Michigan St. 31, Indiana 13
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) _ Michigan State’s offense didn’t need much time to warm up.
Playing in frigid, windy and snowy Memorial Stadium, the Spartans scored touchdowns the first three times they touched the ball, beating Indiana 31-13 on Saturday.
Michigan St. (6-3-1, 4-2-1 Big Ten) had possession of the ball only 24 seconds in the opening period, but a 58-yard touchdown run by Marc Renaud on the first play gave the Spartans a 7-0 lead.
Two minutes later, Scott Greene took an Indiana punt 76 yards for the second touchdown.
The Hoosiers (2-7, 0-6) closed within 14-7 on a 5-yard touchdown run by Alex Smith on the next series, but Derrick Mason returned the following kickoff 87 yards 8 seconds later for the third Spartans touchdown and a 21-7 lead.
Mason also returned a third-quarter kickoff 61 yards, setting up a 4-yard TD pass from Tony Banks to Marcus Chapman.
With the temperature falling below freezing and the wind gusting to 45 mph at the start of the game, the Hoosiers were able to move the ball effectively on the ground with Smith, who missed the previous four games with broken ribs.
But the Hoosiers lost the ball three times on downs, and twice missed field goal attempts by Will Horn.
Michigan State had another chance to score early in the second quarter after Indiana punter Alan Sutkowski mishandled a snap, giving the Spartans the ball at the Hoosiers 23.
Indiana held on downs, however, and threatened another score of their own with an 8-minute drive. Smith had 40 yards on that series as Indiana reached the Michigan State 11, but he was dazed on a hard stop by Marvin Wright and had to be helped off the field as the Spartans took over on downs.
Smith set an NCAA record with 22 carries in the first quarter, and had 147 yards before he left with four minutes to go in the half.
In the third quarter, with most of the sparse crowd of 24,027 already departed, Smith returned on Indiana’s first possession after a 23-yard field goal by Chris Gardner put Michigan State up 24-7.
Smith finished with 183 yards on 44 carries.
Indiana’s second touchdown came on a 31-yard interception return by Joey Eloms late in the third period, but after Mason’s 61-yard kickoff return, it took the Spartans only four plays to score again on the pass to Chapman.