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Short-handed Buckeyes Annihilate Michigan State

Ohio State plays perhaps their best game of the season without several key starters as they trounce the Spartans.

You read the storylines all week long. 

Would the Buckeyes even be able to play for a Big Ten title this year? Are they worth of being a Top 4 team in the country? Did their national championship hopes crumble this week with CoVID infiltrating the locker room?

Then game day arrived and the Buckeyes announced they would be without five starters, 17 scholarship players and 23 players overall (for a variety of reasons, CoVID-19 among them). Could Justin Fields lead an offense behind an offensive line that had played so little together? Could the defense perform at a high level without their leader Tuf Borland and without starting safety Josh Proctor? 

How would they play with head coach Ryan Day and three other coaches in East Lansing?

Ohio State needed to make a statement that they could handle adversity with the eyes of the country watching closely. And what a statement they made. The final score in East Lansing on Saturday was 52-12.

The Buckeyes ran all over Sparty. Justin Fields had a career-high rushing and Trey Sermon had his best game wearing the Scarlet and Gray.

Ohio State vs. Michigan State Final Box

Fields routinely handled bad snaps from makeshift center Harry Miller, who was thrust into duty with Josh Myers' absence. Miller is typically the left guard and he did his best today, but the bad snaps were perhaps the only thing that routinely frustrated Ohio State.

The Buckeye defense suffocated Michigan State in the first half and softened a bit in the second, thanks in large part to much better quarterback play from Payton Thorne after Rocky Lombardi left the game with an injury.

Even punter Drue Chrisman had a terrific day, downing two punts inside the 5-yard line.

While Ryan Day watched from home, I have to imagine he was filled with overwhelming pride for what the Buckeyes accomplished this week.

As for what lies ahead ... we'll see. Michigan is on the schedule for now. It's officially rivalry-week!


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Ohio State's Best Path to the College Football Playoff


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