Michigan State fell hard to Ohio State on Saturday in a battle of the Big Ten East’s top two teams, losing 48-3 at Ohio State.
The Spartans (7-3, 5-2 Big Ten) suffered their largest margin of defeat under coach Mark Dantonio and almost certainly fell out of the Big Ten title race. Still, they remain in position to finish the season with nine wins.
Michigan State-Ohio State live updates, score
Ohio State 48, Michigan State 3 (Q4, 2:02): Michigan State put in Messiah deWeaver at quarterback, and he proceeded to get sacked three times while turning the ball over on downs.
Ohio State 48, Michigan State 3 (Q4, 10:44): The onslaught appeared to have subsided as both teams traded punts. Michigan State would take over at its own 6-yard line, as if it hadn’t already been hard enough for the Spartans to move the ball. Brian Lewerke remained in at quarterback.
Ohio State 48, Michigan State 3 (Q4, 13:54): Brian Lewerke got picked off for the second time in the game, and Ohio State returned it into the red zone thanks in part to a late hit from offensive tackle Cole Chewins. But when J.T. Barrett lofted a pass to the end zone, Justin Layne made a highlight-reel pick with one hand to take it right back.
— Michigan St. on BTN (@MichiganStOnBTN) November 11, 2017
Ohio State, 48, Michigan State 3 (Q3, 0:00): Another field goal for Ohio State. The Buckeyes kept on scoring and passed the mark for Michigan State’s worst loss under coach Mark Dantonio: 42 points against Alabama. Of course, that would have to hold until the end of the game to be notable.
Ohio State 45, Michigan State 3 (Q3, 5:36): Michigan State punter Jake Hartbarger punted for a seventh time. No adjustments seemed to be working for the Spartans.
Ohio State 45, Michigan State 3 (Q3, 9:17): This could be counted as a win for Michigan State, right? The Spartans finally kept Ohio State off the board after the Buckeyes had entered the red zone. A field goal followed.
Ohio State 42, Michigan State 3 (Q3, 14:06): Well, Michigan State didn’t start the second half with the ball, but they would get it back in a hurry. Within a minute, J.T. Barrett launched a 48-yard touchdown pass to Binjimen Victor. Justin Layne tried to bring him down but could not.
Ohio State 35, Michigan State 3 (Q2, 0:00): Michigan State finally got on the board as time expired via a 37-yard field goal from Matt Coghlin. The Spartans had set up to go for it until Ohio State called a timeout.
Take a look at the stats, if you can stomach them.
— Spartan Football (@MSU_Football) November 11, 2017
Ohio State 35, Michigan State 0 (Q2, 0:59): David Dowell made up for some missed tackles with yet another interception. It was his fifth of the year.
Ohio State 35, Michigan State 0 (Q2, 2:07): But the interception comes eventually. Damon Arnette picked it off again, and this one didn’t get called back. This one was not necessarily all Lewerke’s fault, as there was a clear miscommunication with Cody White.
Ohio State 35, Michigan State 0 (Q2, 3:00): It looked like another turnover from Brian Lewerke, but Dre’Mont Jones got slapped with a targeting call for late helmet-to-helmet contact on Lewerke. Jones got ejected, and the drive continued.
Ohio State 35, Michigan State 0 (Q2, 6:16): It took one play for Ohio State to go 82 yards through Mike Weber. He burst through the hole and sprinted past the Spartans’ secondary for his second score of the game.
Ohio State 28, Michigan State 0 (Q2, 6:27): It’s not a good sign when your punter is having your best game. That was the case with Michigan State, which recorded a first down for the first time since the opening drive but still had to boot it away.
Ohio State 28, Michigan State 0 (Q2, 9:21): That didn’t take long. Missed tackles continued to plague Michigan State, and J.K. Dobbins gave Ohio State its fourth rushing touchdown of the game.
Ohio State 21, Michigan State 0 (Q2, 10:17): The search for a first down continued, and it got even worse for Michigan State when Brian Lewerke fumbled it away while scrambling. A holding call was declined, and Ohio State took over on the Spartans’ 25-yard line.
Ohio State 21, Michigan State 0 (Q2, 11:35): The rout continued. Ohio State continued to run up the middle at will. Its only pass play of the drive was a long ball that forced Justin Layne to commit pass interference in the end zone. J.T. Barrett finished things off with his second touchdown on a draw.
Ohio State 14, Michigan State 0 (Q1, 0:00): Freshman Connor Heyward made the mistake of not catching the kickoff, and off the bounce he got crushed inside the 5-yard line. Brian Lewerke’s inaccuracy continued, and the Spartans set themselves up to punt on the first play of the second quarter.
The quarter ended with Ohio State rushing for 102 yards, more than the Spartans had given up in the last four games and matching what they allowed from Michigan.
Ohio State 14, Michigan State 0 (Q1, 0:17): Ohio State continued to gash Michigan State’s front seven consistently, passing 100 yards in the first quarter. J.T. Barrett finished it off with a touchdown run.
Ohio State 7, Michigan State 0 (Q1, 4:00): These teams had been trading three-and-outs until J.K. Dobbins ran for a first down.
Ohio State 7, Michigan State 0 (Q1, 5:11): Michigan State dodged a bullet on special teams. After a solid defensive drive aided by a high snap over Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett’s head, the Spartans ran into the punter but didn’t rough him, keeping the Buckeyes from receiving a first down.
Ohio State 7, Michigan State 0 (Q1, 7:09): Michigan State’s offensive line continued to struggle finding its footing. A Jordan Reid false start pushed the Spartans deep into their own territory and eventually forced them to punt it away. Fortunately for them, Jake Hartbarger got a great roll on his punt all the way inside the Buckeyes’ 30-yard line.
Ohio State 7, Michigan State 0 (Q1, 8:14): Michigan State’s run defense, which had been solid all year, got gashed repeatedly on the first drive. Right up the middle, Mike Weber sprinted 47 yards for a touchdown, putting the Buckeyes on the board in a hurry. It marked the longest run given up by the Spartans all year.
Michigan State 0, Ohio State 0 (Q1, 10:10): Brian Lewerke’s legs proved to be a weapon on the first drive, and they would have to be against an aggressive Ohio State pass rush. But the Buckeyes still got to him twice, forcing a punt. It was a tough start for left tackle Cole Chewins.
Michigan State-Ohio State pregame updates
Michigan State shared that it would wear its all-whites: helmets, jerseys and pants.
— Spartan Football (@MSU_Football) November 11, 2017
Per The Detroit News’ Matt Charboneau, Michigan State got some good news on its dress list. Both defensive end Dillon Alexander and tight end Noah Davis, who did not dress last week, suited up for this game.
DE Dillon Alexander dressed today for MSU. Also, TE Noah Davis back after missing last two games
— Matt Charboneau (@mattcharboneau) November 11, 2017
Ohio State starting linebackers Jerome Baker and Dante Booker did not go out onto the field for warmups. Reports stated that they would not play.
Michigan State-Ohio State game time, information
Kickoff time: 12 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, November 11, 2017
Location: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
TV channel: FOX
Michigan State-Ohio State preview
At this point one year ago, Michigan State stood at 2-7 and had lost all seven of those games in a row. Now the Spartans come in at 7-2 and “have everything to lose,” as coach Mark Dantonio put it. That’s what you call a total reversal.
And with a strong start comes higher expectations. Michigan State ranks 13th in the Associated Press Top 25 and 12th in the College Football Playoff rankings. Thoughts of winning out have turned into confident predictions of that outcome.
Doing so would send Michigan State to the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis. Win that game, and who knows what could happen?
But it starts with the Buckeyes. Coach Urban Meyer’s team has lost two regular-season games for the first time in his six-year tenure, with the latest setback coming at the hands of Iowa, 55-24. It certainly won’t want a third.
For Michigan State to take down its first-place foes, the game plan will start with the defense, as it always does. The Buckeyes have a dynamic quarterback in J.T. Barrett, who’s helped make them the Big Ten’s top scoring offense (43.8 points per game), the top-ranked total offense (549.0 yards) and No. 1 passing offense (313.7). No other Big Ten teams are averaging 300 passing yards per game.
Rather than putting an all-out rush against a mobile guy like Barrett, the Spartans will likely look to simply contain him and prevent him from getting into open space. He has 517 rushing yards on the season.
Offensively, the Spartans will look for more balance. Quarterback Brian Lewerke has thrown for 400 yards in consecutive games, and it took 113 attempts to do so. Dantonio feels comfortable asking that of his sophomore quarterback, but he would prefer to have more balance.
Michigan State’s rushing offense has been uncharacteristically weak, failing to surpass 95 yards in any of its last three games. With three running backs Dantonio has said are good enough to start in LJ Scott, Gerald Holmes, and Madre London, that should not happen.
The last time Michigan State traveled to Columbus, it came away with a 17-14 win against a then-undefeated Ohio State squad. Kicker Michael Geiger iced the game with a field goal as time expired and then proceeded to go into his trademark windmill celebration. The Spartans hope they will have reason to celebrate similarly on Saturday.
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