TV Schedule: Saturday, Oct. 24, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2 (TBA)
Stadium: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Mich.
Line: Michigan State (-16.5)
Guess what? The Indiana Hoosiers have played in quite a few of, arguably, the most entertaining games of the college football season. Right out of the gate, they started hot with a 4-0 record and won those games by a combined score of 153-128. Then, just as quickly, they plummeted back to earth with three straight gut-wrenching losses. They actually gave the No. 1 team in the country, the Ohio State Buckeyes, all they could handle before dropping that game by seven points. Then, they were manhandled in a road loss to the Penn State Nittany Lions and followed that performance up by treating the hometown fans to a shootout against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Unfortunately for the hometown faithful, they would come out on the wrong side of the scoreboard there as well.
Yes, that hot start seems like a long time ago; and sadly enough for Hoosier fans, it won’t get any easier. This Saturday, the No. 7 ranked team in the country comes to town. The Michigan State Spartans are fresh off of an emotional victory over their in-state rivals, the Michigan Wolverines. It may have taken, literally, the entire game to do so, but their unbeaten season continues and another step toward the College Football Playoff was taken. Circle their game against the Buckeyes on November 21. That will probably determine if they get there.
What’s important now is there’s a game to be played this Saturday. On paper, the Spartans hold an edge at just about every position. They have the better coach. They have more talent. They have home-field advantage. Their quarterback, Connor Cook, is completing 58 percent of his passes and has tossed 13 touchdowns. They’ve added another 14 on the ground. Hoosier fans can hope for a letdown game by the Spartans, but the truth is that’s not going to happen.
The Spartans won’t need all four quarters to decide this one.
Prediction: Michigan State 31, Indiana 14