After Ohio State was embarrassed in Iowa last week, it seemed like they had nothing to play for the rest of the season. Buckeyes are used to playing for national championships, but now with two losses this season, they were virtually out of the Playoff hunt unless some incredible chaos happened. With that said, they still had a chance to win the Big Ten East and head to Indianapolis for just their second Big Ten Championship game in the Urban Meyer Era.
Going into today’s game against Michigan State, many were surprised the Buckeyes were 17-point favorites over Michigan State, especially given that Sparty was ranked one spot ahead of the Buckeyes and the Silver Bullets were without two of their starting linebackers, Jerome Baker and Dante Booker. But you should never question Vegas because they knew, obviously.
The Buckeyes dominated Sparty, 48-3, in impressive fashion for both sides of the football (and special teams) for Ohio State. Even though the scarlet and gray won by 45, it was much closer than it seemed. With the game in hand, the Buckeyes scored just 13 second-half points, including zero in the fourth quarter. It was the worst loss for the Spartans since Mark Dantonio became their head coach prior to the 2007 season.
Ohio State scored early and often in their rout over Michigan State, one that came as a surprise to almost everyone in the college football world. After not giving J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber the ball much last week against Iowa.1 Urban Meyer, they made up for it today. In the first half alone, the two combined for 223 yards and two touchdowns on just 18 carries.
While the Buckeyes running backs dominated, J.T. Barrett threw the ball well too, controlling the game with both his arm and his legs. he threw two interceptions, but besides that, he helped lead Ohio State’s offense to one of their best performances of the season.
With all that said, the Silver Bullets had arguably their best game of the season. Not only did they not allow the Spartans to score until they made a field goal on the last play of the first half after the scarlet and gray already held a 35-0 lead, but they didn’t allow Sparty to move the ball whatsoever. Whether it was the run or pass defense, the Buckeyes dominated defensively.
The Turning Point
Mike Weber’s 47-yard touchdown run on Ohio State’s first drive of the game not only gave them the early lead, but it gave the Buckeyes plenty of confidence as well after a disappointing performance in Iowa last week. It was exactly what the scarlet and gray needed and they didn’t let their foot off the pedal after that.
J.T. Barrett: 14-of-21, 183 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions; nine carries, 55 yards, two touchdowns
J.K. Dobbins: 18 carries, 124 yards; four catches, 20 yards, one touchdown
Mike Weber: nine catches, 162 yards, two touchdowns
Binjimen Victor: two catches, 65 yards, one touchdown
Parris Campbell: three catches, 49 yards
Mike Weber started the scoring with an easy 47-yard touchdown run. If you look closely, you’ll notice center Billy Price not only blocked one, but two Spartans that allowed the running back to showcase his speed for the first touchdown of the game.
Not to be outdone by the other running back, J.K. Dobbins finds the inside on an eight-yard pass from J.T. Barrett
Weber is fast, guys. He made it look easy on this 82-yard touchdown run.
Binjimen Victor still needs to put on some weight and muscle, but he showcased his height and athleticism on this 48-yard touchdown catch from Barrett.
On to the next one
The Buckeyes will host Illinois next week in their second-to-last regular season game of the year. Kickoff time has yet to be determined.
- The two combined for just 11 carries against the Hawkeyes. Urban Meyer admitted that they need to get much more going forward. [↩]