EAST LANSING, Mich. — Ohio State can officially focus on The Game.
It wasn't easy against Michigan State — it never is, really — but on Saturday the Buckeyes came away with a 17-16 victory at Spartan Stadium.
Ohio State's Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff hopes remain alive for another week. The Buckeyes take on Michigan next Saturday in one of the biggest games of this college football season.
Michigan State running back L.J. Scott scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to bring the Spartans within 17-16 with just 4:53 to play. Mark Dantonio elected to go for the two-point conversion, but Tyler O'Connor's pass was intercepted by Malik Hooker.
Michigan State got the ball on its own 20-yard line with just over 2 minutes to play needing just a field goal to win, but O'Connor's pass was intercepted by Gareon Conley on the second play.
Redshirt freshman running back Mike Weber and the Ohio State offensive line worked together to give the Buckeyes a third-quarter lead it wouldn't relinquish. After a 52-yard run by Weber put Ohio State inside the red zone, the Detroit native plunged in from 4 yards out to put the Buckeyes ahead 17-10.
Michigan State came out firing on all cylinders and took a 7-0 lead on Ohio State after just two offensive plays. Tyler O’Connor hit running back L.J. Scott on a 64-yard screen pass that found pay dirt just 46 seconds into the game.
The Buckeyes responded, however, shortly thereafter with a five-play, 50-yard scoring drive. Quarterback J.T. Barrett hooked up with Curtis Samuel for a 24-yard touchdown strike with 7:56 to play in the first quarter to tie things at 7-all.
The teams traded field goals to enter halftime at 10-10. Michigan State outgained Ohio State in the first two quarters, 203-176. The Buckeyes had a difficult time corralling Scott, as the sophomore running back had a pair of 60-plus yard plays: the first-quarter touchdown catch and a 61-yard run in the second quarter that helped set up the Spartans’ field goal.
Barrett carried the ball 15 times in the first half for just 63 yards and was only 6-for-12 passing for 57 yards and a score. Mike Weber had seven carries for 43 yards and lost a fumble. Samuel had six touches for 39 total yards and a touchdown.
Ohio State hosts Michigan next Saturday at noon.
|Ohio State||Stat||Michigan State|
|310||NET TOTAL YARDS||334|
|5.0||AVERAGE PER RUSH||5.9|
|8.6||AVERAGE PER COMPLETION||15.9|
|11||RUSHING 1st DOWNS||9|
|3||PASSING 1st DOWNS||4|
|2||PENALTY 1st DOWNS||0|
|4.6||YARDS PER PLAY||6.0|
- Ohio State leads the all-time series with Michigan State, 30-15
- Ohio State has now won 10 of the last 13 meetings overall.
- The road team has now won each regular season meeting since 2008.
- The Buckeyes improved to 18-1 in the month of November under head coach Urban Meyer.
- Meyer is 50-8 overall in his head coaching career in November.
- Mike Weber became the third Ohio State freshman to rush for 1,000 yards in a season with 111 yards on 14 carries and one score. Robert Smith (1990) and Maurice Clarett (2002) are the other two. It also marked Weber’s fourth 100-yard rushing performance of the season.
- Weber’s 52-yard run in the third quarter was a career long.
- J.T. Barrett accounted for one more TD on Saturday, a 24-yard TD pass to Curtis Samuel in the first quarter. It was Barrett’s 99th career TD responsible and he is now seven shy of the conference record of 106 held by Purdue’s Drew Brees.
- Barrett leads the Big Ten with 24 passing TDs on the season.
- Ohio State’s defense has given up just 12 touchdowns this season and has allowed just four rushing touchdowns, the fewest in the FBS.
- Ohio State has now scored a rushing TD in 63 of 65 games coached by Urban Meyer.
- Chris Worley intercepted his first career pass in the second quarter and Gareon Conley picked off his third of the season late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. It marked Ohio State’s 16th and 17th INTs on the season, respectively.
- Tyquan Lewis recorded 1.5 TFL, bringing his team-leading total to 10.0 on the season.