Penalties, mistakes foil Spartans' effort

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Spartans walk off the field in shock as MSU gets upset by Indiana University. From left: Josh King (12), Collin Caflish (57) and in the background linebacker Andrew Dowell gets some words of encouragement from the coaching staff.

Bloomington, Ind. — Michigan State has its share of issues following its overtime loss at Indiana on Saturday, and none is more troubling than the penalties that keep piling up and some are proving to be absolutely critical.

The Spartans were flagged 11 times in the 24-21 overtime loss to the Hoosiers on Saturday, and the last one was as big as any.

After failing to score on its overtime possession, Michigan State held Indiana without a first down and forced a 33-yard field-goal attempt from Indiana’s Griffin Oakes. The kick sailed wide left but backup defensive back Drake Martinez was called for leaping over the pile.

That’s a personal foul and gave Indiana a first down. The Hoosiers capitalized and four plays later Oakes kicked the winner from 20 yards out.

“Penalties, mistakes,” quarterback Tyler O’Connor recited after the game. “We would drive the ball then something would halt us, whether it was a penalty or something silly.”

The final penalty to halt an offensive drive came with Michigan State leading 14-7 and looking to add insurance points in the fourth quarter. Facing a fourth-and-8 at the Indiana 32, O’Connor scrambled and picked up a first down. However, tight end Josiah Price was called for holding and MSU was forced to punt.

Indiana answered by marching down the field and tying the score at 14 on a 22-yard pass from Richard Lagow to Ricky Jones. After a three-and-out by Michigan State, Indiana scored again to go ahead, 21-14.

The Spartans answered with an impressive 13-play drive to tie the score, but the sloppy plays and penalties crept up again.

Michigan State was forced to burn a timeout when it lined up wrong on second down in the overtime before taking two sacks. That led to the final penalty from Martinez.

“Those are negative for us but with or without the penalties we have to be better and overcome,” safety Demetrious Cox said. “We still have to play the next play.”

Injury report

Michigan State will be without linebacker Riley Bullough for the second straight week.

The fifth-year senior injured his shoulder during the week of preparation for the Notre Dame game and aggravated the injury during the game. It forced the middle linebacker to sit out last week against Wisconsin, as well. Junior outside linebacker Jon Reschke also did not play after injuring his ankle against Wisconsin and is expected to miss significant time.

Senior cornerback Darian Hicks was knocked out of the game on Saturday in the third quarter after nearly coming up with an interception. Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Raequan Williams also left the game in fourth quarter because of an apparent arm injury.

Layne steps in

Michigan State pulled another redshirt on Saturday when freshman wide receiver Justin Layne played. He did not record a catch but was targeted several times.

“He’s got talent and can do some things on special teams as well,” Dantonio said. “We will work with him in that area and he is a deep threat. It’s something we can build on and we wanted him to go. I asked the question a number of times and we felt like he needed to go.”

Layne joins receivers Donnie Corley and Trishton Jackson as well as offensive lineman Thiyo Lukusa, defensive tackle Mike Panasiuk and defensive ends Josh King and Auston Robertson as true freshmen who have played this season.

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

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