Indiana quarterback Richard Lagow caught a touchdown pass, threw for two more and took advantage of a second chance in overtime to set upGriffin Oakes for a 20-yard field goal and an improbable 24-21 victory over No. 17 Michigan State on Saturday night.
The Hoosiers (3-1, 1-0 Big Ten) trailed 14-0 late in the third quarter before Lagow's 5-yard TD catch on third-and-goal finally helped the Hoosiers turn the corner.
Indiana ended a seven-game losing streak in the series, reclaimed the Old Brass Spittoon for the first time since 2006, beat a ranked team at home for the first time in a decade and earned their first overtime win since 2010.
"At the end of the game, they call a guy for leaping. That was a good call," coach Kevin Wilson said. "That's how the officials are in this league."
It sure wasn't easy.
Michigan State kicker Michael Geiger missed 49-yard field goal to start overtime, and Oakes missed a 33-yard field goal on the ensuing possession when Michigan State's Drake Martinez was called for leaping to give Indiana a first down. This time, the Hoosiers finished it off, unlike last season when they lost to Michigan in overtime - after also giving up a tying score on fourth-and-goal in the waning seconds of regulation.
Michigan State (2-2, 0-2) has lost back-to-back games for the first time since November 2012 despite holding the usually high-scoring Hoosiers scoreless until the final minute of the third quarter.
The Spartans controlled the game most of the night until receiver Mitchell Paige threw a perfect pass across the field to Lagow for a 5-yard score in the final minute of the third quarter.
Lagow tied it with a 22-yard TD pass to Ricky Jones midway through the fourth quarter. Indiana took the lead with Lagow's 15-yard TD pass to Paige with 4:38 to play.
O'Connor answered with a 2-yard TD pass to Josiah Price with 11 seconds left but it wasn't enough.
"Great drive at the end of the game to tie it up, but not very good in overtime - that's for sure," coach Mark Dantonio said. "We were sacked twice, we jump over the pile. Very disappointed. Now we have to claw our way back into things."
Michigan State: The Spartans knew they were facing a big challenge after Connor Cook & Co. graduated. But nobody in East Lansing could have expected a 0-2 start in conference play. Now the defending Big Ten champs no longer control their own destiny, either, falling two games behind No. 2 Ohio State, No. 4 Michigan and unbeaten Maryland in the East Division.
Indiana: The Hoosiers turnaround continues. After making the postseason for the first time since 2007 last year, they have two trophies - the Old Oaken Bucket and the Old Brass Spittoon - on campus for the first time since 2001.
Michigan State: Next weekend, the Spartans get a brief respite from conference play when they host Brigham Young. But the Spartans can't afford to slip up now. With seven straight Big Ten games on the docket following after next week, they need to get some momentum.
Indiana: The Hoosiers head into Round 2 of a grueling three-round stretch with a huge victory. They'll visit No. 2 Ohio State next week, but the Hoosiers have posed some major challenges for the Buckeyes in recent years including a seven-point loss last season with a backup quarterback and a three-point loss in 2012. Indiana hasn't won in Columbus since 1987.