Matt Charboneau, Angelique S. Chengelis, John Niyo and Bob Wojnowski of The Detroit News offer their predictions on the outcome of Saturday’s Michigan State vs. Indiana game at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing (3:30, BTN/760).
►Matt Charboneau: Consistency is the key for the Spartans at this point, at least on the offensive side of the ball. Avoiding a letdown after last week’s win at Northwestern will be key as Michigan State prepares for a tough three-game stretch after this one. The defense should continue to play well, and if the offense builds off its 31-point performance last week, it could feel like it is finally starting to find its footing as the Big Ten schedule heats up. Michigan State 30, Indiana 10
►Angelique S. Chengelis: Michigan State, the team that seemed very capable of being a major force in the Big Ten East race, took a step in that direction last week in a crossover game. No, beating Northwestern doesn't count toward the East title, but that win was more about showing how the Spartans would rebound and what kind of steps they would take offensively. That game showed plenty and offered evidence of an improving offense behind an improving Brian Lewerke at quarterback. The defense is always going to be the defense – trusted, sound and physical. Yes, it had a hiccup against Arizona State, but this MSU defense is never going to be the issue. Indiana can be a pesky opponent, but MSU will get a second straight win. Michigan State 27, Indiana 10
►John Niyo: Maybe Indiana gets a boost with injured starter Michael Penix Jr. coming back. Maybe the Hoosiers can find a way to force a few turnovers the way they did last year in Bloomington. Or maybe the Spartans will get caught looking ahead to next week's game at Ohio State. But having already stumbled once at home in September, they probably won't. Michigan State 31, Indiana 14
►Bob Wojnowski: Indiana can be a tricky foe, good enough to scare, usually not good enough to win. The Hoosiers can move the ball, and it’s not much of a drop-off if backup QB Peyton Ramsey steps in because of injury. Of course, if the Spartans do what they do on defense, none of it will matter. Michigan State will stick to the run with Elijah Collins and Joe Bachie will stick it to the Hoosiers with about 15 tackles. Michigan State 30, Indiana 13