Michigan State, Indiana try to salvage lost seasons in battle for the Brass Spittoon

Indiana Illinois Football
Posted at 9:41 AM, Nov 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-17 09:41:00-05

For two teams eliminated from bowl contention, this may seem like a meaningless game. Not to these programs. Michigan State has lost seven of eight and is trying to right what's been a disasterous season with its first road win. Indiana is riding the momentum of stringing together its three best games over the last three weeks. And the winner heads home with the prized Old Bass Spittoon.

Indiana QB Brendan Sorsby vs. Spartans pass defense. Sorsby has given this offense hope since becoming the starter in mid-October. He's completed more than 60% of his throws each of the past three weeks and has eight TD passes and two interceptions in his last four games — all starts. The Hoosiers finish the season against the Big Ten's two worst pass defenses and Michigan State has allowed a league-high tying 19 TD throws.


Michigan State: QB Katin Houser. After losing the preseason competition with opening-day starter Noah Kim, the redshirt freshman has gotten his shot.
He has started five straight games
and was 12 of 24 for 92 yards in last week’s loss at No. 3 Ohio State (No. 1 CFP). Houser should have a better chance at success against the Hoosiers defense.

Indiana: WR Donaven McCulley. While Sorsby has been a major component in the Hoosiers offensive rebirth, so has McCulley.
The converted quarterback
had 20 catches for 234 yards and one TD after eight games. Over the last three, Sorsby and McCulley have become quite the combination. They've hooked up 20 times for 300 yards and four scores.


Indiana has won two of the last three in this series but hasn't won the Spittoon three times in a four-year span since claiming it each year from 1967-69. ... Michigan State and Indiana are the Big Ten's only one-win teams heading into the final two weeks of league play. The Spartans have failed to win two conference games only one time (2016) since 2007. ... The road team has won each of the last three meetings. ... Indiana failed to become bowl eligible for the third straight season. Michigan State will sit out for the second straight year. ... The Spartans beat Maryland two weeks ago for interim coach Harlon Barnett’s first win. ... LB Aaron Casey has at least one tackle for loss in seven of the Hoosiers last eight games and is on pace for Indiana's first 100-tackle season since Tegray Scales in 2016. ... Michigan State OG J.D. Duplain has started 40 straight games and 45 during his five-year career. ...
The Hoosiers scored a season-high 45 points
in last week's overtime loss at Illinois.