Michigan State Football: Score predictions vs. Indiana in Week 8

BLOOMINGTON, IN - OCTOBER 1: Madre London #28 of the Michigan State Spartans runs the ball against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
BLOOMINGTON, IN - OCTOBER 1: Madre London #28 of the Michigan State Spartans runs the ball against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Michigan State football will host Indiana in Week 8 and our staff has given their opinions of the final score of the Big Ten matchup.

It’s been a strong season for Michigan State football thus far. The Spartans are currently 5-1 and ranked No. 18 in the AP Top 25. More importantly, the Spartans re 3-0 in Big Ten play and looking to improve that with a win against Indiana on Saturday afternoon.

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Last year, the Hoosiers took the Spartans to overtime in Bloomington and pulled off the upset over then-ranked Michigan State. Mark Dantonio and Co. will hope to avoid another drop from the ranks with an Indiana loss and try to exact revenge on Tom Allen and the Hoosiers.

Here’s what the Spartan Avenue staff believes the final score of Saturday’s game will be.

Connor Muldowney: Brian Lewerke will have his best passing performance since the Notre Dame game and Madre London goes for 100 yards while filling in the lead back role for LJ Scott. The defense might struggle against Indiana’s attack, but the offense will get back on track for the Spartans, which will be a relief for Mark Dantonio. This one will still be tight as the Hoosiers will make it interesting late, but the Spartans score a touchdown in the final minutes to truly put Indiana away.

Final Score: Indiana 23, Michigan State 35

Stephen Robb: Indiana is an ascending team but this is not their year. They are still learning how to finish off games. They took Michigan to overtime and MSU must be on alert to pull this one out.  The Spartans will keep it on the ground and Lewerke will make plays with his legs. Indiana has weapons on offense and the Spartan secondary will be challenged. Time of possession will belong to Michigan State and win it in the fourth quarter.

Final Score: Indiana 21, Michigan State 24

Adam Zdroik: The seven-point spread feels a little too high for this game, especially with LJ Scott likely out. Still, I’ll take the MSU defense at home against a team that hasn’t been able to run in recent games and has a question with Peyton Ramsey at quarterback. Brian Lewerke gets it done once again for the Spartans.

Final Score: Indiana 14, Michigan State 20

Michael Briggs: Michigan State looked dominant up front last week against Minnesota, pounding the ball down the field to the tune of 245 rushing yards. Whether that was a product of a Gophers weakness or a breakthrough from the Spartans will be more evident this week against Indiana.

As you undoubtedly already heard, the guy who rushed for 194 of those yards, LJ Scott, may not play, but fellow backs Madre London and Gerald Holmes are more than capable if MSU is getting a similar push up front. I expect Brian Lewerke to air it out a bit more against the Hoosiers, but if the Spartans can follow the recipe that worked so well last week, they won’t need much from him.

Defensively, the Spartans have a good challenge in front of them. Redshirt freshman QB Peyton Ramsey has been impressive since taking over for IU and possesses a dual-threat game that’s similar to Lewerke’s. He has some talented receivers and a good young running back around him, too. WR Simmie Cobbs (37 receptions) has the look of a future starter in the NFL. Michigan State’s defense has been stout for most of the season, but struggled against dual-threat QBs Brandon Wimbush and Demry Croft. Ramsey could give them similar troubles.

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Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, I expect the Spartans to be much more prepared the third time around. Ramsey has been good, but he’s still an inexperienced QB on the road taking on a legit defense. The Spartans will rattle him early and force a turnover early in the second half to help them pull away.

Final Score: Indiana 17, Michigan State 31