Game Preview: Ohio State vs Michigan State

After a week off of posting the hype video, the theme for this week is to challenge greatness. The Buckeyes aren’t just trying to be the best team this season, but the best ever.

Ohio State will travel on the road for the first time this season and it will be their last game before their bye week next week. This will be the first time playing against a crowd in Spartan Stadium since 2018. 

On the horizon, Ohio State hopes to keep rolling offensively and defensively, and maintain an unblemished record heading into key games against Iowa and Penn State. The Buckeyes are facing their first road game of the season after starting out with five contests at home.

According to ESPN, who will have their A team covering this game with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, and Holly Rowe, the key match up will be “Ohio State’s receivers vs. Michigan State’s secondary. The Spartans have had trouble all season covering receivers and now will face some of the best in college football. Michigan State has given up 979 yards passing over the last three games and Ohio State has the top-ranked passing offense in the Big Ten, averaging 303.4 yards per game.”

Know the Opponent:

Head Coach: Mel Tucker (3rd season)
2022 Record: 2-3
Location: East Lansing, MI
Conference: Big Ten

Ohio State Preview

The Buckeyes will travel on the road for the first time this season, and they still may not be at full strength. Ryan Day alluded to TreVeyon Henderson potentially playing this week, but I think everyone in Columbus believes the Buckeyes should still be talented enough to win it without their full arsenal of weapons. 

CJ Stroud, who is the Heisman favorite still after five weeks, and can continue to extend his lead with a solid performance in an overmatched team. Stroud has passed for 1376 yards and 18 touchdowns to 2 interceptions. He is one of the top performing quarterbacks in the country, and a porous defense can help the junior pad his stats as the team looks to get healthy in the bye week. 

After a breakout performance last week, Miyan Williams is the teams leading rushing with 497 yards on 64 carries and 8 touchdowns. TreVeyon Henderson, who did not play last week, has 50 carries for 308 yards and 3 touchdowns. Dallan Hayden has 38 carries for 180 yards and 1 touchdown.

Emeka Egbuka remains the top target in the absence of Jaxon Smith-Njigba with 30 catches for 512 yards and 5 touchdowns. Marvin Harrison Jr is second on the team with 24 catches for 405 yards. Cade Stover only caught 1 pass last week, but is the third leading target with 13 catches for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns. Julian Fleming has been growing as a pass catcher for this team with 11 catches for 141 yards and 4 touchdowns in essentially 3 games this year. 

Michigan State Preview

The Spartans are going back to their roots and will be wearing a throwback to their 1998 team to try and play spoiler in this game. The Spartans are on a three game losing streak, starting with the Washington game on the road, and then were blown out by Minnesota, and lost on the road to Maryland last week. Since signing his contract, Mel Tucker is 4-4 which includes a loss to Ohio State in Ohio Stadium last year. 

Michigan State enters this game accumulating 370 yards a game on offense, but giving up 412 yards a game on defense, including giving up 275 yards passing. This tram does not have the home run hitter like they did last year with Kenneth Walker III, but Mel Tucker is trying to rebuild Michigan State back to relevance and recruit to stop needing to rely on the transfer portal.

Payton Thorne has passed for 1121 yards this season, and has thrown 8 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He also has 45 yards on 25 carries. Behind him is not a lot of depth or experience, so he will need to lead the Spartans if they have a chance.

Jalen Berger is the leading running back with 301 yard on 59 carries and 4 touchdowns for the season. Behind him is Jarek Broussard who has 38 carries for 177 yards and 2 touchdowns. Elijah Collins is the third best back with 14 carries for 94 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Keon Coleman is the leading receiver with 25 catches for 308 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jayden Reed is the next receiver after coming back from injury with 19 catches for 189 yards and 1 touchdowns. Tre Mosley is next with 15 catches for 181 yards and 3 touchdowns. 

Buckeye Spotlight

CJ Stroud. With QB1 going against the 115th “best” defense in the country, and could have a field day after his career low against Rutgers last week. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Buckeyes pass for 300 yards in the first half. 

Spartan Spotlight

Jayden Reed. Reed is the top target for Payton Thorne, and he is coming back from a minor injury. I anticipate Reed will be lined up against Denzel Burke if he plays to try and attack the weak spot of the Buckeye defense in order to try and keep up in what could be another onslaught from the Ohio State offense. 

Water Cooler Stat of the Game

29. Ohio State has defeated Michigan State in 6 straight games, and has won by an average margin of 29 points. For a building rivalry during the Mark Dantonio tenure, Ohio State has been the more dominant team, and have scored more than 50 points each season under Mel Tucker. 


The Buckeyes continue to take care of business and travel for the first time this season against a Michigan State team that lost 3 straight games. The expectation for this game is that Ohio State will have TreVeyon Henderson back in this game to share the carries with Miyan Williams, and CJ Stroud should have a field day against the 115th ranked pass defense. Michigan State will be playing for pride, and there are players who might still be bitter about the outcome from last years game when they had Kenneth Walker and got embarrassed on national television. The Buckeyes though will be too much, and Ryan Day will make sure this team keeps focus heading into their bye week, and try and get the starters out as soon as possible.

Ohio State 52 – Michigan State 6

Photo Credit: Athlon Sports

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