Game 6 Recap: Ohio State 49 – Michigan State 20
Ohio State went on the road for the first time this season, and put on an offensive clinic against one of the worst pass defenses in the country as they improved now to 6-0 on the season heading into their bye week. They went into this game shorthanded once more as both Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Miyan Williams were both injured for this game. That seems to be the only thing that has a chance to slow down this offense is the injuries, but even without 2 of their key players, the Buckeyes still put up 614 yards of offense and held Michigan State to 202.
CJ Stroud threw his first pick 6 as a Buckeye, and his third game in a row throwing 1 interception on what appeared to be a miscommunication with Emeka Egbuka. The interception touchdown had tied the game for the Spartans, and that was the closest they ever were in points this game, as on the next series Stroud connected with Egbuka for a 69 yard touchdown pass.
The Buckeyes would scored touchdowns on their next 5 possessions, and Stroud was pulled with 3 minutes to go in the third quarter for the game, as the Buckeyes went in to close the game with Kyle McCord under center, and a vanilla play calling to chew the clock. Michigan State was able to attack at the Buckeye corners which gave them some momentum, but the defense was still too much to try and overcome.
CJ Stroud finished with 361 yards with 6 touchdowns and 1 interception on 21 of 26 passing. He did take his third sack of the year this game too, but was able to elude some pressure at times to connect with receivers down field. McCord was able to throw for 2 passes, connecting on each, for 16 yards in mop up time.
With Miyan Williams out, TreVeyon Henderson was called upon to carry the load, and he delivered in a powerful rushing attack for 118 yards on 19 carries, and a touchdown. He appeared to have been injured in the third quarter when a Spartan defender tackled his helmet into Henderson’s thigh, but he still had a strong game. Dallan Hayden got to see more time as well and had 14 carries for 70 yards. Xavier Johnson and Emeka Egbuka got a few sweep plays, and combined had 5 carries for 42 yards.
Emeka Egbuka was the lead receiver once more, and had 5 catches for 143 yards and a touchdown. Marvin Harrison Jr broke a school record with his 3rd 3 touchdown game and had 7 catches for 131 yards. Julian Fleming got more involved in the pass game in the absence of JSN, and finish the day with 4 catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. Stroud’s last touchdown throw of the game went to Gee Scott Jr, who recorded his first touchdown as a Buckeye after he converted to tight-end, and it was a special moment for him knowing his journey since arriving on campus.
Once again, the Buckeyes never were really in danger of losing this game. After throwing the pick 6, Ohio State then scored touchdowns on their next 4 possessions, only giving up 1 to the Spartans, and went into halftime with a 35-13 lead. The started with the ball in the second half, and Stroud connected with Marvin Harrison Jr for his third touchdown catch, and it was never close after that point.
Star of the Game
CJ Stroud. The junior threw for 6 touchdowns (7 if you want to include the pick 6) and had only 5 incompletions. In his two games now against the Spartans, he has 12 touchdowns to 8 incompletions. He passed for 361 yards, and leads the country now with touchdown passes with 24.
The Buckeyes took care of business on the road, and despite a few errors on defense, they shut down the Spartans and remain undefeated for the year. Across the country, Alabama survived against Texas A&M without Bryce Young, and Georgia racked up the points after a slow start against Auburn, so the Buckeyes will still be in the mix of the top 3 teams, and could have an argument based on consistency to be the number 1 overall team. Teams to keep an eye on as next will have some playoff clarifying games is Tennessee, USC, and Clemson. Michigan hosts Penn State, who had a bye week, in what will be their toughest match up to date, and should be a battle between 2 top 10 teams.
Ohio State (6-0) will have a bye week next week, and then will host Iowa (3-3) on October 22nd.
Michigan State (2-4) hosts Wisconsin (3-3) at 4pm on FOX.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Carlos Osorio