EAST LANSING, Mich. — Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer finally got the monkey off his back.
Prior to Saturday's primetime showdown at eighth-ranked Michigan State, Meyer hadn't beaten a top-15 team during his tenure as Buckeyes coach. But with the whole country watching and both Big Ten and College Football Playoff implications on the line, Ohio State pulled out a dominating win at Spartan Stadium on Saturday night, 49-37.
The Buckeyes' offense was simply unstoppable, totaling 568 yards on a Michigan State defense which game into the game ranked fifth in the country.
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett finished the game 16 for 26 through the air for 300 yards and three touchdowns. He also added a pair of touchdown runs and 86 yards on the ground. It was simply a dominant performance from the redshirt freshman.
His favorite target on the evening was wide receiver Devin Smith, who hauled in six passes for 129 yards and had a 44-yard touchdown grab which gave the Buckeyes the lead for good. Running back Ezekiel Elliott had 154 yards rushing on 23 carries and a pair of scores.
Michigan State, which held a 21-14 lead with just over four minutes remaining in the first half, was outscored 35-16 the rest of the way. Ohio State scored touchdowns on seven of its 12 drives in the game and was 10 for 14 on third downs.
|OHIO STATE||STAT||MICHIGAN STATE|
|6.5||AVERAGE PER RUSH||5.2|
|18.8||AVERAGE PER COMPLETION||15.0|
|14||RUSHING 1st DOWNS||10|
|9||PASSING 1st DOWNS||18|
|2||PENALTY 1st DOWNS||1|
|8.5||YARDS PER PLAY||6.8|
- Ohio State's win moves it into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten East at 5-0.
- The win also sets a Big Ten record for consecutive regular-season wins with 21.
- Ohio State’s offense racked up 568 total yards, nearly 300 more than MSU had allowed per game coming into Saturday (279.4). It is the sixth game this season with at least 500 yards of total offense.
- Ohio State has outscored its last seven opponents 214-59 in the first half.
- Quarterback J.T. Barrett finished the game 16 of 26 for 300 yards passing and three TDs, his third 300-yard passing game of the season. He also rushed for 86 yards and two scores.
- Barrett has now thrown 22 TD passes with only three INTs in the last seven games.
- Barrett was responsible for five TDs Saturday. He has now been responsible for 34 touchdowns on the season and needs three more to break Braxton Miller’s school record of 36 set last season.
- Barrett has been responsible for at least four touchdowns in five of nine games this season.
- Michigan State had not allowed a player to account for four touchdowns since Taylor Martinez scored four in Nebraska’s win in East Lansing on Nov. 3, 2012.
- Wide receiver Devin Smith caught six passes for a season-high 129 yards. The Buckeyes are now 20-0 when Smith catches a TD pass.
- Smith’s TD catch was the 26th of his career, moving him into sole possession of third place on Ohio State’s all-time list.
- Running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed 23 times for 152 yards and two TD, marking his fourth 100-yard game this season and the fifth of his career.
- Urban Meyer is now 36-3 in the month of November since the start of the 2003 season.
- The Buckeyes improve to 32-3 (.914) under Meyer and have the second-highest winning percentage among FBS teams since the start of the 2012 season.
- Meyer is now 27-12 in his career against Top 25 teams and 12-5 against the Top 10. He is 6-2 against Top 25 teams at Ohio State.
- Ohio State and Michigan State met for the 43rd time Saturday. Ohio State leads the all-time series, 29-14, and has now won nine of the last 11 meetings.
- Ohio State is now 44-23 all-time in night games (games starting after 5 p.m. local time).
- Ohio State has not lost at Spartan Stadium since 1999 and has a 15-5 edge all-time in East Lansing.
- Ohio State has now won 12 consecutive games on the road, the longest active streak in the FBS.