Although this day belonged to Michigan State, Indiana, under fourth-year coach Bill Mallory, has made huge strides during the season. "We have tried to sell the idea that we are serious about football," says Mallory. Indeed, for the first time in the Hoosiers' 103-year football history, they beat Ohio State and Michigan during the same season. Consider that Indiana had been 0-30-1 against the Buckeyes since 1952 and had lost 15 straight to the Wolverines. Says Mallory, "We had our jaws locked to have a good season." At 7-3, that's just what they've had, and it might have been even better if Kramme had not been forced to step in when starting quarterback Dave Schnell had an emergency appendectomy two weeks ago.
But the Hoosier turnaround has been overshadowed for now by the emergence of Michigan State, which has been propelled by that tough-on-tough defense. Why does it work, George? "The guys play over their heads," shouted Perles amid the bedlam of the Spartans' once too quiet locker room.