52-27. And never really in question. For those IU fans out there who had hoped to be celebrating bowl eligibility after this one, it’ll be at least another week, if you’re being very, very, very optimistic. Penn State looked impressive today.
I think it’s pretty obvious that Michigan State came out and dominated the majority of the contest. Whether it was Javon Ringer or Jahuu Caulcrick, the Spartan backs were always able to find an opening. The Hoosier defense, which has played so well through six games this year, just couldn’t stop them when they needed to. State moved the ball almost at will in the first half, and because of this, they had complete control over the clock. With 5:22 remainin in the first quarter, IU had run only one offensive play.
I don’t think there’s any question that IU had problems protecting Kellen Lewis tonight. Besides the 60-yard burst Lewis did on that breathtaking QB sneak on IU’s first play from scrimmage, it seemed like he was pressured the majority of the night. It was somehting I wasn’t used to seeing: even the fleet-footed Lewis couldn’t escape the grasp of the Spartan’s defensive line. Every time he juked one defender, another Spartan was waiting to wrap him up.
Overall, it was a disheartening loss for the Hoosiers. I can’t think of many positives to take from their performance in East Lansing, other that Austin Starr breaking the consecutive field goals record. But that’s what Bill Lynch and his staff will need to do.Â For a team (and campus) so high on football at this point in the year, it was a tough loss to swallow because IU came in with an opportunity they haven’t capitalized on in more than a decade.
How the Hoosiers will respond will be very interesting.Â I’m not going to get down on this team.Â They lost in a tough, homecoming environment to a team that was still bitter after suffering consecutive Big Ten losses. On top of that, parity is dominating the college football season. No.1 LSU fell to Kentucky tonight, as did No. 2 Cal to Oregon Stae. Then-No. 1 USC lost to Stanford last week. In college football, especially this season, you never know what’s going to happen.
IU now faces two of their toughest tests of the season in Penn State and Wisconsin.Â How Bill Lynch gets his team to perform after this week’s loss will be crucial to maintaining the early-season momentum the Hoosiers earned after their 5-1 start.Â Three weeks ago, we were wondering how they’d comeback after getting manhandled vs. Illinois. They responded as well as anyone could have hoped, winning the next two games convincingly over Iowa and Minnesota.
How they’ll respond to this loss, however, may decided the fate of their season.