Ohio State Demolishes Michigan State, 56-7, for Statement Win in Final Home Game of Season

By Dan Hope on November 20, 2021 at 3:29 pm

Ohio State didn’t just beat Michigan State on Saturday, it completely dominated.

In a battle of two teams that held 9-1 records and were both ranked in the top seven entering Saturday’s game, Ohio State left no doubt whatsoever about who the better team was as the Buckeyes demolished the Spartans for a 56-7 win in the final home game of the year at Ohio Stadium.

Ohio State’s offense scored touchdowns on all of its first seven possessions of the game while the Buckeyes’ defense held Michigan State without points on its first nine possessions of the game on a day where the Buckeyes overwhelmed their opponent on both sides of the ball.

C.J. Stroud made a massive statement to Heisman voters in the process, completing 32 of 35 passes for 432 yards and a school record-tying six touchdowns in just over a half of play while Chris Olave, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Garrett Wilson all topped 100 receiving yards and combined for five touchdown catches.

  Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4  
#4 Ohio State 21 28 0 7 56
#7 MICHIGAN STATE 0 0 0 7 7

Ohio State marched right down the field on its opening possession of the game, capping off a 12-play, 86-yard drive with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Stroud to Olave on which Olave tied David Boston’s record.

The Buckeyes got to the end zone quickly on their next possession when Stroud hit Wilson on a deep ball and Wilson went all the way to the end zone for a 77-yard touchdown.

Olave broke Boston’s record with his 35th career touchdown reception on Ohio State’s next possession, catching a 43-yard pass to rewrite the history books.

Julian Fleming caught a 4-yard pass for the first touchdown of his Ohio State career on the Buckeyes’ fourth possession of the game to make it 28-0 less than a minute into the second quarter.

Miyan Williams made it five touchdowns in five possessions with a 1-yard run after a spectacular 27-yard catch along the sideline by Olave on Ohio State’s next series.

Stroud completed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Wilson on Ohio State’s sixth possession of the game to make it 42-0 with 7:01 still to play in the second quarter. On the next drive, Stroud completed his sixth touchdown pass of the day on a 5-yard throw to a wide open Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the end zone to tie the school record and make it 49-0 before halftime.

Ohio State finished the first half with exactly 500 yards of offense while its defense held Michigan State to zero points and only 116 yards.

4.8 AVERAGE per RUSH 3.1
36 1st DOWNS 12
5-6 RED ZONE 1-1
6-9 third down conv 5-16
1-5 PENALTIES 3-30
37:58 POSSESSION 22:02

Stroud stayed in the game for just one possession in the second half, on which he led the Buckeyes into the red zone but Ohio State finished without points after Noah Ruggles missed his first kick of the season on a 38-yard field goal. Kyle McCord replaced Stroud on the Buckeyes’ second possession of the third quarter.

After being held without points on all of its first nine possessions, Michigan State finally scored for the first time on the first play of the fourth quarter – with mostly all backups in the game for Ohio State’s defense – when Spartans wide receiver Keon Coleman beat Ryan Watts for a 12-yard touchdown catch.

Master Teague scored the Buckeyes’ final touchdown of the day on a 1-yard run with 3:30 to play in the fourth quarter.

Olave, in his final home game as a Buckeye, finished the game with seven catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns while Wilson had seven catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns and Smith-Njigba had 10 catches for 105 yards and one touchdown, marking the second time this season – in much happier circumstances this time, as it first happened against Oregon – that Ohio State’s three star receivers all topped 100 yards in the same game.

On defense, Ronnie Hickman forced a fumble in the second quarter that Ty Hamilton recovered for the Buckeyes’ only takeaway of the game while Zach Harrison and Denzel Burke each had two pass breakups.

Having completed its home slate for the 2021 season, Ohio State will head to Ann Arbor to play Michigan in the final game of the regular season, where the Buckeyes will be looking to clinch their fifth straight Big Ten East title and complete an 11-1 regular season with a win over the Wolverines.

Game Notes

  • 24 Ohio State seniors and fourth-year juniors were recognized during the pregame Senior Day ceremony: Aaron Cox, Jack Jamieson, Robert Cope, Austin Kutscher, Jagger LaRoe, Corey Rau, Ryan Batsch, Cade Kacherski, Sam Wiglusz, Chris Booker, Cameron Brown, Master Teague, Mitch Rossi, Tyreke Smith, Nicholas Petit-Frere, Sevyn Banks, Bradley Robinson, Jeremy Ruckert, Marcus Williamson, Antwuan Jackson, Demario McCall, Haskell Garrett, Chris Olave and Thayer Munford.
  • Garrett, Olave, Munford and Kamryn Babb were the game captains for the opening coin toss.
  • Emeka Egbuka was among 15 Ohio State players listed as unavailable to play against Michigan State while Sevyn Banks did not play after being listed as a game-time decision. Julian Fleming replaced Egbuka as Ohio State’s lead kickoff returner while Cameron Brown replaced Banks as Ohio State’s second starting cornerback opposite Denzel Burke.
  • Rossi made his second consecutive start for Ohio State as the Buckeyes started the game in a two-tight end offensive formation.
  • Parris Campbell and Jordan Fuller were among the former Ohio State players in attendance for Saturday’s game.
  • Olave, Wilson and Smith-Njigba have now combined for 14 100-yard receiving games this year, the most Ohio State players have ever totaled in a single season.
  • Stroud set an Ohio State record by completing 17 consecutive passes between the first and second quarters.
  • Saturday’s game was Stroud’s fourth 400-yard passing game of the season. Through 10 starts, Stroud has already thrown for the second-most passing yards (3,468) and the third-most passing touchdowns (36) in a single season in Ohio State history.
  • 101,858 was the attendance for Ohio State’s final home game of the season.
  • Starting linebacker Cody Simon left the game in the first quarter with an apparent injury and did not return.
  • Burke suffered an apparent shoulder injury while making his second pass breakup of the game, but was able to return later in the second quarter.
  • Walk-on linebacker Cade Kacherski had to be helped off the field after suffering an apparent leg injury in kickoff coverage on the opening play of the third quarter.
  • Quinn Ewers made his Ohio State debut on the Buckeyes’ final possession of the game.
  • Ohio State has now scored on its first five possessions of the game in four games this season. No other team in the country has done that more than once this season, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

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