The Indiana football squad faces their first conference road challenge of the season against the No. 25 Michigan State Spartans. Saturday’s 3:30ET matchup is a chance for the Hoosiers to steal the Old Brass Spittoon back, which will be much easier said than done in East Lansing. Indiana’s success will be dependent on three things, really.
Mike Penix’s arm at quarterback could give Sparty’s defense a run for their money, IF he is a full-go. It is not Ramsey’s first rodeo with Michigan State, but Penix has proven to be the differencemaker for IU on the scoreboard.
Tom Allen says Penix’s availability to lead Indiana’s offense to fight for the Old Brass Spittoon will be a game day decision.
Fortunately he has been practicing, but ultimately that game day decision, to rest or not to rest Penix, will determine the fate of the Hoosiers in East Lansing.
Cam Jones reminded the Hoosiers quickly after halftime against Connecticut just how great it felt to get a takeaway. Jones’ 44-yard pick-six was the first takeaway for Indiana since the season-opener game at Ball State— a pass that was picked off by Jaylin Williams.
Indiana will look to Williams, and Jones especially to step up and make big plays against Michigan State. Against an elite defense like MSU’s, takeaways will change the game if they can fight to make them happen.
Hoosiers’ will to win
The Hoosiers cannot afford to get behind more than one score, especially surrounded by Spartan fans. There’s only one way to play to win Saturday— come out hot and do not let up. This isn’t the Old Oaken Bucket, but it’s a chance for this year’s squad to do what only one team in the past decade has been able to accomplish— gain possession of the 69-year-old Old Brass Spittoon.