It was an unusual turn of events for the Spartans (4-1) last night. Their offense actually looked better than their defense against Indiana (3-2).
And Brian Lewerke led Michigan State’s offense, throwing for 300 yards and three touchdowns.
Lewerke’s poise and precision could not have come at a better time, because if anybody seems to have figured out how to counter the Spartans’ defense, it’s the Hoosiers.
Rather than simply run straight into the Green Wall, Indiana opted for a short, lively passing game that frequently outwitted and outmaneuvered Michigan State’s secondary. This allowed the Hoosiers to stay right on the Spartans’ tails for the first (7-7 at 1:35) and most of the second quarter of the game (14-14 at 4:07).
At 0:33 in the second quarter Michigan State pulled ahead yet again with a by-the-book 56-yard drive, putting the score at 21-14, Spartans leading.
But the cat came back the very next play. The Hoosiers kicked a field goal at 8:23 in the third quarter to put the score at 21-17.
Indiana quarterback Michael Penix matched Lewerke’s performance, throwing an 11-yard touchdown/heart-stopper to tie the game at 31-31 with 2:00 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Matt Coghlin kicked a 21-yard field goal with 0:05 on the clock. The Spartans were ahead 34-31. And then, in a cruel twist of fate, a fumble by Penix was recovered by Spartan Michael Dowell for a touchdown, putting the final score at 40-31.
A win is a win, but the Hoosiers really didn’t deserve that.
Photo courtesy of the Detroit Free Press