Michigan State Debriefing: Ohio State Eases to Win Over Spartans, Just Another Week at the Office

By David Wertheim on October 6, 2019 at 8:25 am
Justin Fields and Brutus
Joe Maiorana- USA TODAY Sports

First Top-25 opponent of the year? No problem. Ohio State was up to the task, covering the spread and knocking off the Michigan State Spartans by a final of 34-10.

#VARSITY keeps it rolling. Ohio State now 6-0 heading into the bye week, and has been dominant in all six games. The Buckeyes look really scary, folks. I don't know if they are going to slow down.

Let's debrief.

Quick Breakdowns


Ohio State's offense was hit-or-miss in this one. There were several big plays, such as the 60-yard pass catch-and-run by Binjimen Victor, and the 67-yard touchdown run by J.K. Dobbins, but the Buckeyes were somewhat held in-check in this one. If you take out the 67-yard scamper, Dobbins rushed for 4.56 yards per carry- a respectable total, but not one that is super spectacular.

Justin Fields made a few mistakes as well in this one and looked human for the first time in a while. He threw a bad interception and lost a fumble. Thankfully, Ohio State's defense was up to the task and held the Spartans to just 10 points.

They did throw to the tight end, though! Nice play by Luke Farrell.

Overall, it was a fine day from the offense. They did enough, and a little more.


The defense was on it, once again. The Buckeyes forced a couple of turnovers at the beginning of the game and held steady throughout, allowing just 10 points to the Spartans. 

Jordan Fuller led the way with seven tackles and an interception (that should have been a pick-six). Shaun Wade and Baron Browning each had impressive sacks, and Damon Arnette forced a fumble.

It was another strong unit that is coming on more and more each week. Where is their ceiling? 

Who Earned a Buckeye Leaf?

Offense: J.K. Dobbins, Justin Fields, Luke Farrell

It's weird: Ohio State scored 34 points and didn't look all that pretty doing it. With that said, both Dobbins and Fields had struggles at times but made the plays that needed to be made. 

I can't put Binjimen Victor in, although he made an incredible play, because of his bad drop and false start penalty. Luke Farrell gets kudos for his nice catch-and-score. 

Defense: Jordan Fuller, Davon Hamilton, Damon Arnette, Chase Young

Jordan Fuller was STRONG in this one. He led the team in tackles with seven, and played strong defense throughout. He was rewarded with a tipped-ball interception later in the game that, again, should've been a pick-six, but alas.

Hamilton had a nice fumble recovery in the first quarter off a botched option play, while Arnette forced a separate fumble and had three tackles. Young was his usual self.

Biggest Surprise

The game-flow kind of shocked me a little bit. I wasn't expecting Ohio State to come out under the lights as conservative as they did offensively, and I'm interested to see if it is a trend that will continue.

For a long time, Urban Meyer was criticized for his perceived conservatism in big games later in his tenure at Ohio State, so it will be interesting to see the parallels with Ryan Day.

Jim Tressel's Least Favorite Moment

Ah, night games. Jim's least favorite of all the time slots. It's not that he doesn't enjoy Buckeye football whenever it's on, because he does, but as an early sleeper, it kind of conflicts with the schedule.

Nevertheless, it allowed Jim to watch Michigan defeat Iowa 10-3 in a game that only Tressel could have appreciated, as his teams won so many similar games. 

I mean come on:

Anyway, at 7:30 Jim tuned in to listen to Chris and Herbie with the call. It went okay for Ohio State at first until Blake Haubeil lined up for a 37-yard field goal, which he pushed wide and missed.

Jim was beside himself. "How many times did three points win or lose a game in football?" Luckily for everyone's sake, Haubeil knocked in his other two attempts, along with all his PAT's. 

It Was Over When...

J.K. Dobbins went 67 yards for a touchdown with 2:24 left in the first half. Yes, it only put the Buckeyes up 14, but you had the sense that Ohio State's depth was starting to take over. Lo and behold, the Spartans did not score again, while the Buckeyes added 10 points. 

Biggest Question Going Forward?

Ohio State looked human in this one... and still won by 24 points and covered the spread. If the Buckeyes keep up this type of play, can anyone beat them? Northwestern on the road on a Friday night will be tough, but the Wildcats are sitting at 1-4 and not looking to hot to begin the year.

Pat Fitzgerald will have his boys rowdy and ready to go. It'll be up to Ohio State to match their energy.

Either way, nice win for #VARSITY. 6-0 at the halfway point. Feels good.

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