Game 11 Recap: Ohio State 56 – Michigan State 7
Anyone who said they expected the game to go the way it did would either be lying, or is a time traveler. One week after what was arguably the Buckeye’s most complete game on offense, they took advantage against the worst past defense in the country in Michigan State. The Buckeyes passed for 449 yards, and had a total of 655 yards, while holding the Spartans to only 224 yards. Kenneth Walker was entering the game as the nation’s leading rusher, and one of the top Heisman candidates, but was held to only 24 yards rushing after the Buckeyes forced Michigan State have to play one-dimensional with a passing attack. Ohio State scored touchdowns on their first 7 possessions and took a halftime lead of 49-0, and just sat on the lead in the second half to win 56-7. At halftime, they had a record setting 500 total yards.
CJ Stroud looked flawless, and passed for 432 yards with 6 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He was 32-35 passing, with one of the incompletions being a drop, and had thrown for a record setting 17 straight completions. What is more impressive was he did this in one half, and then one drive in the second half. His performance boosted him up at the top of the Heisman discussion.
The running game became supplemental for the Buckeye offense this game, but it kept the Spartan defense honest. Master Teague, who was playing in his last home game as a Buckeye, lead the ream in rushing with 21 carries for 95 yards, and capped of the final touchdown of the game to extend the Buckeyes lead 56-7. TreVeyon Henderson had 9 carries for 63 yards, and had 2 catches for 8 yards. Miyan Williams had 4 carries for 35 yards and touchdown, as well as 3 catches for 16 yards.
For the second time in Ohio State history, three receivers eclipsed 100 yards receiving, and it was the usual suspects in one of the deepest units in the country. Chris Olave had 7 catches for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns, which made him the record holder now for most receiving touchdowns in Ohio State history. Garrett Wilson had 7 catches as well for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jaxon Smith-Njigba had 10 catches for 10 yards and a touchdown.
Ohio State already had a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, and when Michigan State got the ball back, they fumbled on their 5 play of the drive in their own territory, and have the Buckeyes a short field to score their 4th straight touchdown, and take a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter. Michigan State’s Heisman hopeful Kenneth Walker no longer became part of the game plan, and it forced the Spartans to have to come back with a passing attack, which the Buckeye defense was able to shut down. The first points the Spartans scored was in the first play in the 4th quarter, but at that point it was still 49-7, and the Buckeyes were playing keep away to finish the game.
Star of the Game
CJ Stroud. When you have only 3 incompletions, over 400 yards passing, and 6 touchdowns with no interceptions in roughly 2 and 1/2 quarters, you are doing something good. Yes, Stroud has playmakers around, and he might be the 4th best offensive player on the team, but those numbers and the stretch of games ahead of him could easily put him at the top of the Heisman voting.
Ohio State dominated in a top 7 match up, and had the same score as top ranked Georgia this week in their game against an FCS opponent in Charleston Southern. Alabama needed a record setting day from Bryce Young to hold Arkansas at home to win by 7 points. The biggest shake up which helped out Cincinnati (who rolled over SMU), the Big 12, and Notre Dame was Oregon who lost on the road to Utah 38-7. The game was never close, and the shuffle around the top 4 could be interesting for this weeks ranking. Don’t be surprised if Ohio State is as high as 2 in this weeks rankings after that performance, and will likely play a top 5 Michigan team who took care of business at Maryland.
Ohio State (10-1) travels to Michigan (10-1) at 12pm on Big Noon Kickoff where the winner will play in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Michigan State (9-2) returns home to play Penn State (7-4) at 3:30pm on ABC.
Photo credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports