Nov. 19, 2011
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -
Dre Muhammad recorded career highs with 73 yards and nine receptions to lead Indiana, which lost to No. 12 Michigan State, 55-3.
Kirk Cousins threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns in just over a half and the Spartans clinched a berth in the inaugural Big Ten championship game.
Cousins finished 16 of 23, and now has 60 career touchdown passes, one short of Jeff Smoker's school record.
Michigan State finished with 470 total yards to 234 for Indiana, and forced the game's only two turnovers.
"It was a poor performance by us and Michigan State played very well," Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson said. "Our defense was pretty bad with missed tackles. Not very good play but credit to Michigan State, they came ready to play and they're a good team."
The Spartans scored on their first two possessions, thanks to a pair of big passes from Cousins to Cunningham. The first, a 37-yarder, led to a 21-yard field goal by Dan Conroy. On the second, the Indiana defense bit hard on a play-fake, leaving Cunningham alone behind the defense for a 63-yard score.
Michigan State made it 17-0 before the first quarter was over as Cousins hit Keshawn Martin on the sideline. Martin avoided two poor tackles and raced into the end zone for a 47-yard score.
A failed fake punt gave the Hoosiers good field position, but they were only able to turn it into a 22-yard field goal by Mitch Ewald. IU's career field goal percentage leader is now 12-of-15 (80 percent) on the season, 28-of-34 (82.4) in his career. Ewald is 8-of-9 (88.9) in Big Ten play this season and 19-of-22 (86.4) in his career.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Chase Hoobler had his second consecutive productive game, totaling six tackles and a quarterback hurry. He now has a total of 15 tackles in the last two games after racking up nine stops at Ohio State.
Nick Hill, though, returned the ensuing kickoff to the Indiana 24, and Martin took a sweep 19 yards for his second touchdown of the half.
Edwin Baker's 10-yard run made it 31-3 late in the second quarter, and another Conroy field goal put the Spartans up by 31 at the half.
After Cousins started the second half with the touchdown to Cunningham, Johnny Adams returned an interception 87 yards to give Michigan State a 48-3 lead. Baker's second touchdown provided the final margin.
Indiana closes out the 2011 campaign against Purdue. The Hoosiers look to retain the Old Oaken Bucket at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 26. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.
"We just have to use it to figure out who we are as a team," Wilson said of the Purdue game. "The rivalry is a part of it. The biggest rival I ever played was my high school rival. Everyone's got that big rivalry, and we are just lucky to have that big game every year and have a true great rivalry. We have to play better though; the game is mostly about us improving as a team."