Last Week's Recap: TRIUMPH!!!
Ahem. Anyway, after 16 prior attempts all failed, the Hoosiers finally beat the Penn State Nittany Lions 44-24 in Bloomington. Cody Latimer tore up the Penn State secondary, and the Hoosiers' defense played one of their two best games this season. Christian Hackenberg played well in a losing effort, but his reliance on throwing (many) passes to Allen Robinson proved to be Penn State's undoing.
Game Info: The Battle for the Old Brass Spittoon kicks off Saturday at noon on ESPN2. Beth Mowins and Joey Galloway have the call, so I suspect many of you will be watching this game with the sound off.
Series History: Michigan State leads the overall series 42-15-2, and games for the Spittoon 42-12-1. Last year, the Hoosiers led 27-14 at the half, only to fall 31-27 to Sparty.
For Your Amusement: A Twitter account exists for the Old Brass Spittoon. Be warned, Spartan fans: It likes us better.
Indiana Notes: This is Indiana's first of four road games this season. Indiana's win against Penn State was the first time the Hoosiers have won their Big Ten opener since 2000, when they defeated Iowa. Junior cornerback Tim Bennett leads the nation in pass breakups with 14. David Kaminski became the third Indiana offensive lineman declared out for the season after tearing an ACL against Penn State.
Michigan State Notes, courtesy of OTE's own Green Akers: It's Homecoming Week for MSU, so expect an energetic crowd for the conference home opener in East Lansing. After a very slow start to the season, Michigan State's offense got off the ground somewhat against a strong Iowa defense last week; the road win was MSU's second consecutive victory in Kinnick Stadium. True freshman RB Delton Williams saw his redshirt burned, and figures to get some carries as a power complement to junior Jeremy Langford against a vulnerable Indiana run defense (Penn State's failures on that front notwithstanding).
Predictions: [CfB] Even as I type out this prediction, I'm still riding high on finally seeing IU beat Penn State. Hopefully, Kevin Wilson has already gotten the football team past this wave of emotion and ready to face Sparty on Saturday. Knocking off Michigan State in East Lansing would be another huge boost for this team, and as always seems to be the case, it's going to fall on the IU defense to make plays and get off the field when it counts. My prediction: Indiana 28 - Michigan State 24
GA: Indiana's offense is no joke, but one possible drawback of their surprising romp over PSU is that they aren't surprising anyone anymore, especially not MSU DC Pat Narduzzi, who likely remembers very well how the IU screen game shredded his vaunted defense early in last year's matchup. I expect the adjustments made at halftime last year to be part of the game plan from the get-go, and for all IU seems to have improved, I still see a substantial talent advantage in MSU's favor, especially in the trenches. My prediction: MSU 34 Indiana 21