The Hoosiers enter Saturday’s contest with a 2-3 overall season record, which is good for sixth in the Big Ten’s East Division. This season, Indiana has rotated losses and victories, starting 2021 off with a 34-6 loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes before laying a beat down on Idaho 56-14.
In their third game of the season, Indiana lost 38-24 to Cincinnati. Indiana followed that up by barely squeaking by Western Kentucky, followed by a 24-0 loss to Penn State two weeks ago.
The Hoosiers are fresh and coming off a bye and hosting Michigan State, so they should be ready to give the Spartans all they can handle early on, having two weeks to prepare for the date. The previous matchup between the two schools ended with a Hoosiers’ 24-0 victory over Michigan State football in 2020.
Indiana head coach Tom Allen brings a lackluster group to the party in all aspects of the game, but Michigan State needs to remain focused and take care of business.
The Hoosiers 23.8 points per game rank 97th in the country, plus they’ve allowed 28.2 points per game which doesn’t bode much better, ranking 90th out of 130 schools. Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr and Jack Tuttle have combined for an awful 52.8% completion percentage this season, only passing for 221.4 yards per game. Penix Jr is the starting quarterback (when healthy), but he won’t exactly strike fear into anyone, having thrown for 939 yards, four touchdowns, and seven interceptions.
The problem for Indiana, they don’t run the football much better, and Indiana averages just 3.4 yards per carry collectively or awful in college football terms.
Look for Michigan State football to roll into Bloomington and take care of business today.
As always, look for Mel Tucker’s Spartans to lean on their terrific rushing attack behind Kenneth Walker III. The star tailback is averaging a whopping 7.1 yards per tote and has already amassed 913 rushing yards and nine touchdowns through the teams’ first six games.
The Hoosiers defense allows 126 rushing yards per week; expect Walker III to gain upwards of that by himself Saturday afternoon. Indiana has yet to let a single back rush for over 100 yards in a game this season; I expect that will change today.
If the Hoosiers successfully bottle up Michigan State football’s rushing attack, quarterback Payton Thorne has proven he can move the sticks with his right arm. Thorne has totaled 1,575 passing yards this season, plus tossing for 14 touchdowns to just two interceptions.
The Spartans passing attack led by Throne includes a trio of talented pass-catchers. Jayden Reed is the jack of all trades, he leads the club with 492 receiving yards, plus he’s an elite returner. Jalen Nailor is tied with Reed heading into Saturday with the team lead in receptions; both have hauled in 23 balls. Nailer has notched six receiving touchdowns to Reed’s five and 490 receiving yards.
The third member of this group is Tre Mosley; the often-overlooked sophomore remains a reliable option for Thorne. Mosley has recorded 20 catches totaling 309 yards but has yet to find the end zone in ’21.
Michigan State football’s defense remains a work in progress, having allowed over 300 yards passing and nearly a 65% completion percentage against. The group is stout against the run, having yielded 118 rushing yards per game and only 3.3 yards per rush against.
The Spartans defense is led by safety Xavier Henderson who leads the group with 52 total tackles, 32 of which have been solo. Henderson has also recorded two sacks, one interception, and one pass defended.
Jacub Panasuik leads the Spartans with 4.5 sacks, and 7.5 of his 18 tackles have been recorded for a loss. Jeff Pietrowski compliments Panasuik well, having notched 3.5 sacks and 4 of his 19 tackles for a loss.
Michigan State football odds, spread, and prediction.
A full update can be seen here.
"“The game that we have taken the most bets on and have the highest handle is No. 10 Michigan State at Indiana. At WynnBET, this game opened at Michigan State -3, -115 with a total of 52.5,” Wall said. “It currently sits at Michigan State -4 and a total of 49. 77.5% of the spread tickets and 57.7% of the spread handle is on Indiana. 50.8% of the moneyline tickets are on Indiana, but 94.1% of the moneyline handle is on Michigan State.”"
According to WynnBet, the Spartans are only 4 point favorites, and with nearly 95% of the money being placed on the Spartans doesn’t seem to bode well for Indiana. If the Hoosiers happen to upset the Spartans, the brass over at WynnBet will be throwing a party, I can assure you of that.
I like Michigan State football running away with this game (literally), to the tune of 35-14.