Game 10 Recap: Ohio State 26 – Michigan State 6
This game felt like an old school Big Ten game, with both teams defenses not giving up and inch, and punts galore for the chess match of field position. Michigan State had some health issues on the offensive side of the ball, and that helped build some confidence for the Silver Bullet defense, but at the same time, the Buckeyes kept the game in front of them, and with the exception of a missed offensive pass interference call and a big scramble, they did not give up big plays. The defense does seem to have turned it around some since the bye week, and that could be a result of Brendon White who has had two big games and helping out in the secondary.
Dwayne Haskins did not have his best game, but will was able to throw for 227 yards and a touchdown against the aggressive Spartan defense. He didn’t seem as comfortable in the pocket, as the Ohio State offensive line had some issues with the Michigan State front 4. He had some high thrown balls, but the weather and wind could also have been a factor. He didn’t hurt his Heisman chances with this game, but he also didn’t help bolster it with a good performance. Luckily he still has the Michigan game to make a statement. We also got to see a Tate Martell package in the red zone. If the Buckeyes keep doing that, they need to make sure he is going in with momentum or a flow of the game, not cold.
Mike Weber was a man amongst boys. I am not sure if the Ohio State coaching staff just didn’t see the middle was not open for the running game, but once the runs to the outside of the tackles were called, both Weber and Dobbins were able to get bigger chunks. Against the number 1 rushing defense, Weber was able to run for 104 yards on 22 carries, and a touchdown in the last minutes to seal the victory.
Our receivers did a solid job in the weather conditions, minus a few dropped passes. Terry McLaurin was all everything for the Buckeyes as he lead the team in receiving yards with 63, and a key moment was a big third down conversion where he stretched for the first down. He also shined on special teams, where he was a big reason why Ohio State was able to pin Michigan State within their own 6 yard line of 5 punts. Parris Campbell scored the lone receiving touchdown on a jet sweep near the goal line.
It wasn’t a perfect game, and it wasn’t a pretty game, but the 20 point win on the road and in those conditions have to help the Buckeyes with their confidence heading into the last two weeks of the season. There is still plenty to work on, but they should feel better about the matchup against Maryland this week, and then The Game next week.
Early in the 4th quarter, and pinned back on their own 2 yard line, Michigan State had a bad snap and fumbled the ball in the end zone which the Ohio State defense was able to recover and increasing their lead to 16-6. In a game where yardage was at a premium, and the way both defenses were playing, the 2 score lead all but sealed the Ohio State win, and the defense capitalized on the great field position.
Star of the Game
This one will be a tie between punter Drue Chrisman and Mike Weber. Drue Chrisman was able to pin the Spartans on their on 6 yard line or better on 5 of his 9 punts. He had one really bad punt, but otherwise he was fantastic this game. Mike Weber also get the nod because he has been a workhorse these past few weeks even though he finally has been getting the carries, and was able to run 104 yards and a touchdown against the number 1 rushing defense in the country. Both players earned their Buckeye leaves.
Ohio State’s win helps ensure that with a win this week, they are setting up for the Big Ten East Championship game against That Team Up North. In regards to the playoff, as of now, it is a little murky, especially with the teams still ahead of them, and all won. Ohio State will need some help, even if it wins out, and that might be clearing up the next few weeks. Ohio State will need Alabama to win out, Clemson and Notre Dame to also win out, and for Oklahoma and West Virginia to beat each other in a potential last game and then Big 12 Championship. Still a lot of chances and games left for some help, but all Ohio State needs to focus on is winning its next game.
Ohio State (9-1) travels to Maryland (5-5) for a noon kickoff.
Michigan State (6-4) travels to Nebraska (3-7) with a noon kickoff.
Photo credit to Buckeye Wire