Saturday’s game between the Buckeyes and Spartans is a matchup between two teams ranked inside the top 13 in the country. Michigan State is coming off a win over Penn State in East Lansing and we all know how Ohio State’s visit to Iowa went. Here’s a preview of the game:
Saturday, November 11 at 12:00 PM ET on FOX at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio
What to Watch For
Ohio State tries to right the ship against the Spartans.
Last Saturday in Iowa City, the Buckeyes were throttled by the Iowa Hawkeyes in a game that pretty much ended the College Football Playoff hopes of Urban Meyer’s squad. The Big Ten is still up for grabs though, so the Bucks are quickly going to have to get things back together. Games against Michigan State are never easy, so Ohio State is going to need to play disciplined and focused football if they’re going to defend their home turf this weekend.
The Spartans can take control of the Big Ten East with a win in Columbus on Saturday.
Both teams come into this week’s matchup tied atop the Big Ten East Division with one conference loss on the year, so the winner is in the driver’s seat to make it to the championship in Indianapolis. While the Spartans and Buckeyes are currently on the outside looking in as far as the College Football Playoff is concerned, add a Big Ten Championship to your resume and anything’s possible.
We’ll see if the Buckeye offensive coaches continue their stubborn play-calling.
The last few games, the Buckeyes have been using the run to complement J.T. Barrett flinging the football around. It almost seems at times like the play callers are trying so hard to show they can do everything well that they don’t go to what they do the best: running the ball. It’ll certainly be a tough test against this Spartan defense, which is the best in the Big Ten against the run, but if the Ohio State offense keeps attacking the sidelines instead of driving the ball up the field, they may struggle once again this week.
Player Who is an X-Factor
L.J. Scott is a talented running back who’s following up his 994 yard sophomore campaign with a little over 550 rushing yards through eight games so far this season. He’s failed to average more than four yards per carry in any of his last three games, so he’s coming into this game looking to get something going. We saw Iowa run all over the Ohio State defense last week, so expect Michigan State to try to do more of the same. It’ll help the Spartans control the clock and keep the potent Buckeye offense on the sidelines, so expect L.J. Scott to get a bunch of touches at the Horseshoe on Saturday afternoon.
Ohio State by 17
Things are going to get ugly in Columbus if the Buckeyes lose this game. J.T. Barrett should be putting up the best numbers of his career. This defensive line is supposed to be one of the best in the country. The defensive backs were supposed to step up and fill the voids left by the top draft picks who left. The running game should be counted on to move the ball when needed. This team isn’t as good as they appeared in that fourth quarter against Penn State, but they’re not as bad as the one that showed up at Iowa last week either. They’re somewhere in between, which should be good enough to beat the Michigan State Spartans in Columbus this weekend.
The Buckeyes bounce back and win 33-20.