It was a game with an invisible rushing attack, several missed opportunities, and one crushing jet sweep. A game that was full of hype, but ended up one that we’d much rather forget. And hopefully one that Indiana forgets as attention turns to a must-win matchup on the road at Rutgers. The Hoosiers opened as a 14 point favorite.
1. Indiana points per scoring opportunity – Over/Under 4.09 – Actual: 3.5
A game of missed opportunities. The Hoosiers generated 6 scoring opportunities to Michigan State’s 4, but failed to capitalize.[ref]For reference, a scoring opportunity occurs when an offense gets a first down inside the opponent’s 40 (or scores from outside the 40).[/ref] Indiana’s first scoring opportunity came on their second drive, 1st and 10 from the MSU 29. Peyton Ramsey’s pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. A particularly painful missed opportunity.
Down 14-0, midway through the 2nd quarter, Tom Allen went for it on 4th and 1 from the MSU 18. I don’t fault the call to go for it, but unfortunately Scott was stopped for no gain.
Indiana would later add 4 more scoring opportunities, converting 2 field goals and 2 touchdowns including a 2-point conversion. But it wouldn’t be enough as Michigan State scored a touchdown on all 4 of their opportunities.
2. Indiana Success Rate – Over/Under 45.5% – Actual: 35%
The Hoosiers converted a 43% success rate on pass plays. On actual passes, Ramsey’s success rate was 50% including 71% on attempts to Whop Philyor and 67% to J-Shun Harris. Unfortunately Ramsey was under pressure frequently with just 25% of his scrambles being deemed successful and also being sacked 4 times. That was bad, but their running game was even more dismal, recording just an 11% success rate. For those keeping track at home, that isn’t good. After a dominating start to the season, freshman Stevie Scott had just 1 successful rush on 11 carries. It occurred on his first carry, a 5-yard run on 1st and 10. After that he recorded 13 rushing yards on 10 carries including a 7-yard run on 3rd and 16.
3. LJ Scott rushes of 10+ yards – Over/Under 1.5 – Actual: 0
Scott dressed and participated in warmups, but did not play in this one as a result of an injury suffered 2 weeks ago against Arizona State. La’Darius Jefferson and Connor Heyward each had a long rush of just 6 yards. Jalen Nailor’s 75 rush was the dagger for IU and was the only rush, other than a rush by Brian Lewerke that Indiana allowed to go for 10+ yards.
4. Brian Lewerke passing yards – Over/Under 214.5 – Actual: 213
It’s hard to get much closer than this. Lewerke went 14 of 25 for 213 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. He probably would have gone over 213 yards but Michigan State’s 21 fourth quarter plays consisted of 14 rushes, 3 kneels, and just 4 pass attempts. Indiana is allowing 5.3 yards per pass attempt on the season, ranking 21st nationally.
5. Longest Reese Taylor kickoff return – Over/Under 29.5 – Actual: 0
There were no kickoff returns for the Hoosiers in this one.
6. Indiana winning margin – Over/Under 1.5 – Actual: MSU – 7
The Hoosiers never led in this one, falling in their conference opener. It puts more pressure on the Hoosiers in games against Iowa, Minnesota, Maryland, and Purdue.
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— Punt John Punt (@PuntJohnPunt) September 23, 2018