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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

Indiana embarrassed by Michigan State

No. 15 Spartans run up 53-point loss to struggling Hoosier team that hasn’t won single conference game

IU v Michigan State

With a difference of just eight seconds, the times of possession for Michigan State and Indiana were nearly even.

Nothing else was.

Thanks to 296 yards from quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Michigan State passing game, the Spartans romped past IU 55-3 Saturday at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Mich.

“It’s very disappointing,” senior wide receiver Dre Muhammad said. “I felt like throughout the last couple weeks, we’ve been making big strides. Then to come out here and play across the board the way we did is a big disappointment to us.”

The Hoosiers got on the board with a 10-play, 55-yard drive in the second quarter that ended with a 22-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Mitch Ewald.

IU did not score again. Nine drives ended in punts, true freshman quarterback Tre Roberson ended two more with interceptions and a late possession resulted in a turnover on downs. IU finished the game with 236 yards of total offense, barely half of Michigan State’s total.

“What makes them good is they know what they’re doing,” Muhammad said. “They’re very well-coached, so, with them being very well-coached, they always know where to be. That always makes it harder for the offense.”

After IU cut Michigan State’s lead to 17-3, the Spartans responded with a long kickoff and a 19-yard reverse for a touchdown by Keshawn Martin to make it a three-score game once again. Two more goals made the score 34-3 in favor of the Spartans at the half.

The second half began with essentially a continuation of the first. Michigan State manufactured a methodical eight-play drive that ended with a seven-yard touchdown pass to B.J. Cunningham.

IU responded with its longest drive of the game to that point, which ended with Roberson throwing an interception that was returned by the Spartans’ Johnny Adams for a touchdown.

“I just saw them blitz, and I tried to get the ball out,” Roberson said. “I overthrew it, and it was all my fault.”

By this point, both Michigan State and Indiana put in their back-up sophomore quarterbacks, Andrew Maxwell and Edward Wright-Baker, respectively.

The Hoosiers put together a 4:14 drive in the first possession with Wright-Baker under center, but it ended with a turnover on downs.

Roberson finished the game 10-of-23 for 92 yards with a pair of interceptions. Wright-Baker was 5-of-9 for 50 yards.

“(Roberson) didn’t get much help,” IU Coach Kevin Wilson said. “We didn’t run it well, and he didn’t get many attempts. I think he’s handled things well, but it was disappointing because they really didn’t do anything that they haven’t shown, and we should have been more prepared.”

Senior linebacker Jeff Thomas injured his shoulder in the third quarter and did not return to the game. Wilson said the extent of his injury is not yet known, including whether he will return for IU’s season finale at home against Purdue.

“We kind of took a step back today, but we just have to keep pushing,” defensive tackle Larry Black, Jr. said. “(With a) young team, we’ve just got to keep going.”

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