Indiana Comes Up Short In Wild Big Ten Opener
Sept. 27, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - Javon Ringer rushed for 198 yards and scored one touchdown Saturday, while Brian Hoyer ran for one TD and threw for two more to lead the Spartans past Indiana 42-29.
It was a wild, wacky game for the Old Brass Spittoon. There were two safeties, three replay reviews, a blocked punt, and Kellen Lewis and Spartans quarterback Hoyer each threw career-long touchdown passes.
But the strangest, and most important play, came late in the third quarter when Indiana's backup quarterback, Ben Chappell, connected with Terrance Turner for a 97-yard touchdown pass that appeared to give Indiana the lead. Instead, right guard Cody Faulkner was called for holding in the end zone, giving Michigan State a safety and a 36-29 lead.
Indiana never recovered from the nine-point swing, losing its second straight game.
Michigan State hasn't lost since its opener against California.
But nothing went according to the script.
All week the buzz surrounded Ringer, who had rushed for 200 yards in two straight games and had a record three straight conference offensive player of the week awards. But Indiana stuck to its game plan, forcing Ringer to carry 44 times and barely prevented him from topping 200 again - much of that coming when the Spartans were trying to protect a fourth-quarter lead.
Hoyer had no problem playing the feature role. He finished 14-of-26 for 261 yards, scored on a 1-yard plunge to wipe out Indiana's 7-6 lead and hooked up with Mark Dell on a 14-yard TD pass and Charlie Gantt on an 82-yard score before the first half ended.
Michigan State never trailed again but struggled to put away the Hoosiers.
Marcus Thigpen scored on TD runs of 6 and 78 yards and caught a 79-yard TD pass from Lewis. He finished with 113 yards rushing and 94 receiving, while Lewis was 12-of-21 for 177 yards despite missing more than a quarter with a left leg injury.
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