Go Rison, Go White: Michigan State Freshmen Huge in Win for Bowl Eligibility
They didn't make any of the scoring plays for Michigan State, but make no mistake, the Spartans do not return the Old Brass Spittoon to East Lansing without freshman wide receivers Cody White and Hunter Rison.
Three quarters into the game when it was 6-3 Indiana and even into the 4th quarter when MSU went down six points, the Spartans did not quit. 4th quarter heroics from the offense get Michigan State their 6th win of the season, beating Indiana 17-9.
In the midst of a field goal fest, Cody White was getting his feet wet with a consistent amount of plays. His work running routes and blocking downfield earned him spots where he was the only wideout on the field for a set play. That's high praise for a young wide receiver in Dantonio's system.
White also ended up being the co-leader in scrimmage yards in the game with 102 (six receptions on seven targets for 99 receiving yards and one carry for three yards). He ended up tied with LJ Scott (87 rushing yards, 15 receiving yards) in the game.
Hunter Rison's day on the other han saw him come up as captain clutch.
Rison's line is not that impressive on it's own, two catches for 13 yards. But considering that both of those catches came in the fourth quarter and resulted in first downs to either keep the clock moving or keep a drive alive when MSU was down and you see easily how important he was in the win.
Michigan State's defense did not force any turnovers but held an uptempo Indiana offense to only 253 yards. They also prevented touchdowns through the entire game, which included multiple trips to the red zone for IU.
Both defenses were frustrating the opposing offenses but in the end it was the Spartans who came out making the plays at the end to seize the game and win. Both Michigan State and Indiana averaged 3.7 yards per play.
The Spartans ended up running more plays than Indiana 74-69 and held the ball for almost 10 minutes more than the Hoosiers. Michigan State was also the more disciplined team in this game, only committing three penalties for 35 yards, while Indiana committed 10 for 115 yards.
Michigan State still controls their own destiny to the Big Ten Championship game and beyond with this win moving them to 4-0 in the Big Ten. Big games with Ohio State and Penn State back-to-back still loom large on the schedule, but next up for MSU is a road game at Northwestern.