The Old Brass Spittoon might be the only thing Michigan State and Indiana are playing for when they meet Saturday in Bloomington, Ind.
Both teams enter the game with 3-7 records overall and 1-6 marks in the Big Ten East, and bowl eligibility is all but gone for each squad.
There is only hope of a 5-7 finish, which could potentially be enough for a Power 5 team to be chosen for a bowl game. But that’s a reality only if there aren’t enough 6-6 or better teams qualified for the bowl season.
Given all that, the big prize will be the Spittoon, a trophy the Spartans and Hoosiers play for annually in a tradition that began in 1950.
Each team enters eyeing a rebound after losing last week.
Michigan State was routed 38-3 at Ohio State.
The Spartans collected just 182 yards of total offense. Michigan State quarterback Katin Houser completed 12 of 24 passes for just 92 yards.
The Spartans have lost two of the past three meetings with the Hoosiers and hope to reclaim the Spittoon after losing at home last year in double overtime. Michigan State leads the all-time series 50-17-2.
“You have to finish,” Michigan State interim coach Harlon Barnett said of his team’s mindset. “Once you start something, you have to finish. That’s where we are now. We need to finish, regardless of what has happened or what’s going to happen in the future. We can control what we can control, and that’s finish.”
Indiana enters Saturday’s game coming off a 48-45 overtime loss at Illinois. This will be the last home game of the season for the Hoosiers.
Indiana coach Tom Allen said playing two trophy games will help get his team’s attention with a bowl game likely out of reach.
“We definitely have a lot to play for, and we understand that it’s a testament to your character as a person, as a team, and as a program when you don’t allow the circumstances on the outside to dictate your focus, your effort, how you do things on a daily basis, and eventually how you perform on game day,” Allen said.
“Great opportunity in front of us, and we’re excited about it.”
–Field Level Media
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