Johnson: Ohio State vs. Michigan State Final Thoughts Heading Into The game

Johnson: Final Thoughts For Ohio State vs. Michigan State

Johnson: Ohio State vs. Michigan State Final Thoughts Heading Into The game

BuckeyeWire

Johnson: Ohio State vs. Michigan State Final Thoughts Heading Into The game


Each week, we bring you some random thoughts before Ohio State takes the field. Here are some nuggets about this weekend’s important showdown with Michigan State.


Contact/Follow @TerryPJohnson

  • At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Ohio State needs to win this contest convincingly. The Buckeyes had a golden opportunity to do it last weekend and blew it. As a result, two-loss LSU remained in front of OSU in the standings, even though Alabama took the Tigers to the woodshed.
  • Simply put: style points matter. It isn’t enough to just beat Michigan State; the Buckeyes need to look good while doing so.
  • A decisive win over the No. 18 team in the country would make a huge statement, especially if it’s a lopsided win. Remember, Notre Dame beat Michigan State by 18 earlier in the year. If — and it’s a big if — the Irish lose against Florida State (without Ian Book), the margin of victory might be the difference between playing in the CFP or another NY6 Bowl.
  • This has always been a dangerous matchup for the Buckeyes. Even the most casual college football fan knows that Michigan State knocked Ohio State out of the national championship picture in 2013 and 2015.
  • It also knocked the Buckeyes out in 1996… some guy named Nick Saban was the coach back then..
  • Who is going to play quarterback for Michigan State? Will it be Brian Lewerke or Rocky Lombardi? Is the decision made because of talent or due to injury? Lewerke clearly hasn’t been the same since he hurt his shoulder against Penn State.
  • Regardless of who takes the snaps, you can count on Michigan State leaning on its running game against the Buckeyes. It will be interesting to see how the OSU defense — which ranks 55th nationally against the run — fares against running back Connor Hayward, who ran for 153 yards against Maryland last week.
  • The flip side of that matchup is equally intriguing. Can Ohio State’s offense run the ball against the Spartan D or will it be forced to air it out all afternoon? If it’s the latter, it could be a very long day. Michigan State’s defense does a great job of disguising its coverage. That’s why it ranks in the top 15 nationally in interceptions.
  • Prediction: In typical Michigan State fashion, the Spartans will run the ball well and play great defense. Just as the TV commentators give up on Ohio State, the Buckeyes will make a few plays late in the game to pull away. OSU gets a much-needed win over a ranked opponent and keeps pace with the other top playoff contenders. Ohio State 21, Michigan State 10.

 

Contact/Follow us @BuckeyeWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Ohio State news, notes and opinion.


Latest

More BuckeyeWire
Home