Michigan State Spartans: Must Stop Indiana Hooisers Running Back Tevin Coleman


One minute, you’re sitting pretty with a 21-point lead late in the third quarter while playing in front of a sea of opposing fans with gloomy faces.

The next minute, you’re struggling to survive in the final quarter of play.

Luckily for Michigan State, the defense was able to prevail once again to come away with a victory late in the game against the Purdue Boilermakers.

For the second straight time, an interception was the final blow to an opponent of the Michigan State Spartans.

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First, it was Trae Waynes, who picked off Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong to avoid the upset at Spartan Stadium.

Then it was linebacker Darien Hicks, who intercepted an ugly throw by Purdue quarterback Logan Appleby  to cap off their first Big Ten road game of the season.

There’s no question that the Spartans are glad to remain undefeated in conference play after defeating two programs in the West division.

But was it the way they hoped to finish? Absolutely not.

Eager to steer the ship in the right direction, the Spartans (5-1, 2-0), who are currently ranked eighth in the AP Poll, set sail for another matchup in the state of Indiana to face the Hoosiers (3-3, 0-2) in Bloomington.

Good news for Pat Narduzzi and the defense, Indiana is scheduled to start a true freshman at quarterback.

According to David Woods of the Indianapolis Star, the mother of Chris Covington, who was supposed to take snaps under center on Saturday, told the publication that he will not play.

With Nate Sufield out for the season with a shoulder injury, Zander Diamont will get his start career start for the Hoosiers against one of the top ranked passing defenses in the nation.

Wide receiver Shane Wynn will be the go-to target for Diamont this weekend. The senior from Cleveland, Ohio has caught 27 passes this season for 424 yards and two touchdowns.

Bad news for Michigan State, Indiana is equipped with Tevin Coleman, a monster at the running back position.

A Maxwell Award nominee, Coleman is coming off a spectacular performance against Iowa last week in which he rushed for 219 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries.

Certainly the work horse for this Indiana offense for the past three seasons, Coleman, the 6-foot-1, 210 pound tailback leads the nation in seven rushing categories, including rushing yards (1,060) and yards per carry (8.8).

The junior also ranks third in touchdowns on the ground (11), behind Jarvion Franklin of Western Michigan (15) and Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon (13).

"“When he hits it and goes north, he can get there quick,” MSU head coach Dantonio said (Detroit Free Press), “just like he did last year against us. … (Now) you see him running through tackles, and you know, your objective is to shut him down. I think he’s obviously one of the keys to victory for us.”"

On the opposite side of the ball, things are a little short of spectacular for Indiana, a weakness that quarterback Connor Cook must exploit early on in the game.

Cook, who is coming off of last week’s performance against the Boilermakers in which he was 18-of-37 for 238 yards with a QB rating of 77, goes up against a Hoosier defense that has given up an average of 274. 3 yards per game through the air.

Indiana also ranks dead last in the Big Ten in turnover margin (-3) and second to last in points allowed per game (31.3).

Unless Coleman unleashes hell on Michigan State for four quarters, there’s little hope for Indiana to make this a competitive ball game.

Saturday should be a field day at Memorial Stadium for the fourth ranked scoring offense in the FBS, being that the defensive unit for the Hoosiers as failed to turn heads this season.

Prediction: Michigan State 48, Indiana 28