Matt Charboneau The Detroit News Published 5:22 PM EDT Sep 20, 2018 MICHIGAN STATE AT INDIANA Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Ind. TV/radio: BTN/760 Records: No. 24 Michigan State 1-1, Indiana 3-0 Line: Michigan State by 4 View from the other side Mike Miller, who covers Indiana for the Herald-Times, breaks down the Hoosiers for The Detroit News answering five questions heading into Saturday’s Indiana-Michigan State game. You can follow him on Twitter @MikeMillerHT. 1. How big of a surprise has Stevie Scott been? Can he continue to be effective in Big Ten play? Miller: Scott flashed early in fall camp as a player to watch, but it wasn't clear how big of a role he would occupy. IU planned to open the season with at least two — arguably three — backs in front of him. But returning starter Morgan Ellison was suspended indefinitely leading into the season opener and Cole Gest suffered an ACL injury in that Week 1 win at Florida … [Read more...] about View from the other side: Michigan State at Indiana
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Chris Solari Detroit Free Press Published 7:16 PM EDT Sep 19, 2018 EAST LANSING — Another game, another high-tempo offense. Michigan State’s defense should be used to playing against hurry-up styles. But the challenge Indiana presents may be a little different. Different than Utah State and Arizona State. And even in contrast to what the Hoosiers did offensively a year ago. “You can check the stats,” MSU defensive tackles coach Ron Burton said Tuesday about the Hoosiers. “There’s no doubt about that, they’re running the ball.” What had been a pass-first system slowly is being molded by defensive-minded, second-year coach Tom Allen into a balanced approach. That has meant relying on the rushing game and freshman running back Stevie Scott more and more to get the Hoosiers off to a 3-0 start. And it also means Indiana will have a decision to make when No. 23 MSU arrives Saturday night (7:30 p.m./Big Ten Network). Try to penetrate … [Read more...] about Michigan State ready for ‘cat-and-mouse game’ vs. Indiana
Matt Charboneau The Detroit News Published 3:51 PM EDT Sep 17, 2018 Coming off an impressive sophomore season, Brian Lewerke wanted to work on one thing primarily in the off-season: accuracy. In his first season as Michigan State’s starting quarterback, Lewerke proved he could be a playmaker, amassing nearly 3,400 yards in total offense by mixing in more than 500 yards of rushing with five touchdowns. However, after completing only 59 percent of his passes (246-for-417) in 2017, it was clear he needed to take a step forward in that department. Through two games, the extra work appears to be paying off as Lewerke has completed 69.4 percent of his passes (50-for-72) for 601 yards and three touchdowns. That sort of jump has drawn the attention of Indiana, this week’s opponent in the Big Ten opener. Add in the weapons Lewerke has at his disposal and the Hoosiers (3-0) know where their defensive focus must be when the teams meet at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Memorial … [Read more...] about MSU’s ‘tough old guy’ Brian Lewerke cause for concern for Indiana
Chris Solari Detroit Free Press Published 6:00 AM EDT Sep 17, 2018 EAST LANSING — One had the week off after a loss, the other watched his team improve to 3-0. But both Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio and his Indiana counterpart Tom Allen delivered the same message to their players as they prepare to head into Big Ten play: Forget the past, don’t worry about the long-term future. Stay in the moment and concentrate only on the next opponent. “All we did was focus last week on Ball State. That was it. Never talked about anybody else,” Allen told reporters after his Hoosiers won Saturday, 38-10. “And this week, we're talking about Michigan State. That's our next game on our schedule. Obviously, it's the biggest game of our season because it's the next game. If I asked our players that, that's exactly what they would say. That's how we think here, and that's how we're going to approach it. “But huge to get the first three, and really … [Read more...] about Michigan State football, Indiana locked in on Big Ten opener
Chris Solari Detroit Free Press Published 9:12 AM EDT Sep 15, 2018 EAST LANSING — Michigan State looked to have Arizona State pinned. It was third-and-8 late in the fourth quarter, with the score tied and time winding down. The Spartans desperately needed to get a stop and deployed just two defensive lineman with four linebackers and five defensive backs anticipating the pass. It didn’t matter. Brandon Randle and Antjuan Simmons blitzed off the edge. Andrew Dowell followed the tight end across the formation. Joe Bachie and Jon Reschke drifted to their right. No one covered Eno Benjamin. The Sun Devils running back picked up 25 yards before getting tripped up, getting his team to midfield and keeping the drive alive. MSU never got the ball back, as Arizona State milked the clock from there to kick a game-winning field goal as time expired for the 16-13 upset on Saturday in Tempe, Arizona. That one play showed many of the 24th-ranked Spartans’ biggest weaknesses … [Read more...] about Michigan State pass defense struggling; structure to blame?