Indiana Hoosiers gives Michigan State Spartans football team the silent treatment about naming starting quarterback

Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III, left, runs past Rutgers linebacker Drew Singleton during the first half on Saturday in Piscataway, N.J. Michigan State won 31-13. (AP photo)

Indiana coach Tom Allen is staying relatively quiet this week.

He’s not talking about his options at quarterback for Saturday’s home game against No. 10 Michigan State and he’s certainly not going to provide practice updates on injured starter Michael Penix Jr. or backup Jack Tuttle.

Allen thinks it’s more beneficial to keep his decision secret secret until kickoff.

“Jack, as always, will be ready to go,” he said, declining to expand on Penix’s status. “That’s been something that’s one of his strengths, his ability to be locked in and focused, and prepare at a high level, no matter what role he’s asked to perform.”

Tuttle started two games last season in place of Penix, leading the Hoosiers to a victory at Wisconsin in Indiana’s regular-season finale before losing to Ole Miss in last season’s Outback Bowl, finishing the game with a separated throwing shoulder.

Now it’s Penix with the separated throwing shoulder joint that could keep him out as the Hoosiers (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten) try to right their season.

A year ago, Indiana recaptured the Old Brass Spittoon by shutting out Michigan State 24-0 in East Lansing. But this season, they’ve lost three times to teams currently ranked in the top seven and they’re about to face a foe making one of the nation’s biggest turnarounds.

Kenneth Walker leads the nation in rushing at 152.2 yards per game. Quarterback Payton Thorne and receiver Jalen Nailor appear to be in perfect alignment after last week’s impressive showing against Rutgers.

Add a defense allowing 19.3 points per game and it’s easy to see why Michigan State (6-0, 3-0) shares the East Division lead with No. 6 Ohio State and No. 8 Michigan.

Next up, though, may be he Spartans’ biggest obstacle yet by reclaiming the prized trophy on the road, against a team coming off a bye and hungry to prove last season’s magic was not an aberration.

“As I told the team, we’re expecting them to be better than we’ve seen on tape,” Spartans coach Mel Tucker said. “We’re expecting them to be at their very best, rested and ready.”


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