that because we ‘get scored on’ in a very repetitive way on defense, we let the offense off-the-hook.

    Sudfeld did not play well, he played ‘skittie’/shaken/no poise as in the Missouri game. His passes did seem to be thrown ‘in a hurry’ and were off target enough that catching them became an issue….

  20. The ‘lead story’ in the Bloomington Herald-Telephone sports page on 10/13/2013 was Penn State’s win over Michigan. And, yes, many of us noticed the play the phrase “Indiana posts first ever win over Penn State, 44-24″. The only surprise may have been that the headline did not include ‘scholarship short Penn State’. But, then, that may have required recalling a much more sordid story

    I also wondered about the phrase in Dustin’s story about IU possibilities would only earn the Hoosiers a “nondescript bowl appearance”!

    It’s easy to understand a sports journalist should not show ‘partiality’, as in ‘homerism’, and for that reason Schurz Communications seems to prefer not hiring IU Ernie Pyle School of Journalism trained sports writers.

    I have previously noticed that Penn State does seem to get a lot more space in the HT’s sports section than, say Purdue, or Michigan State…etc. But other, more negative stories about the Penn State program, received relatively less attention than in other national forums (i.e. Chicago, NY) in the HT sports opinion spaces.

    Perhaps, in that light, diminishing Hoosier achievements or efforts does appear to be a subtle (though perhaps subconscious) dig and, to some, a provocation.

  21. Lousy tackling by IU is so obvious. This should not be hard to fix. SO what is the problem? (Not a rhetorical question; I know t’s answer would be “better players” but someone here must have some other insight).

  22. The lousy tackling has been a part of our program for as long as the promise we would get better. There’s no doubt our team is as poor tackling a team as you can find. I would suggest it may come as part of the recruitment- many of our players may come from communities where the first taste of ‘real football comes in high school’; and, as a result, their basic technique not taught until later in their careers. In other words, no fundamentals. The way they tackle appears to be to extend their arm and try to grab a piece of shirt or equipment.

    A cardinal sin with RM Knight was to get beat by ‘reaching’ for the ball. Much of his defensive work was achieved by forcing ballplayers to defend ‘without arms’ (they had to keep their hands interlocked as they defended). That forced them to keep their feet moving, their bodies low and always in front of the man they guarded.

    It is exactly what is missing in our defenders. They do not work (and work and work) their feet at putting their body-center in front of the ball carrier. And, that suggests, strongly, a distaste for physical contact. You can’t talk about ‘wrapping your arms’ around from three feet to the side. I’m not sure this is even taught in high schools anymore (except those schools where the coach is at least 45 years old).

    I’m not a very smart guy, but I think there is only one way to overcome this critical deficiency. Defensive coaches need to spend .50 of their time on ‘combatives’…dress them in eight inches of padding and let them do this simple stuff until the player either gets it or decides that he’d rather be a dentist or a musician. All the schemes and formation on this earth come down to a recognition that defensive football is truly a 1v1 game.

    I thought last night that the discussion about ‘pounding’ was very appropriate. Our defenders still do not have (or do ot want to) understand that defensive football is about ‘pounding’ your opponent on ‘each’ play.

  23. Tackling is certainly lousy in the NFL, but that’s ’cause no one wants to injure a billion dollar baby in practice. I doubt that HS coaches don’t teach it, though. I coached in an under-13 league a few years back and the coaches much younger than 45 certainly worked on it- heads up, “see what you hit-hit what you see” and WRAP THOSE ARMS!

  24. I disagree with several people here. I actually thought we played reasonably well against a very good team on the road. Clearly, we could have played better and several of our key people have had better days but that is almost always going to be the case.

    I was disappointed that we did not get a few more stops defensively. I’m still not convinced our defensive coaching is B1G caliber and we continue to suffer from a lack of depth but that’s getting better.

    On offense, I am actually becoming a fan of the Sudfield/Roberson tandem…provides some flexibility that other teams don’t have. I have never been a proponent of plays that are east west oriented particularly against talented LB(s) such as MSU.

    I think we have a shot at Michigan. I think we can beat Minny, Illinois and Purdue. That would mean 7 wins which puts us two up from where I thought we would be this season.

    Have faith IU fans…we’re still tracking!

  25. IU’s defense was just outmanned. Plain and simple. IU’s defensive players are too young, too small, and too slow to compete against a well-coached programs like MSU. And the defense was required to be on the field for way too many plays on Saturday. I think it was about 80 plays. Even if they had the size, strength and talent, they would have been worn down by the end of the third quarter in Saturday’s game.

    Watching the game Saturday reminded me of watching a High School’s Junior Varsity squad scrimmage against the varsity unit. Try as they might, they were just no match for their bigger, stronger and more mature opponents.

    I really don’t see things changing much for IU’s defense over the next two years. Modest improvement will not change the outcome of games played against teams like MSU or Wisconsin, especially when on the road. This defensive coaching staff is not getting enough of the horses they need to compete at this level and they’re not teaching them well enough to make up for their physical shortcomings.

  26. Sudfeld pulls the trigger too fast when faced with straight on pressure. Can’t blame him. It’s unpleasant seeing a 290 pound opponent running full speed at your chest. He seems a little afraid of taking the hits and appears to rush those throws. At least he throws them high, where they are less likely to be intercepted. He needs to learn that a) he has more time than he thinks he does, and b) some times, as a QB, you have to stand in and take the hits.

    Tre did not have good accuracy on his deep throws Saturday. Shane Wynn was wide open on numerous plays in the fourth quarter, having beaten MSU’s safety deep, and Tre simply missed him. Probably would not have changed the outcome, but it was a chance to make the game a little closer.

  27. Podunker, I agree with your analysis but MSU has one of the top defenses in the country and there probably aren’t too many teams who will be able to score a lot on them. We scored 28…not that bad. That said, you’re right in that we are not at the level of the upper B1G programs yet. The good news is that we aren’t at the bottom any longer either.

  28. Good comment, iufan23. We’re not at the bottom. But is it enough to say, “we’re not at the bottom?”

    IU’s offense is not the problem, was not the problem last year, and won’t be the problem next year. Wilson and his staff do a wonderful job with the offense. Special teams do well, too. IU has a good kicking game, although our punter could be better. Although IU’s defense is marginally better, they are still not even close to being a competitive Big Ten defense. Keep in mind, MSU’s offense had struggled this year until they played IU. And IU made a very average MSU offense look like the Denver Broncos.

  29. PO- to quibble a bit, the MSU offense did come to life the week before at v. Iowa. But agreed that the IUD is still a huge problem and will continue to be until there is some kind of shake-up. Agreed that Sud was off, for whatever reason(s). I do like using Tre at QB at the goal line, however. Big play offenses such as IU’s have a tendency to bog down when the field tightens up; Tre brings some flexibility (for lack of a better word) to the offense, especially considering that long throws are not needed in the red zone.

  30. davis, you’ll get no argument from me about Tre’s effectiveness inside the 5 yard line. He’s done an outstanding job when IU is deep inside the red zone. I think it’s the very real threat of his running ability that creates that uncertainty in the minds of the defenders. They can’t afford to spy Tre, because that leaves a back or a tight end open for an easy pass, but they have to hesitate just a little, and can’t risk pinning their ears back and doing a run or pass blitz necessary to get penetration.

    Tre’s a great talent, he just needs better accuracy on his longer throws. It’s kind of funny, but if you could combine the best athletic abilities of both Tre and Sudfeld, you’d have an RG3 clone. The system Wilson is running now seems to be working inside the 5 yard line.

    One other point. I know he’s short, but Shane Wynn is an underutilized weapon for IU. Lining up in the slot, he just kept running by MSU’s safety like the guy was playing with lead shoes on. Wynn’s quickness and courage gives IU the ability to throw to him on deep fly routes and well as those 7 -12 yard routes underneath the zone pass defense. No linebacker or safety can cover him. He was wide open on numerous plays Saturday and should have had two more touchdowns.

  31. Very few QB’s can come right of the bench and throw perfect deep strikes. I don’t see how we can fairly judge Tre’s overall accuracy under such limited chance to get into the flow of a game. Ask him if he’ll move to special teams or tailback. Too much talent to be on the sidelines watching 90% of every game.

    I’d almost not blame the kid for taking his talent elsewhere while he still has a couple years to prove himself.

  32. Even though I am pleased MSU was able to come away with the win I wasn’t impressed with the performance of the Spartans. Too many boneheaded penalties.

    Thought IU played well but the defense just wore down with the constant pounding by the MSU offense.

    I am still of the opinion that IU matches up better with UM. UM is receiving their obligatory media bias in the polls without really proving it on the field. I could see your game this Saturday having a point total of 90+.

    Will be cheering for IU this Saturday.

  33. In the previous 5 games, the most points scored on the Spartan D was 17 by ND in a win at South Bend.

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