After Indiana football’s loss against Illinois on Nov. 11 ended their hopes of a bowl game, the Hoosiers returned to Memorial Stadium on Saturday. With the Old Brass Spittoon on the line against Michigan State, the Spartans defeated the Hoosiers 24-21.
Although redshirt freshman quarterback Brendan Sorsby led the Hoosiers’ offense to 45 points against the Illini, Indiana managed to score just 21 points Saturday.
Indiana won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half, allowing Michigan State to receive the opening kickoff.
Coming off a game in which the Hoosiers allowed Illinois to gain 662 yards, Indiana’s defense picked up where it left off — allowing the opposing offense to move the ball at will. The Spartans began the game with a 62-yard touchdown drive to take an early 7-0 lead.
Indiana’s first drive of the game was rather unsuccessful, resulting in a punt after gaining 30 yards in seven plays. Michigan State followed its scoring drive with a punt of its own, giving the ball back to Indiana.
The Hoosiers proceeded to go three-and-out before intercepting Michigan State redshirt freshman quarterback Katin Houser. Indiana was unable to capitalize on the turnover, going three-and-out once again.
Michigan State began the second frame with a three-and-out, punting the ball back to Indiana. Despite starting the drive at their own 12-yard line, the Hoosiers marched down the field on an 11-play, 88-yard drive capped off with a four-yard touchdown from redshirt sophomore running back Trent Howland to knot the game at 7-7.
The Spartans were unable to respond after allowing Indiana’s first points of the day, turning the ball over on downs. The Hoosiers, however, went three-and-out for the third time of the half. Michigan State drove down the field in just one minute and 13 seconds on an eight-play, 78-yard touchdown drive to take a 14-7 lead.
With just six seconds remaining in the quarter, redshirt sophomore kicker Chris Freeman attempted a 53-yard field goal that was tipped and went wide left. It would’ve brought the Hoosiers to within four points at the half — ultimately coming back to bite them with a three-point loss.
Indiana received the kickoff to begin the second half and immediately tied the game at 14 a piece. Sorsby led the Hoosiers on an eight-play, 75-yard drive with redshirt sophomore tight end James Bomba scoring a four-yard touchdown — the first of his career.
The Spartans found no success in the quarter with a pair of three-and-outs and an interception. The Hoosiers also went three-and-out, losing 24 yards over three plays.
Indiana began the final quarter with a lengthy five-minute and 31-second drive but turned the ball over on downs.
Michigan State followed up the Hoosiers’ unsuccessful fourth down attempt with a seven-play, 38-yard drive that resulted in a field goal to take a 17-14 lead.
The Hoosiers immediately responded with an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive with an 8-yard touchdown from redshirt senior tight end Trey Walker. The Spartans, however, returned the favor with a touchdown of their own to take a 24-21 lead with just over a minute remaining.
Sorsby and the offense had an opportunity to march down the field and tie or take the lead, but ultimately Freeman missed another field goal as the Hoosiers fell 24-21.