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Michigan State Spartans vs. Indiana Hoosiers Free Pick 10/12/13

Indiana Hoosiers (3-2) at Michigan State Spartans (4-1)

College Football: Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Spartan Stadium)

The Line: Michigan State Spartans -9.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: BTN HD

The Indiana Hoosiers look to keep the momentum rolling this weekend as the Hoosiers head to East Lansing to face the Spartans.

The Michigan State Spartans are currently 4-1 on the year, and are coming off a solid win against the Iowa Hawkeyes this past weekend.  The Spartans defeated the Hawks 26-14, thanks in large part to some solid quarterback play from Connor Cook.  It seems that the Spartans found their quarterback after some controversy earlier in the season.  Against Iowa, Cook completed 25/44 for 277 yards and two scores.  This is obviously more attempts than the MSU coaches would like to have their quarterback attempt during a game, but the Hawks did a good job of stuffing the MSU ground game, holding the Spartans to just 3.6 yards per attempt.  The Spartans are built around solid defense, and while Cook was solid under center, the defense was the story here for the Spartans.  Michigan State held the Hawkeyes to just 264 yards on the day, frustrating Jake Rudock, who was under center for the Hawkeyes.  The Spartan defense did an excellent job against the Hawkeye ground game, and if it weren’t for some blown plays late in the first half, the Spartans could have pitched a shutout against Iowa on Saturday.

Michigan State Spartans vs. Indiana Hoosiers Free Pick 10/12/13

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Hoosiers weren’t big underdogs to the Nittany Lions this past weekend, but the Hoosiers still weren’t being taken too seriously around the nation.  That all changed in Happy Valley on Saturday.  The Hoosiers and their dangerous offense took care of business against the Nittany Lions, defeating Penn State 44-24.  The Hoosiers put up 486 yards of offense against the Penn State defense on the day, with quarterback Nate Sudfeld looking real solid, completing 23/38 for 321 yards and two scores.  The ground attack was also successful for the Hoosiers, rushing for 150 yards on 41 attempts.  The Hoosiers offense has been good for awhile, but their defense has been their Achilles heel.  While the Hoosier defense was far from perfect on Saturday against PSU, Indiana made plays when they needed.  On the year the Hoosiers are ranked 73rd in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 30 points per game on average, and even though their offense is one of the best, if not the best in the conference, until this team can learn to shut opponents down, the Hoosiers will not likely make any serious run at the Big Ten title.

The Hoosiers are just 2-10 SU in their last 12 road games, and the Hoosiers are just 1-8 overall in their last nine games against the Spartans.  The Hoosiers are also just 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games on the road against the Spartans.  Michigan State is 2-9 against the number in their last 11 home games, and the total has gone under in 9 of the last 11 home games for MSU.

I’m going to have to back the Spartans in this spot.  The Hoosiers are dangerous offensively, but I just can’t trust this defense.  Indiana definitely is the flashier of the two teams, but the Spartans have the best defense in the Big Ten, and one of the best in the nation this season.  The Hoosiers will definitely be on the Spartans radar after Indiana’s win against Penn State, and now that the Spartans look to finally have a quarterback solidified, I look for this offense to improve.  And what better defense to begin that improvement against than Indiana’s.  The Hoosiers likely keep it close for awhile, but look for the Spartans to pull away in the second half.

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Michigan State -9.5

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