Check out the Ohio State vs. Michigan State fearless prediction and game preview.
Ohio State (9-1) vs. Michigan State (3-7) Game Preview
Date: Saturday, Nov. 19
Game Time: 12:00 pm
Venue: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
It turned out to be a playoff game.
Ohio State would’ve still had to beat Iowa in the Big Ten Championship, but as things shook out, Michigan State’s stunning win over the Buckeyes last year in Columbus was the equivalent of a play-in for the College Football Playoff.
For Ohio State, it might be an audition this year, too – but in a whole other way.
It’s the biggest question of the College Football Playoff speculation – what happens if Ohio State is 11-1, but there are four other Power 5 conference champions who actually got the job done?
If it’s a four-best-team theory, then OSU has to look like one of those four best teams, so style points count.
Obliterating Nebraska and Maryland by a combined score of 124-6 is building the case, but if Penn State wins its last two games – knocking the Buckeyes out of the Big Ten title chase – it’ll take dominant wins over Michigan State and Michigan to give the CFP committee no choice but to put them in.
And now it’s up to Michigan State to ruin all of that.
The Spartans finally looked like they were supposed to all year long, blowing away Rutgers in an air-tight 49-0 stomping last week with everything working right. While there’s an outside chance they can still go bowling with wins over OSU and PSU, and with the Academic Progress Rate a possible factor, the season is going to be over after the next two games.
But if they can ruin Ohio State’s season, and/or maybe screw up Penn State, that’ll have to do.
Michigan State is better than it’s looked, with a strong pass defense and a good enough run D for it to not be the problem, but the offense isn’t consistent enough, there are a way too many stalled drives, and there just aren’t enough big plays from the defense to turn things around.
Injuries are a problem, and getting good quarterback play week-in-and-week-out has been a major issue, but the team simply hasn’t been good enough against good teams, awful teams, and everything in between.
Ohio State stepped up its intensity over the last few weeks, with the offense finding the right gear with the ground game dominating, J.T. Barrett as sharp as a tack, and the defense coming up with stop after stop to take all the pressure off the O.
But it wasn’t all that long ago when the Buckeyes had problems at Wisconsin, collapsed at Penn State, and struggled against Northwestern.
So which Ohio State team will show up in East Lansing?
Michigan State will use the same playbook it came up with against Michigan. It’ll slow things down, coming with a few good, powerful runs to grind the game down, shorten things up, and try keeping the Ohio State offense off the field.
That’ll work for about a half, but the Buckeyes have too many weapons, too much athleticism, and too much talent. They had all that last year, too, and couldn’t get it done against the Spartans, but this season is obviously different.
The Buckeyes will win, but Michigan State will look okay in a good-fight loss.
Ohio State vs. Michigan State Prediction
Ohio State 38, Michigan State 20
Ohio State -22.5, o/u: 55
ATS Confidence: 5: Taco Bell Cinnabon Delights – 1: Chinese yuan … 3.5
Must See Rating: 5: Office Christmas Party – 1: Harry … 4