Indiana vs Michigan State

No. 10 Indiana vs Michigan State Preview | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on November 13, 2020

One of the biggest national surprises so far in college football is No. 10 Indiana, and the Hoosiers look to stay unbeaten and take sole possession of first in the Big Ten East Division with a win at Michigan State on Saturday.

How to Bet Indiana at Michigan State NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, noon ET
  • Where: Spartan Stadium
  • TV: ABC
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Indiana -7 (total 52)

Last Meeting

In 2019, Indiana lost 40-31 at Michigan State when the Spartans were ranked No. 25 and Indiana was unranked. The Hoosiers are a lot better this year and the Spartans worse. Brian Lewerke threw two touchdown passes to Darrell Stewart, and those two connected again for a big gain on Michigan State’s final drive, which ended when Matt Coghlin made a tie-breaking 21-yard field goal with 5 seconds remaining. Coghlin’s kick gave Michigan State a 34-31 lead, but the Hoosiers tried to lateral their way down the field on their last offensive play and that resulted in a fumble the Spartans recovered for a touchdown.

The Old Brass Spittoon has been awarded to the IU-MSU victor since its inception in 1950. Saturday’s game marks the 67th meeting between Michigan State and Indiana. The Spartans lead the series against the Hoosiers, 48-16-2, including a 26-6-1 record in East Lansing.

Why Bet on Indiana? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Indiana (3-0) upset No. 23 Michigan 38-21 last Saturday in Bloomington. Michael Penix Jr. completed 30-of-50 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns. Penix Jr. led Indiana on touchdown drives in all four quarters and the IU offense converted nine-of-18 third down situations and held the ball for a staggering 38:50. Penix’s 50 attempts were a career high. He has now tossed multiple touchdowns in consecutive games (6 in the last two weeks combined). He has had multiple-touchdown throws in five career games. Penix’s 342 passing yards were the second-most for a Hoosier passer against Michigan (Ben Chappell 480 yards on Oct. 2, 2010).

Senior wide receiver Ty Fryfogle turned in a career day with new personal-bests in receptions (7) and yards (142) to go along with his second touchdown in as many weeks. Fellow senior WR Whop Philyor had 11 catches for 79 yards. He Philyor moved in to seventh place on the Indiana career list with 147 catches. Stevie Scott III tallied 24 rushing attempts for 97 yards and a pair of scores. He now owns 24 rushing touchdowns (7th all time) and 26 total scores, eighth in program history.

The Hoosiers hit the 30-point threshold for the 12th time since the beginning of the 2019 season, the second-most such games in the Big Ten. Ohio State leads the conference with 15 30-point games. Indiana’s last win over Michigan came on Oct. 24, 1987, with the No. 14 Hoosiers beating the No. 20 Wolverines, 14-10. For the first time in program history, Indiana has defeated both Penn State and Michigan in the same season.

The 3-0 start to Big Ten Conference play is the best start since defeating Northwestern (48-17), Ohio State (41-7) and No. 18 Minnesota (33-13) to open the 1988 conference schedule. Indiana has won four-straight Big Ten conference games and 8-of-10 dating back to the 2019 season. This marks the most successful stretch since a 9-2 record from Oct. 3, 1987-Oct. 21, 1988.

Indiana is ranked in the Top 10 for the first time since a No. 10 ranking in the AP Poll on Sept. 22, 1969.

Why Bet on Michigan State? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Spartans (1-2) were clobbered 49-7 at Iowa last Saturday. It was the Spartans’ first trip to Iowa since 2013, and the loss snapped MSU’s three-game win streak in the series with Iowa.

Junior quarterback Rocky Lombardi, an Iowa native who was playing in his home state for the first time as a Spartan, was 17-of-37 passing for 227 yards, but was intercepted three times. Lombardi connected with redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Jalen Nailor for four receptions for 119 yards, for Nailor’s first career 100-yard reception outing. Nailor is already closing in on his career-high of 15 catches, currently sitting at 12. He’s been very explosive with those touches with 271 yards and a score. Sophomore wide receiver Tyler Hunt scored MSU’s lone TD of the day with a 1-yard rushing score in the third quarter.

Lombardi now has 30+ passing attempts in all three games this season and in all six career games started. He ranks tied for third in the Big Ten and tied for 17th in the FBS with 289.7 passing yards per game. Lombardi collected career highs in passing yards in each of his first two games in 2020 (319 vs. Rutgers; 323 vs. Michigan).

He has completed 58 percent of his passes (65-of-112) and ranks tied for fourth in the conference with six TD passes. Lombardi is 3-3 as the starting quarterback for the Spartans (2-1 as redshirt freshman in 2018 when starter Brian Lewerke was injured; 1-2 in 2020).

True freshman Jordon Simmons leads the team in carries (37) and rushing yards (132; 44.0 ypg; 3.6 avg.). After rushing for 43 yards in his collegiate debut against Rutgers on 14 carries, Simmons had 55 yards on 14 carries at No. 13/14 Michigan but didn’t do much vs. Iowa.

The Spartans have won eight consecutive games over Indiana in Spartan Stadium (last loss in 2001) and 10 of the last 11 games in the series overall.

Game Trends

  • Hoosiers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 conference games.
  • Hoosiers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as a favorite.
  • Hoosiers are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games as a road favorite.
  • Spartans are 5-15 ATS in their last 20 games overall.
  • Spartans are 2-7 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Hoosiers are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 meetings.

Expert Prediction

  • Indiana 27, Michigan State 20

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