Connect with us


Indiana Football Game Preview: Michigan State – key storylines, injury report, how to watch



Indiana football
Previewing Indiana football vs Michigan State by looking at key storylines, injury reports, how to watch and other updates. (Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)

With two games left in the regular season, there is plenty to play for as the first of two trophy games arrives with the Battle for the Brass Spittoon on Saturday (Nov. 18) inside Memorial Stadium when the Indiana football program hosts the Michigan State Spartans. The 66th showdown for the spittoon will kick at noon on Big Ten Network.

In the final home game of the 2023 season, Indiana will honor its seniors in a pregame ceremony.

With bowl eligibility now not an option at this point in time, Indiana will be looking to build momentum heading into the offseason.

Below is the full game preview of everything you need to know about Saturday’s matchup.

Key Storylines

Last week was frustrating and the defense did let the offense down

Last week’s loss to Illinois was easily the most frustrating loss of the season for Indiana, and that is saying something. As the Hoosiers entered into their easiest stretch of the season with winnable game plus the way the offense had been clicking, the chance for Indiana football to make a bowl game was there.

However, there was a let down. Was is the coaching staff? No. Did the offense come back down to earth? No.

What was it you wonder? It was the unit that that was easily the strongest part of this Indiana football program the whole season, the defense.

“That’s just unacceptable,” Allen said. “We worked really hard to get our offense on track and made a lot of adjustments. Coach (Rod) Carey did a great job with that (offensive) unit to produce that amount of points … Call it what it is, the defense let this team down today. That’s the bottom line. Period.”

Brendan Sorsby was 22-of-33 for 289 yards and had five total touchdowns (two rushing). He also had 56 yards on the ground. Illinois finished with 662 total yards of offense. That yardage is tied for the most that an Indiana football defense had given up since Tom Allen took over the Indiana program in 2017.

Just overall it was frustrating to watch. If the Indiana defense was just half of what they had been all season, Indiana would be going into this game with a real shot making a bowl.

There is a chance for a bounce back performance from the Indiana defense. They may not be playing to a postseason, but they are for pride, which brings me to my next point….

Playing for pride at this point

Yes, there are trophies on the line this season, the Brass Spittoon and the Old Oaken Bucket. But in reality, the main thing that the Hoosiers are playing for the rest of this season is pride.

No one knows what the offseason is going to lead to for the Indiana football program, however you still want to look at the last two games as opportunities to build momentum. Indiana also has a real shot to improve their win total from a season ago if they are able to win out.

It does suck for Indiana that they have no shot for a postseason when there were so many opportunities for one. However now, it is all about leaving it on the field and building for the future.

Fight with some pride.

Read: The Brendan Sorsby, Rod Carey duo and ‘gradual improvement’ provides glimmer of hope in otherwise difficult Indiana football season

Matchup History

The 66th Battle for the Brass Spittoon will take place at Memorial Stadium on Saturday between Indiana and Michigan State on Big Ten Network at noon. The all-time series sits at 49-18-2 in favor of MSU, with a 49-15-1 edge for the Spartans for the spittoon.

After a 2022 double-overtime victory at Spartan Stadium, Indiana will look to retain the brass spittoon for back-to-back seasons for the first time since it won three straight between 1967-69.

The Battle for the Brass Spittoon began with the 1950 meeting and the two schools have met in 66 of the last 74 seasons, which includes 13 straight seasons. During that stretch, the two teams did not meet in 1971-72, 1979-80, 1999-2000 and 2009-10. The road team has won each of the last three meetings with Indiana winning in East Lansing during the 2020 and 2022 campaigns and Michigan State winning at Memorial Stadium in 2021.

Quick Hitters: Early breakdown and initial thoughts on Michigan State

Injury Updates


WR Cam Camper: Tom Allen announced that the Indiana football wide receiver will be out for the rest of the season due to a procedure done on his leg.

WR Omar Cooper Jr.: Cooper missed last week’s game. He is questionable for this week.

DB Noah Pierre: No status update on the senior DB. He has missed the last few games. He is questionable, but not expected to play.

More: Michigan State looking to ‘finish’ this year against Indiana football

Quick Hitters

Who?: Indiana (3-7, 1-6 Big Ten) vs Michigan State (3-7, 1-6 Big Ten)

When?:Saturday, Nov. 18 | Noon ET

Where?: Memorial Stadium (Bloomington, Ind.)


Radio: Indiana Hoosiers Sports Network

Spread: Indiana football is a 4.5-favorite.

SEE ALSO: Indiana Football Stock Report Week 12: Who’s trending up? Who’s trending down?

Make sure to follow Hoosier Illustrated, part of the Full Ride Network, on Twitter @Indiana_FRN, Facebook and YouTubeto stay up to date on all of the news, updates and coverage of Indiana University athletics. You can also listen to the Talking’ Bout the Hoosiers podcast on Spotify.

Kyler Staley is a Basketball Recruiting Analyst for Hoosier Illustrated, a comprehensive site covering news, updates and recruiting for Indiana University athletics. Kyler has been in the basketball recruiting industry since 2019 and is a credentialed media member. He has covered Indiana since 2021 while continuing to also work for Prep Hoops Indiana. He has previously worked for Rivals.