The Indiana football program has lost seven straight games and 17 of their last 22 since last season. How embarrassing is that?
Since beating Western Kentucky in Week 3, 33-30, the Hoosiers have been outscored by their opponents 274-133. A 141-point differential in seven games, which comes out to being outscored by 20.1 points per game.
That would possibly be understandable in seven games if Indiana football were playing at least five or six ranked opponents. Only three of those seven games were against ranked opponents (No. 4 Michigan, No. 16 Penn State, and No. 2 Ohio State).
Now for Michigan State, since the loss and incident against No. 4 Michigan, the Spartans are 2-0, with an impressive 23-15 victory over then-ranked No. 14 Illinois on November 5. Michigan State is on somewhat of a roll as they approach their home game against the Hoosiers on Saturday.
Could the Hoosiers play spoiler for a potential bowl bid for the Spartans? With a win for Michigan State on Saturday, they would reach win number six and earn themselves a bid to a bowl game after a disappointing 2022 season.
Michigan State leads the all-time series against Indiana football, 50-15-2, winning 11 of the last 13 games. The Hoosiers have not won a road game in East Lansing since October 1, 2016, where Indiana beat No. 17 Michigan State, 24-21.
With all of this in mind as we approach another Indiana football game on Saturday, here are my bold predictions for the Hoosiers against the Spartans:
Three bold predictions for Indiana football vs. Michigan State
#3. Dexter Williams II goes for 200+ passing yards and 50+ rushing yards
In last weekend’s game against No. 2 Ohio State, Williams II came in after five pass attempts and a fumble from Connor Bazelak and played the rest of the game as QB1.
Williams II totaled 107 passing yards on 6-for-19 throwing and two touchdown passes with a QB rating of 46.2. Adding to that, he was a threat in the running game as well, racking up a team-high 46 rushing yards on 16 carries.
In this upcoming game on Saturday against Michigan State, Williams II should be QB1 from the jump and will total at least 200 passing yards and 50 rushing yards. The Spartans’ defense has allowed 200+ passing yards to quarterbacks in seven of their 10 games this season, including two straight games against Illinois and Rutgers.
#2. AJ Barner records at least five catches for 60 yards and 1 TD
Last game against Ohio State, Barner registered four catches for eight yards and one touchdown catch at the end of the first quarter. All four of Barner’s receptions came in the first half and was only targeted twice in the entire second half.
Over his past three games, Barner has totaled 11 receptions for 43 yards and two touchdowns, with both of his touchdown passes coming against two of the top defenses in the country (No. 16 Penn State and No. 2 Ohio State).
The Spartans have struggled to cover tight ends over the past two weeks, allowing Johnny Langan (Rutgers TE) to go for five receptions for 73 yards and Illinois tight ends (Tip Reiman, Luke Ford, and Michael Marchese) a total 7 catches for 72 yards on November 5.
Look for Barner to get a lot of targets and hopefully at least five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown against Michigan State with Dexter Williams II under center.
#1. Aaron Casey is all over the field with 12+ tackles and a forced fumble
Against No. 2 Ohio State, one of the best offenses in the country, Casey led the Hoosiers’ defense with 10 total tackles and six solo tackles, along with a tackle for loss and pass deflected. Without Casey, Tom Allen’s defense would be in complete shambles.
This season, Aaron Casey has played in all 10 games and leads all Indiana football defenders in total tackles (79), solo tackles (49), and tackles for loss (10.0). Casey is tied for first in forced fumbles (two) and tied for second in assisted tackles (30).
As we approach yet another game without our star linebacker, Cam Jones, Casey will finish this game against Michigan State with quite the impact. Expecting at least 12 tackles and another forced fumble to help establish some sort of dominance for this Indiana football defense.