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3 6 0 6 15
9:00 AM PT10:00 AM MT11:00 AM CT12:00 PM ET4:00 PM GMT12:00 AM 北京时间9:00 AM MST11:00 AM EST, Oct. 16, 2021
Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, Indiana  Attendance: 50,571

No. 10 Spartans look to continue meteoric rise at Indiana

Michigan State Spartans at Indiana Hoosiers

  1. Michigan State leads the all-time series for the Old Brass Spittoon 48-17-2 including 22-10-1 at Indiana. The Hoosiers were ranked No. 10 last season when the two met and Indiana won 24-0. Indiana has not won two in a row in this series since three straight from 1967-69.
  2. Michigan State is 6-0 for the first time since 2015. They were 2-5 last season. The four-win improvement is tied for the most in the FBS this season with Michigan and Northern Illinois. The Spartans are 22nd in the FBS averaging 217.2 rush yards per game compared to ranking 123rd last season averaging 91.4.
  3. Kenneth Walker III leads the FSB with 152.2 rush yards per game. Twice this season he has over 200 yards in a game (both on road). He is the first Spartan to have multiple 200-yard rush games in a season since Le'Veon Bell did it in three games in 2012.
  4. Indiana was off last week but was shut out 24-0 at then-No. 4 Penn State the week before. It was the first time the Hoosiers were shut out since October 14, 2000 at Michigan. They are 0-3 versus ranked teams this season but were 3-1 against the AP Top 25 a season ago.
  5. Ty Fryfogle leads the team with 26 receptions and 272 yards receiving. He needs nine yards to reach 2,000 for his career. September 25 at Western Kentucky, Fryfogle had 10 receptions, his second career 10+ reception game with his first coming last season at Michigan State.

Michigan State has been one of the biggest surprises in the Big Ten season.

Picked to finish as low as last in the Big Ten East in some national publications, the Spartans are undefeated through six games and this week vaulted to No. 10 in the AP Top 25.

But second year Michigan State coach Mel Tucker doesn't think the Spartans have arrived yet. He is pushing for more consistency when Michigan State plays Indiana Saturday at Bloomington, Ind.

"We have so many areas where we need improvement in all three phases, individually and collectively," he said. "It never stops. You're never there, you never arrive. If you turn on the tape of the games, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see what areas we need to improve.

It's the first top 10 ranking for the Spartans since Sept. 18, 2016, when they were No. 8 in both polls, but promptly tumbled into a seven-game losing streak.

Michigan State (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) is coming off a 31-13 win at Rutgers. The offense has been sparked throughout the season by freshman running back Kenneth Walker III, who leads the nation in rushing with 913 yards and 9 TDs. Peyton Thorne has provided stability at the quarterback position, passing for 1,575 yards with 14 TDs to 2 interceptions.

Although Michigan State has beaten Indiana in 10 of the past 12 meetings, the Spartans will be looking to avenge a 24-0 home loss last season when the surprising Hoosiers were the No. 10 team in the country.

"They're all a big game, especially a rivalry game for a trophy," Tucker said. "We're playing for the (Old) Brass Spittoon."

Indiana (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten) is looking to build some momentum after a disappointing start to conference play. The Hoosiers have yet to score a touchdown in two Big Ten games, and likely will be without starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who suffered a separated AC joint in his throwing shoulder during Indiana's 24-0 loss at Penn State on Oct. 2.

If Penix can't go, Indiana will turn to backup quarterback Jack Tuttle, who went 1-1 as a starter last season and has passed for 564 yards and 3 TDs in three seasons at Indiana.

"He's started for us against one Big Ten team on the road, which was huge last year and has played many minutes beyond that," Indiana coach Tom Allen said.

Indiana's three losses so far this season have already eclipsed its loss total from last year's 6-2 breakout campaign. But the Hoosiers are hoping a bye week will offer a fresh start and fresh perspective that will carry through the rest of the season.

"That's the way we have to look at it," Allen said. "That's the way we're going to look at it and be able to approach it in a way that we can't change the past, we can learn from the past.

"We don't like where we are. But we'll tackle where we are. That to me is the focus. And that to me is the mindset we have."

--Field Level Media

Updated October 12, 2021

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