Mark Dantonio will have Michigan State ready today. As a head coach for the Spartans, Dantonio is 2-1 in Ohio Stadium (and 2-0 in his last two trips). The Spartans enter the game with the same 7-2 record as the Buckeyes, falling in overtime to Northwestern and in the non-conference against Notre Dame. Sparty has quality wins this season — downing Michigan on the road and taking care of business last week against Penn State.
One of the biggest match ups to watch is how Sparty’s stout run defense performs against OSU’s ground attack. The Spartans rank No. 3 in the country allowing only 87 rushing yards a game. Last week they held Penn State to only 65 yards on the ground. Sparty is vulnerable through the air — look for J.T. to shake off the uncharacteristic performance last week against Iowa and test the Michigan State secondary frequently.
The Buckeyes will also need to shut down Sparty quarterback Brian Lewerke, who has caught fire the past two games throwing for more than 400 hundred yards in each contest. Michigan State’s rushing offense is not what it was, with L.J. Scott averaging a pedestrian 4.4 yards per carry. Lewerke will need to keep up his recent hot-streak to score enough to keep up with the Buckeyes.
Both teams will be ready for this one. Sparty will keep it close taking advantage of the Buckeye secondary, but OSU’s offense gets back on track both on the ground and through the air. Urban’s athletes beat Dantonio’s game plan — Buckeyes 27-24.
- Ohio State-Michigan State game picks: How will the Buckeyes respond to Iowa blowout?, Bill Landis, Cleveland.com – November 11
- Spartans, Big Ten title shot major motivators, Bill Rabinowitz Columbus Dispatch – November 10
- I feel stupid for doubting Michigan State, but Ohio State’s going to crush the Spartans, Alex Kirshner, SB Nation – November 10