Ohio State Football: Buckeyes Welcome Spartans in Primetime; Just Two Games Until The Game

Photo Credit: Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch /USA TODAY NETWORK
Photo Credit: Kyle Robertson/Columbus Dispatch /USA TODAY NETWORK

The Ohio State football team looks to dominate in all phases against a struggling Michigan State team. 

The Ohio State Buckeyes will host the Michigan State Spartans in an after hours showdown in the Shoe, with kickoff set for 7:30pm. Both teams sit on opposite sides of the Big Ten East with the Spartans sitting at the bottom at 3-6 (1-5 Big Ten) and the Buckeyes at the top 9-0 (6-0). 

The Spartans started the year 2-0 with wins over Central Michigan and Richmond, but suffered their first loss in a blowout against the Washington Huskies. They then lost their first five conference games including a 49-0 shutout against TTUN. The Spartans won their first conference game last week against Nebraska 20-17.

Michigan State has struggled on offense this year with just one game over 21 points in conference play. They have had a quarterback carousel at times and their leading passer has just 1,090 passing yards on the year. The Spartan quarterbacks have just one more passing touchdown (11 total) than interceptions (10). 

Their leading receiver is Senior Montorie Foster Jr. who has 33 receptions, 436 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The ground attack is a one man crew with only this back posting more than 27 carries the entire year. Sophomore Nathan Carter has 156 carries, 659 rushing yards (4.2 average), and four touchdowns. Junior Cal Haladay leads the Spartan defense with 65 tackles on the year.

Ohio State returns home for the first time since their top-10 showdown against Penn State three weeks prior. Junior quarterback Kyle McCord will remain the starter and is completing 65 percent of his passes on the year, adding 2,352 passing yards and 17 touchdowns with four interceptions.

Junior wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. continues to be McCord’s favorite target and continues to show he is the undisputed best wideout in all of college football. Harrison has nearly twice as many receptions as the next best buckeye with 52 catches. He also has more than twice the receiving yards (914) and receiving touchdowns (10) than the next closest Buckeye.

Senior tight end Cade Stover missed last game with a minor injury but still is second on the team in catches (27) and receiving yards (429). He is tied for second on the team in receiving touchdowns (3) with junior wide receiver Emeka Egbuka.

With the running back room taking a blow with Senior Miyan Williams out for the year, junior running back TreVeyon Henderson took the full workload last game. He has 90 carries for 585 rushing yards good for 6.5 yards per carry, as well as seven rushing touchdowns. He also has 12 catches for 170 receiving yards on the year.

Senior linebacker Tommy Eichenberg continues to lead the silver bullets on defense with 73 total tackles, 37 solo and 36 assisted. The defense provided a huge pick six last game but the team is losing the turnover battle on the year by one.

Keys to the game will be a quick start against a struggling team. Cleaning up the remaining struggles of the year is essential with just two games left before the trip to Ann Arbor. The buckeyes will look to get the running game early to open up the passing attack with a hopefully healthy receiving corps. The silver bullets will look to hold the running attack by Carter and force some turnovers. 

The weather will be a little chilly with kickoff expected to be around 40 degrees, as Ohio State looks to try a gray-out for the Shoe in primetime. The spread is set at Ohio State -31.5 points with the over/under coming in at 47.5 total points.

Prediction: Ohio State 41 Michigan State 7