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FINAL: Michigan State blows 17-point lead, falls to Indiana 39-31 in 2OT

November 19, 2022
Dexter Williams II, 5, during Michigan State’s last game at home against Indiana on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022 at Spartan Stadium. Indiana ultimately beat MSU, 39-31.
Dexter Williams II, 5, during Michigan State’s last game at home against Indiana on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022 at Spartan Stadium. Indiana ultimately beat MSU, 39-31. —
Photo by Chloe Trofatter | The State News

Possessing a 24-7 lead at the half, Michigan State succumbed to a furious second half rally from the visiting Indiana Hoosiers.

With the game tied at 31-31, the Spartans had a chance to win the game with a chip-shot field goal at the five with 0:02 seconds left in the game, but a miss from junior kicker Ben Patton sent the game to overtime. Both field goal attempts in the first overtime were blocked, but ultimately Indiana’s touchdown in double overtime proved to be the final nail in the coffin. 

The special teams' units were miserable for Michigan State, missing multiple field goals and allowing a kick-return for a touchdown in the second half. 

While the scoreboard might indicate a poor showing from the Spartans’ defense, the unit actually didn’t have a terrible afternoon. Turnovers, special teams' miscues and chunk plays kept the Hoosiers alive. Indiana managed a comically low 31 yards through the air, although the 257 rushing yards did just enough to keep the game within reach. 

After an impressive first half, Michigan State’s offense was choppy at best in the second. Redshirt junior quarterback Payton Thorne threw for 298 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Sophomore receiver Keon Coleman was the favorite target throughout the game, notching 107 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions. 

After giving up a touchdown on the opening drive of the night, the Spartans buckled down and dominated on both sides of the ball in the first half. 

The defense forced multiple three-and-outs, giving the offense prime field position time and time again. Each time, MSU cashed in on that solid starting position, driving down the field with a good mix of passing and rushing. The Spartans’ punting unit didn’t see the field through the first 30 minutes — the offense’s only stalled drive was a failed fourth down conversion near midfield. 

Indiana’s lone touchdown of the first half came courtesy of a quarterback keeper, as Dexter Williams II put on the burners and took off for a 34-yard touchdown run in the opening minutes of the game. 

Michigan State’s offense responded with a 73-yard drive, with the passing attack really driving the series. A flea flicker left Coleman wide open for a 39-yard reception on the very first play. Coleman also made a key catch on third and eight to keep the drive alive.

However, inside the two-yard line, MSU’s offense stalled out thanks to a couple of meager rushing attempts and a failed play-action pass. Patton kicked a 19-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 7-3. 

Following a drive from Indiana that stalled out at midfield, Michigan State’s offense started at the 10. Facing a fourth-and-1 after notching a few first downs, the Spartans elected to go run a pitch play that resulted in a loss of yards and a turnover on downs. 

However, MSU’s defense stood tall after the turnover, forcing a quick three-and-out. A terrible punt from Indiana gave the Spartans’ offense a start at MSU’s 36-yard line. 

Michigan State’s run game finally found some success on the ensuing drive, highlighted by a 29-yard run from redshirt sophomore running back Jalen Berger. The Spartans capped off the drive with a five-yard touchdown catch from redshirt sophomore tight end Maliq Carr. A pass intended for redshirt senior running back Elijah Collins in the flats slipped through his hands, tumbled through the air and found a wide-open Carr in the end zone. 

Indiana’s offense went nowhere on the next drive. Another poor punt put MSU’s offense at its own 31-yard line. Michigan State marched right down the field, flipping field position thanks to yet another impressive run from Berger. Collins punched it in at the goal line to extend the Spartans’ lead to 17-7. 

Defense forced yet another three-and-out, a nice punt return from senior wide receiver Jayden Reed put Michigan State at the Hoosiers’ 39-yard line. The Spartans made Indiana pay for the poor special teams play, capping off a quick drive with a two-yard touchdown reception from Coleman. 

The second half started in a similar fashion to the first. Indiana found the end zone first, this time on a 79-yard touchdown from Shaun Shivers. But again, much like the first, Michigan State answered with a solid drive of its own. After the defense forced yet another three-and-out, MSU’s Collins notched his second touchdown of the afternoon on a rumbling 31-yard rush. 

However, the Hoosiers refused to go down without a fight. Directly following Collins’ second touchdown, Indiana responded with an 88-yard touchdown on a kick return to bring the game within 10 points. 

Indiana kept finding ways to hang around. On Michigan State’s first drive following the kick return, a deflected pass from Thorne was picked off, setting up the Hoosiers offense deep inside Spartan territory. 

But again, MSU’s defense held strong when it mattered. Indiana’s offense couldn’t get a first down and the visitors settled for a field goal, cutting the lead down to seven. 

After notching just one first down, Michigan State sent the ball right back to the Indiana offense. The Hoosiers went marching down the field, thanks in large part to the mobility of Williams, eventually punching it in at the goal line to even the score 31-31. 

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Michigan State put together what looked to be a promising drive following Indiana’s tying touchdown. After a couple of first downs put the offense inside the Hoosiers’ 30, MSU turned the ball over on downs on a failed deep pass on fourth and second. 

With possession just outside of the red zone and under two minutes left in the game, Michigan State had a chance to escape with a victory. A clutch catch from Carr on fourth-and-2 kept the drive alive, and a couple of effective runs from Collins set up MSU inside the five-yard line. 

However, Patton missed the chip-shot field goal and sent the game into overtime. 

On the first possession of overtime, Michigan State managed just one first down before settling for the field goal. After a high snap, Patton’s kick was blocked, and all Indiana needed was a field goal to win it. 

After notching a couple of first downs, it seemed as though it was all over for Michigan State. However, the Hoosier’s attempt was blocked, sending the game to double overtime. 

Indiana scored first in double overtime, tacking on a two-point conversion to take a 39-31 lead. Michigan State failed to answer, and Indiana walked away with the victory.


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