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IU Football Will Take On Ohio State, Look To Continue 4-Game Winning Streak

Indiana quarterback Michael Penix awaits the snap during Saturday's game against Penn State at Memorial Stadium.

Indiana quarterback Michael Penix awaits the snap during a game against Penn State at Memorial Stadium. (Adam Pinsker/WTIU)

For all that has gone wrong in 2020, everything is going right for the Indiana football team.

The Hoosiers shut out Michigan State on Saturday to improve to 4-0 and move up to No. 9 in the latest Associated Press poll.

It’s the highest Indiana has been ranked since 1967, when the Hoosiers went to the Rose Bowl and finished as the fourth-ranked team in the nation.

The win over the Spartans allowed the Hoosiers to reclaim the Old Brass Spittoon trophy for the first time since 2016 and was IU’s first win in East Lansing since 2001.

"It has been a tough place for us to win over the years, and to get a shutout here is pretty special,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “​That does not happen very often and to get our fifth Big Ten win in a row, fourth of the season, it is a pretty awesome thing.​"

Dating back to last season, it was the Hoosiers’ ninth win in their last 11 Big Ten games.

And it sets up a top-10 showdown this Saturday on national television against No. 3 Ohio State in Columbus, where Indiana will be a three-touchdown underdog.

Allen, already emotional after announcing his son, linebacker Thomas Allen, would miss the remainder of the season with a fractured hip, chafed at the perceived lack of respect for the program.

“I don’t care what anyone says about this stinking game; we’re going to fight; we’re going to compete. And the good Lord willing, we’re going to find a way, keep proving everybody wrong,” Allen said.

The Buckeyes have arguably the best quarterback in the nation in Justin Fields. The 6-foot-3, 228-pound junior has completed 87% of his passes and thrown for 908 yards and 11 touchdowns, with no interceptions, for the 3-0 Buckeyes.

But Ohio State has much more talent than Fields.

“Ohio State has been the standard bearer for this conference, and it has been that way for a long, long time,” Allen said. “But at the end of the day, it’s who’s going to play a high level of football for 60 minutes and find a way to make more plays than the other team. And that’s what we have to do.”

Saturday in East Lansing, that’s what the Hoosiers did. And it put Indiana in a position few thought possible.

But not Allen.

“You tell recruits and their parents and our coaches, the vision you have for Indiana University football, and where we can be,” Allen said. “This is part of it, you have an opportunity to play in tremendous venues, high level games with championships on the line, and opportunities to compete for the Big Ten championships.

"So, that's what this is all about. And even though others haven't shared in our belief that we can do that here. That's never wavered for me.”

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