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Stopping The Run Key For The Hoosiers Against #18 Michigan State

Indiana will face their third ranked opponent in four games this weekend against the Spartans.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana Hoosiers will face their third ranked opponent in four games this weekend when the head to East Lansing to take on #18 Michigan State.

The Hoosiers it .500 on the year after falling short in a close, overtime affair with the #7 Michigan Wolverines.

"Just tremendous fight, tremendous grit. Just love these guys, man," said IU head coach Tom Allen. They just -- they're doing everything we're asking. You play a team like that with that much talent, it comes down to those critical plays."

One of the those critical plays was the very last one in overtime when freshman quarterback Peyton Ramsey was unable to convert on a pass into the end zone on 4th down at the Wolverines 3-yard line trailing 27-20. Allen says in spite of all that his young quarterback did everythin expected of him.

"I thought that Peyton showed tremendous -- same thing, grit, toughness, competitiveness, made some really key throws," Allen continued. " He protected the football, which was a big key to us wanting to be able to control the field position and not put ourselves behind, and that was not always easy to do."

Ramsey did throw two interceptions to go along with a touchdown pass on 20-of-41 for 178 yards.

Now setting their sights on the bass spittoon, a traditional trophy started in 1950 between the Spartans and the Hoosiers, Michigan State holds a 45-16-2 advantage in the overall series and is coming off of a narrow victory over Minnesota.

"They won 30-27 last week, and win by a field goal here, by a touchdown there," Allen said of the Spartans' season. "I think that their quarterback play has been improved a lot. I see the receivers being more consistent, and they've established the run, ran the ball really well last week against Minnesota."

Michigan State is the third best rushing offense in the Big Ten led by junior running back LJ Scott. Indiana has struggled against the run this year, giving up an average of 4.1 yards per carry, the eighth most in the conference.

Kickoff this Saturday in East Lansing at 3:30 p.m. EDT on 107.5 and 1070 The Fan.

(PHOTO: Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

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