The Indiana Hoosiers are looking to continue putting the rest of the Big Ten on notice this weekend. The Hoosiers, who already own home wins against Penn State and Michigan, take their game on the road for what appears to be a favorable matchup against Michigan State.
The Hoosiers hit the road owning their highest ranking in the AP Top 25 since 1969, as they have climbed to No. 10 in the poll. A win this week in East Lansing could likely set up a showdown of undefeated top-10 teams in Columbus, Ohio, next weekend against Ohio State. Indiana is not familiar with the concept of looking ahead, but head coach Tom Allen will have to have his team prepared to overcome that possible temptation.
No. 10 Indiana at Michigan State
Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 14 at 12 p.m. ET
Spread: Indiana -7.5
When Indiana Has the Ball
Indiana may be 3-0, and quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has had some terrific moments this season, but the Hoosiers are lagging behind the majority of the Big Ten when it comes to offensive production. Indiana ranks 12th in the Big Ten in offensive yards per game (339.3). The key to success for Indiana has been cashing in on their red-zone trips. Indiana has made 16 visits to the red zone this season, and the Hoosiers have come away with 12 touchdowns. Penix has thrown six red-zone touchdowns and no interceptions. With efficiency like this inside their opponent's 20-yard line, it's no wonder Indiana has been difficult to beat this season.
When Michigan State Has the Ball
Michigan State's biggest problem has simply been holding on to the football. The Spartans started the year with an abysmal performance with five lost fumbles and two interceptions thrown for a minus-four turnover margin in a season-opening loss to Rutgers. Last weekend against Iowa, Michigan State ended the day with a minus-three. In their lone win, against Michigan, the Spartans had no turnovers. Coincidence? Of course not.
Quarterback Rocky Lombardi followed up a three-touchdown showing against Michigan two weeks ago with a three-interception outing against Iowa last weekend. Which Lombardi shows up against Indiana?
Indiana's 3-0 start is no fluke. Even if you question the legitimacy of the Hoosiers' overtime win against Penn State, they have taken advantage of their opportunities this season, and that should once again be the case this weekend against Michigan State. The Spartans will have a difficult time controlling Indiana's offense as Michael Penix Jr. connects with Whop Philyor and Stevie Scott III handles things on the ground. Indiana is about to be 4-0.
Prediction: Indiana 30, Michigan State 20
Podcast: Week 11 Preview and Predictions