BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — What a difference a year makes. In 2020, Indiana cruised to a 24-0 victory over Michigan State in East Lansing, and the Hoosiers made it look easy. Oddsmakers are expected a different result when the two teams get together on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Michigan State is a 3.5-point favorite over the Hoosiers according to the SISportsbook.com gambling website when they get together for Saturday's Homecoming game. The over/under is 52.
It's not all that surprising considering the Spartans are the surprising success story this season — much like Indiana was a year ago in rolling to a 6-1 Big Ten record — with Michigan State starting the season 6-0 and riding the coattails of running back Kenneth Walker III, who leads the nation in rushing.
Walker rushed for 232 yards in Michigan State's 31-13 win over Rutgers last Saturday, and has 912 yards already this season. He also rushed for 172 yards in the Spartans' signature win at Miami, and had 264 yards in the opener at Northwestern.
Indiana is just 2-3 so far this season, with losses thus far to Iowa (6-0), Cincinnati (6-0) and Penn State (5-1, with its only loss to Iowa). The Hoosiers are also dealing with a lot of injury issues. They lost top receiver and punt returner D.J. Matthews to a torn ACL against Western Kentucky on Sept. 25, and quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was knocked out of the Penn State game on Oct. 2 with a separated AC joint in his left throwing shoulder.
When Indiana coach Tom Allen announced Penix's injury last Monday, he said he was ''week-to-week.'' Penix appeared on his "Mike & Micah Podcast'' on Sports Illustrated Indiana last Tuesday night, and did the show from his apartment with his left arm in a sling.
"I'm alright. Just staying level-headed,'' Penix said. "Just a little pain right now, but I'm fighting through it, and I'm going to keep pushing through it, like always.''
Allen, offensive coordinator Nick Sheridan and defensive coordinator Charlton Warren are scheduled to meet with the media on Monday morning, and an update on Penix and the other injured Hoosiers is expected.
If Penix can't go this week, Jack Tuttle will get the start at quarterback. He came off the bench last November when Penix tore an ACL in the win over Maryland and played well. Tuttle then led the Hoosiers to a win at Wisconsin, and started the bowl game loss to Ole Miss. He played well for a short stint on Oct. 2 at Penn State after Penix's shoulder injury.
The week's TV schedule was announced on Sunday as well. The Hoosiers' game with Michigan State, already scheduled for a Noon ET kickoff, will be televised on FOX Sports 1.
Week 7 Big Ten schedule
- Michigan State at Indiana, Noon ET
- Nebraska at Minnesota, Noon ET
- Rutgers at Northwestern, Noon ET
- Purdue at Iowa, 3:30 p.m. ET
- Army at Wisconsin, 8 p.m. ET
- Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Maryland and Illinois are on a bye week.
Related stories on Indiana football
- PENIX DISCUSSES SHOULDER INJURY: Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. talked with Sports Illustrated Indiana publisher Tom Brew about his shoulder injury, and the plan for rest and rehabilitation to get him back on the field soon. CLICK HERE
- BIG TEN ROUNDUP: Iowa wins the top-five showdown with Penn State, Kenneth Walker goes nuts for Michigan State again and Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan look good in wins on Saturday. CLICK HERE
- 'ROUNDTABLE' PODCAST: Our first "Big Ten Roundtable'' podcast debuted last week, and it was a big hit Check out the 30-minute show that featured visits from fellow Sports Illiustrated publishers Brendan Gulick of BuckeyesNow.com and Lauren Withrow of WildcatsDaily.com.