East Lansing, MI – Last week, it was hard for anyone to find things Michigan State did well against Iowa, including the coaching staff.
Today wasn't much different.
For the second week in a row, MSU entered the locker room down by at least four scores.
Through two quarters, Michigan State hadn't been close to getting into the end zone or allowing Matt Coghlin to kick one through the uprights.
The Spartans front seven looked good, returning to form resembling a unit who competed against Michigan rather than Iowa, and the secondary forced Michael Penix Jr. to throw two interceptions.
Yet, none of it mattered because offensively, MSU remained inept.
They never had an answer; not once did Michigan State manage to threaten the Hoosiers.
MSU crossed midfield three times in the first half; the results?
Two punts and one turnover on downs.
Michigan State's ability to keep it "close" (not letting it get completely out of hand) against Indiana largely stemmed from solid defensive play; unfortunately for Spartan fans, MSU continuously shot itself in the foot by turning the ball over, providing Indiana with solid field position, essentially handing the Hoosiers points on numerous occasions (IU began three drives inside the MSU 30-yard line).
But eventually, the defense broke down, which is understandable considering Michigan State was missing a good chunk of its secondary with Chris Jackson, Kalon Gervin, and Tre Person all out.
Three out of four Spartan turnovers resulted in 17-points for the Hoosiers – opponents have converted five of Michigan State's last seven mishaps into scores (Iowa was 2-for-3, IU 3-for-4 today).
At halftime, the Spartans had run 25 plays for 82 total yards compared to Indiana's 46 plays for 325 yards.
It was ugly.
The second half didn't warrant optimism, and MSU showed us why as IU continued to push the Spartans offensive line around, offering little protection for Thorne, surrendering four sacks, seven tackles for a loss, and one quarterback hurry.
Near the end of the third, MSU's offense showed signs of life, but the drive fizzled out; Michigan State failed to convert a fourth-down and gain the two yards necessary to move the sticks.
Indiana kept everything in front of them, never doing too much, knowing the Spartans wouldn't be able to come back.
It isn't hard to figure out why, when you combine the offense's ability to do anything positive with poor o-line play, guys in the backfield running to the wrong spots, a young quarterback thrust into a difficult situation, and of course, turnovers.
Much like Iowa did, the Hoosiers coasted through the final two-quarters of play and did anything they wanted inside Spartan Stadium, beating Michigan State, 24-0.
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