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Rapid Reaction: IU shuts down Michigan State, but there’s still room for improvement

Welcome to East Lansing in 2020. The Indiana Hoosiers have just shut down a Big Ten opponent on the road and fans are still not satisfied.

Let’s break down how Indiana was able to win this one:

Reese Taylor During Indiana’s win over Michigan State. (Ross Abdellah)

Defense:

Whenever you shut out an opponent obviously defense is going to be the first key we will point out. Defensively, the Hoosiers were on it from the get-go.

The defensive line was able to make Rocky Lombardi uncomfortable which ultimately lead to two first-half interceptions for Tiawan Mullen and a quarterback change for the Spartans.

The ability of this defense to constantly get stops and force team’s to change their gameplan have been huge already this season and will be huge the rest of the way.

Ty Fryfogle:

My goodness.

The offense started off sloppy and had major concerns early as the Hoosier offense was unable to drive the ball down the field. Then, Ty Fry happened.

Eleven catches on 14 targets, 200 yards and two touchdowns. Ty Fryfogle was able to provide Indiana with the offensive momentum needed to get this offense going.

Run Game and Offensive Consistency:

As usual, we have to close our rapid reaction with an area where we believe Indiana needs to improve drastically before next week’s matchup against Ohio State.

Indiana’s offensive consistency has plagued the team all season and while it has not cost them in the win column, eventually it could drag them down.

Indiana needs to be able to drive the ball down the field and be able to score at will if they truly want to earn that Top-10 team honor.

The run game down the middle was nearly non-existent Saturday and Indiana had to grind out every single yard it could get on the ground. The solution lies in the offensive line (who was short two starters Saturday) who must get more push upfront and be able to win at the line of scrimmage on a majority of plays.

If Indiana can create an offensive system that builds on the momentum and extend on long-lasting drives, this easily could become one of the most dangerous teams in the country.

In a Big Ten only schedule, any win is a great win. That should be the mood around Indiana fans after Saturday’s matchup. But this year you feel that this team has a little more in it. This team has the ability to compete with the best therefore they have the ability to be critiqued like the best.

A 24-0 win on the road is always great but leaving points on the board in the second half won’t work against better teams and in closer matchups down the way for Indiana. The coming weeks will bring some of Tom Allen’s biggest coaching challenges yet and it should be fun to watch.

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