Ohio State faces a Michigan State team that is having a rare down year, but that won’t mean that the Buckeyes won’t take them lightly. As I mentioned in the preview, Coach Meyer versus Coach Dantonio duel and they both play for keeps. They have won two games a piece and they are both sitting tied at 2-2 during their stay at their respective schools. This game will be another battle in the trenches as both teams look to get a win. Both the Buckeyes and the Spartans are locked-in and ready, but the weather could prove to be a hurdle for both teams. For now, during the pregame festivities, the snow did not come, but it could make an appearance later in the day during the game. Coach Meyer has a tendency to get uber conservative with playcalling if that happens. Hopefully, he can buck the trend and go for broke because TTUN comes into Columbus, so any momentum would be positive. The team as a whole needs to gain some confidence and momentum and if they have to run through the Spartans to gain it? Then so be it.
Well this is certainly not the start that Buckeye fans would like to see. A two-play drive that the Spartans effortlessly executed to go up 7-0 early in the game. They caught the defense off guard as they did the Wisconsin end around by R.J. Shelton that gained 11-yards and then they executed a well-timed double screen pass to earn the touchdown that went for 64-yards. Definitely, not a good start, but I will stay positive. The Buckeyes first drive ended in a sack and then a punt that pinned the Spartans on their 4-yard line. The Buckeyes stiffened up and forced a punt. This will be another heavyweight fight, another brawl until the bitter end. This looks to be a good one.
The Buckeyes started rolling as they were getting more settled in. The next drive was in the hands, or should I say the legs of J.T. Barrett. He noticed that the Spartans were spread too thin, trying to contain Zone 6 members, and he took the run every time they called that defensive play. To finish the drive, Barrett hit Samuel on a post route for 24-yards where he beat the double downfield. It is starting to heat up. The Silver Bullets forced another punt and Barrett goes back to work on another Quarterback run for another first down. Sadly, the Buckeyes ended up punting as well. When the second quarter started, Michigan State kicked a field goal and the Buckeyes chipped in one as well. The defenses are playing with the passion and fire that you would expect both teams to play with. On Michigan State’s next drive, Ohio State secured their 16th interception of this season. It goes to show that they are athletic at every level and a Linebacker in Chris Worley surely proved in once again. The play was sorely needed, but after the play ended, Jaylin Holmes was on the floor and was injured during the play. Hopefully, it isn’t a bad one, he is one of the emerging stars on this young Buckeyes Defensive Line and a key piece for Coach Johnson’s Rushmen package. On Ohio State’s possession, the Spartans forced only the second red zone turnover of the season. Of course, they do! I dread playing the Spartan’s because of games like these, but I will continue to stay positive. The Buckeyes forced a punt, but trouble almost hit as Samuel muffed the punt in the Buckeyes own 3-yard line. This game is surely filled with suspense and drama, and I am hoping for a score to ease my tensions a bit. At the half, it is 10-10 and the Buckeyes get the ball to start the second half.
The second half began with consecutive punts. Strong defensive play on both sides was evident as the struggle to hold the line rages on, but eventually, someone had to make a play. Someone had to break a big one. Mike Weber broke through for a 52-yard run that put him over 1,000 rushing yards for the season. Weber is the third Ohio State Freshman, at the Running Back position, who broke the 1,000-yard barrier and he joins Robert Smith and Maurice Clarett as the only ones to accomplish that task. Hopefully, Meyer continues to feed the beast. You would think that coach would emphasize the potential fake punt play. Well, he did not think they would go to that so early in the 4th, but it worked as a defender took it 25-yards for the first down. The moral victory was short lived though, as the Buckeyes forced a punt on 3rd and long by gathering their first sack of the game, courtesy of Sam Hubbard. Michigan State came right back at Ohio State as L.J. Scott racked up huge chunks of yardage before scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run. Coach Dantonio then decided to go for two, for their first lead in a while, but it failed and was intercepted by Erick Smith. The defense has been slacking, but the young Buckeyes make big plays during big moments, and this was needed. The defense ended the game in a big way, as Tyquan Lewis pressuered O’Connor on their last possession in the game and it forced him to underthrow the ball into the waiting arms of Gareon Conley for Ohio State’s 17th interception. This is why I love College Football. Although, we all wanted a blowout, I understand that we can’t win it all. The Spartans came to play today and they showed it. We will need to shore up the defense and play better as a team. There were a lot of overpursued plays and missed tackles. We are now entering the final week of the regular season, and you know what that means. I know that it is early and I will not start until we officially begin the week. So, for now, enjoy the hard earned win and Go Bucks!!!