EAST LANSING, Mich. — Another week, another win. The Indiana Hoosiers, already ranked No. 10 in the country, are 4-0.
Unlike last week, when Indiana scored on the first drive against No. 23 Michigan, the Hoosiers started off a little choppy this afternoon. QB Michael Penix Jr. threw an interception on the first drive of the game, and in fact, threw two picks before halftime. Penix Jr. only had one INT all season before the two giveaways.
Penix Jr. had an outstanding day overall. He routinely connected with senior WR Ty Fryfogle to the tune of nine receptions, 178 yards, and two touchdowns in the first half alone. Remember, Fryfogle had an excellent first half against the Wolverines last week, recording all seven receptions for 142 yards in that contest before the break. Overall, Fryfogle had 11 catches for 200 yards in the game, a total good for the 6th-highest single-game performance in IU football history. Penix finished 25-of-38, for 320 yards.
Defensively, the Hoosiers locked down the Michigan State offense all afternoon. The Spartans switched QBs from Rocky Lombardi to Payton Thorney in the second quarter. Neither quarterback showed much effectiveness during the contest. The Hoosiers’ defense, as was the case through three games this season, continued the trend of taking the ball away. MSU had four turnovers on the afternoon, including three interceptions.
DBs Tiawan Mullen and Reese Taylor played lockdown coverage on the boundary for Indiana all day. Mullen had his first two interceptions of his career in the ballgame, while Taylor nearly took a Thorne pass all the way back to the end zone. Lombardi threw two passes to Mullen; he didn’t complete more than one to any of his receivers on the day.
Overall, MSU had just 191 yards of total offense, while IU won the time of possession battle, 39:14 to 20:46.
Player of the Game: While Penix and Fryfogle certainly deserve plenty of attention, Tiawan Mullen not only snagged two interceptions, but they came as his first two picks of his career. Mullen also showed his usual excellent coverage skills against MSU receivers Ricky White and Jalen Nailor, who were held catchless through three quarters.
Up next: Buckle up. No. 10 Indiana heads to Columbus to take on the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes. OSU had their game against Maryland canceled on Saturday, so the Buckeyes have an extra few days to prepare for the Hoosiers. The game will start at noon ET on FOX. The Hoosiers fell to OSU, 51-10, last season.
Featured Image: Indiana University Athletics