Ohio State 26, Michigan State 6
What Happened: A tight game opened up big because of … the punting game? Ohio State pinned the Spartans deep over and over again, with MSU giving away a safety by snapping the ball out of the end zone late in the third quarter for a 9-6 lead. That lead to a run of 19 unanswered Buckeye points as the field was tilted the rest of the way.
The Buckeye defense came up with a fumble recovery in the end zone, and Mike Weber ran for a score to finally put the game away. MSU managed three Matt Coughlin field goals.
What Mattered: Ohio State P Drue Chrisman only averaged 38 yards per punt, but he took over the game putting six kicks inside the 20. Michigan State could never get the offense going buried deep time and again. Rocky Lombardi completed 7-of-20 passes for 92 yards, and Brian Lewerke completed 11-of-28 passes for 128 yards with a pick.
– Michigan State managed just 54 rushing yards, and 47 of them came on one Lombardi run. other than that. The Spartans ran 17 times for seven yards. On the plus side, Cody White caught eight passes for 115 yards.
– Dwayne Haskins completed 24-of-39 passes for 227 yards and a score, and Mike Weber ran 22 times for 104 yards with a pick. The Spartans came into this game No. 1 in the nation in run defense, and OSU finished with 120 yards on the ground.
What It All Means: Michigan State is already bowl eligible, but it would’ve been nice to come up with one big win to go along with the one big really good win over Penn State. With Nebraska and Rutgers to go, there’s a shot at a nine-win season, but after the Michigan loss a few weeks ago, beating OSU would’ve made the year.
– Survive and advance. It’s all still there for the Ohio State, needing to get by the Maryland running game on the road to get to Michigan Week at 11-1 with a shot at the Big Ten title and the College Football Playoff still possible. The team might not look all that impressive, but go 12-1, win the Big Ten Championship, and the odds are terrific that everything else will work out.
NEXT: Nebraska 54, Illinois 35