Manhandled, Out Coached & Out Played The Spartans Get Blown Out by Ohio State!
Columbus, OH – Going into Saturday night’s game against No. 4 ranked Ohio State, No. 25 Michigan State knew it was going to need a near perfect effort in order to pull off an unlikely upset.
But after an evenly played first quarter, the Spartans were overmatched and overwhelmed by the Buckeyes as a dominant second quarter led the way to a 34-10 blowout.
After the Michigan State defense kept the Buckeyes in check in the first quarter, allowing just 16 yards and three points, Ohio State erupted for 296 yards and 24 points in the second quarter alone.
Already leading 3-0, Ohio State (6-0 o verall; 3-0 Big Ten) struck early in the second quarter as Justin Fields connected with Binjimen Victor for a 60-yard touchdown, pushing the lead to 10-0 with over 12 minutes left before halftime.
But, with the Spartans (4-2 overall; 2-1 Big Ten) backed into a corner early, senior quarterback Brian Lewerke and the offense came up with an important early game response, going on an efficient 5-play, 75-yard drive that used just over 90 seconds of game time as Darrell Stewart Jr. hauled in a 20-yard touchdown pass, cutting the deficit to 10-7.
The Buckeyes kept their foot on the gas on the ensuing drive, making a 7-play, 75-yard drive against a usually stingy defense look effortless with Fields connecting with Luke Farrell for a 21-yard score as he shed four defenders on his way into the end zone, making it 17-7.
Perhaps the biggest swing in momentum came on Michigan State’s next drive, with the Spartans again driving deep inside Ohio State territory. Facing a 3rd-and-6 from the Ohio State 22-yard line, Cody White found space in the Ohio State secondary with a chance to get into the end zone, but Lewerke overthrew White as the pass fell incomplete and Michigan State was forced to settle for a Matt Coghlin 39-yard field goal to make it 17-10.
The Buckeye offense continued shredding the Spartan defense in the second quarter, needing just three plays to find the end zone as J.K. Dobbins took off on a 67-yard scamper to extend Ohio State’s lead to 24-10 with 2:24 left to play in the first half.
Fields completed 17 of his 24 pass attempts for 206 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 63 yards and another score, while Dobbins accounted for 172 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown.
Trailing by two scores, Michigan State had the chance to cut the deficit before halftime, but instead a costly drop by Stewart on 3rd-and-five gave Ohio State the ball back with a chance to do more damage.
And Ohio State took full advantage, moving into field goal range late in the second quarter, setting up for a Blake Haubeil 43-yard boot to send the Buckeyes into halftime with a commanding 27-10 lead.
The first half proved to be one with too many mistakes for the Spartans as two first quarter fumbles, a handful of untimely drops and penalties as well as an overthrow on a would-be touchdown to Cody White all contributed to the Spartans letting the game get out of hand before halftime on a night where they needed to be almost perfect in all phases.
Despite the loss, Lewerke turned in an efficient performance for a second straight week, throwing for 218 yards and a touchdown on 20-of-38 passing. Elijah Collins rushed for 63 yards on 12 carries, while Stewart hauled in six grabs for 68 yards and a score.
The Spartan defense settled back down in the second half, holding Ohio State to just one fourth quarter touchdown, but the damage the Buckeyes did in the second quarter proved to be too much to overcome.
Ohio State put the finishing touches on another impressive win with an 11-play, 80-yard drive capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by Fields, extending the lead to 34-10 with 10:41 left to play.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Spartans as Michigan State heads to Wisconsin next Saturday to take on the No. 8 ranked Badgers.
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