BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – (AP) — Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio went deep into his bag of tricks Saturday night.
Brian Lewerke made each one look like magic.
The junior quarterback threw two touchdown passes, had his first career reception and made a perfectly timed pitch to kicker Matt Coghlin for a 6-yard touchdown run, helping the 24th-ranked Spartans pull away from Indiana 35-21.
“I felt like this would be the time and I told our guys ‘don’t be surprised if we fake one,'” coach Mark Dantonio said. “I don’t want to let them down too often, so that’s what we did.”
Michigan State (2-1, 1-0 Big Ten) desperately needed the win after narrowly escaping Utah State before losing on a late field goal at Arizona State two weeks ago.
The ensuing bye week helped the Spartans make corrections — and allowed them to plug in a couple of surprising new play that also made a difference.
Lewerke’s stellar start and Shakur Brown’s 69-yard interception return for a TD helped the Spartans take a 21-7 halftime lead and then after catching a 6-yard pass from receiver Cody White in the third quarter, Lewerke saw Coghlin uncovered on a fake field goal and quickly flipped the ball to the unsuspecting sophomore kicker.
With the setback Indiana fell to 3-1 on the season. The Hoosiers will travel to Rutgers for another Big Ten matchup next Saturday.