Redshirt sophomore quarterback Connor Cook came up with another huge day, throwing for 235 yards as he led the Michigan State Spartans (MSU) to a 42-28 win over the Indiana Hoosiers. Cook’s simmering performance comes a week after throwing for a career high 277 yards in a road win against Iowa. Cook compiled a 71% passing efficiency, going 22 for 31 with two touchdowns and an interception in front of the homecoming crowd at Spartan Stadium. Cook’s performance solidified his hold on the starting quarterback position and moves the Spartans to 2-0 in the Big Ten conference and 5-1 overall.
The matchup was a showcase between two of the conference’s best; the Spartans number one ranked defense against the Hoosiers second ranked offense, which came in averaging 44 points a contest. Early on, it looked like the Hoosiers would get the better of the matchup, as Hoosiers running back Tevin Coleman ripped off a 64 yard touchdown run on the fourth play from scrimmage, giving the Hoosiers their only lead of the day. From there however, the Spartans defense stiffened and held Coleman to 15 yards on 14 carries and Spartans running back Jeremy Langford took over from there.
Langford notched it at seven on the first of his four touchdowns at the beginning of the second quarter, running 11 yards after a nice catch out of the backfield. After the defense held Indiana on their next drive, the Spartans struck again, this time Cook hit wide out Bennie Fowler in stride, as he sprinted past Hoosier defenders to make it a 14-7 game. After being stopped again on their next possession, the Hoosiers caught a break as Matt Dooley recovered a Macgarrett Kings Jr. fumble on a punt return, at the Spartan 41. The Hoosiers needed only five plays to convert the turnover into a game tying touchdown. Before the Hoosiers could get comfortable though, the Spartans took a 21-14 lead into the half, as the Spartans went 75 yards on 14 plays, ending with a Langford five yard touchdown run.
The Spartans started the second half where they left off the first, scoring with the legs of Langford. This time MSU went seventy yards on nine plays, ending with Langford’s third touchdown, a two yard burst. The Hoosiers wouldn’t go away quietly however; they made it 28-21 on a Shane Wynn two yard romp. The seesaw battle continued as MSU answered right back with, you guessed it, another Langford tally. This time Langford showed his impressive speed, as he pulled away from the Hoosiers secondary on a 32 yard gallop. It was 35-21 MSU at that point, but with a full quarter remaining, the game was still in doubt.
After the Spartans defense did their job by forcing two consecutive Hoosier punts, the Spartans running attack finished off the exhausted Hoosier defense with ease; MSU dominated time of possession, holding the ball for 37:28 to Indiana’s 22:32. Freshmen running backs Delton Williams and R.J. Shelton combined for 73 yards on a three play drive, with Shelton getting the into the end zone on a 34 yard scamper. The Hoosiers didn’t score again until late in the fourth quarter, making the final a respectable 42-28 margin.
The Spartans began the day looking to erase the bitter taste from last year’s disappointing 0-4 conference home record and make a return trip to the Big Ten Championship game, as they did in 2011. With the offense breaking out of their old mold and the defense continuing it’s incredible play, the Spartans alumni went home thinking roses.
About the Author
Written by Andre' Wiegand
A life long Michigan State University Spartan fan! My grandfather played on the Spartan O-Line back in 1951 and my family has been Spartan fans since. 1999 M.S.U. graduate (JMC). Currently live in Grand Rapids, MI with my wife and two sons.