3 Total Updates since September 27, 2011
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
For the first time since 1999, Michigan State has a win over Ohio State. The Spartans took advantage of an inept Buckeyes offense to grind out a 10-7 win, their first in Columbus since 1998.
Ohio State only managed 178 yards of total offense against an MSU defensive front that yielded just 34 yards rushing and notched nine quarterback sacks.
Braxton Miller threw for 57 yards on 5-of-10 passing before getting pulled for Joe Bauserman. The senior played marginally better than his freshman teammate, getting 87 yards on 7-of-14 passing and the Buckeyes’ lone touchdown. But by then, the Spartans had what turned out to be an insurmountable 10-0 lead.
Kirk Cousins threw for 250 yards and a touchdown on 20-of-32 passing for Michigan State. He didn’t take great care of the football, however, throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble.
Receiver B.J. Cunningham was the offensive standout for the Spartans. He hauled in nine receptions for 154 yards and MSU’s lone touchdown. On a day when both teams struggled to score points, Cunningham provided a much-needed weapon to put something on the scoreboard.
The running game wasn’t much help, unfortunately. What Ohio State couldn’t do on offense, they made up for on defense by shutting down MSU’s rushing attack. The Spartans generated only 74 yards rushing. Le’Veon Bell led the team with 49 yards on 14 carries. Edwin Baker added 37 yards on 12 rushes.
Michigan State lost its chance to become the first team to shut out Ohio State since 1993 when Bauserman hit Evan Spencer for a 33-yard touchdown with 10 seconds remaining in the game. The Buckeyes attempted an onside kick after the score, but it was recovered by MSU.
Though this hardly looks to be a typically strong Ohio State team, a win in Columbus is big for Michigan State and it was surely meaningful for Mark Dantonio, who was the Buckeyes’ defensive coordinator from 2001-03. Beating one of the Big Ten’s traditional powers is an excellent way to begin conference play, especially with upcoming games against Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska over the next four weeks.
The Spartans are off next week before hosting Michigan on Oct. 15 and trying for a fourth straight win over the Wolverines.
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
With rainy conditions in Columbus on Saturday, play was bound to be a bit ugly on offense for both Michigan State and Ohio State.
However, the Buckeyes have really struggled on offense in the first half, generating only 87 total yards. Quarterback Braxton Miller has passed for just 57 yards and one interception on 5-of-9 passing. The Spartans’ defense has also sacked Miller three times.
The running game hasn’t produced much better. Carlos Hyde leads Ohio State in rushing with 21 yards.
For Michigan State, Kirk Cousins has completed 13-of-19 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown. He connected with receiver B.J. Cunningham for the game’s lone score on a 33-yard pass. Cunningham leads the Spartans in receiving with 90 yards on seven receptions.
What Ohio State has lacked in offense, it’s made up for on defense against the MSU running game. Le’Veon Bell has only 22 yards on six carries in the first half. Edwin Baker added 11 yards on three carries.
The Spartans had a chance at a second touchdown late in the first half, with Cousins connecting with Cunningham three times during the drive. But at the Buckeyes’ 25-yard line, Cousins fumbled while attempting to throw the ball. Johnathan Hankins recovered the turnover for Ohio State.
over 1 year ago Update 0 comments
(Sports Network) - Both unranked despite 3-1 records, the Michigan State Spartans and Ohio State Buckeyes are set to clash in what figures to be a highly competitive Big Ten Conference opener.
Michigan State has played three inferior opponents thus far and crushed all three by a combined score of 117-13. Last week, the Spartans had no trouble with Central Michigan, as that game ended in a 45-7 triumph. The lone road game for the club thus far happened to come against the toughest opponent, Notre Dame, and the Spartans stumbled to a 31-13 defeat. It is unclear just how good Mark Dantonio's team really is, but this matchup with Ohio State figures to provide the answer.
Speaking of the Buckeyes, they are guided by first-year head coach Luke Fickell. After falling to Miami-Florida two weeks ago in a game that wasn't even competitive, Ohio State bounced back strong with a 37-17 romp over Colorado last weekend. Fickell's group is now 3-1 overall and will face three consecutive ranked opponents following this affair.
Ohio State owns a 27-12 series lead over Michigan State, which includes seven straight wins over the Spartans. The clubs haven't done battle since 2008.
There is certainly no shortage of talent at the offensive skill positions for Michigan State. The Spartans are led by quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has completed 69.2 percent of his passes for 947 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions. His favorite target is clearly B.J. Cunningham, who has already made 29 catches for 428 yards and a score. As for the ground attack, Le'Veon Bell leads the way with 217 yards and six touchdowns, while Edwin Baker has an almost identical rushing yardage total (216).
Those four players mentioned, as well as the supporting cast, has led Michigan State to 32.5 ppg and 417.2 total ypg. While the offense is racking up points in bunches, the defense has been outstanding. Opponents are only managing 11.0 ppg and 172.2 total ypg against the mighty Spartans, who have been tremendous against both the run and the pass. Foes are managing a meager 2.7 yards per rushing attempt and 7.6 yards per pass completion. Through four games, MSU has permitted only five touchdowns to opposing offenses. Keep an eye on Denicos Allen, as he has five TFL to his credit.
Last week against Central Michigan, Bell ran for three scores and Cousins threw for 213 yards and a touchdown. Michigan State held the ball for over 38 minutes and limited the overmatched Chippewas to 2-of-12 success on third-down conversion attempts. Four interceptions were notched by the Spartans, who yielded a mere 112 total yards in what was yet another dominant defensive effort.
That Michigan State defense will have to contain a few talented Ohio State freshmen this weekend in Braxton Miller and Devin Smith. Miller made his first collegiate start at quarterback last week and threw a couple of touchdown passes against Colorado. Sure, Miller completed just 5-of-13 passes for 83 yards, but he didn't throw an interception and proved capable of leading the team. Fellow rookie Devin Smith was on the receiving end of both scoring strikes. Miller added 83 yards on the ground, and Jordan Hall rushed for 84 yards and one touchdown.
Moving forward, Miller will be the quarterback of the Buckeyes, as he provides more athleticism and a better opportunity for production than Joe Bauserman, who has obviously been demoted. Smith has eight catches for 183 yards and three touchdowns, while Jake Stoneburner has four receiving scores to his credit. Those two players figure to be the main targets for Miller both in this Big Ten opener and all season. Leading the ground attack is Carlos Hyde with 263 yards and three scores, while Hall provides plenty of backfield balance. OSU is generating 28.0 ppg and 340.8 total ypg.
The Buckeye defense certainly got the job done against Colorado, limiting the Buffaloes to 314 total yards and 17 points. OSU came up with a pair of takeaways in the contest and held the visitors to 3-of-13 success on third down.
Overall, Ohio State is surrendering 15.8 ppg and 276.2 total ypg. The Buckeyes are limiting opponents to 99.2 rushing ypg at a clip of 3.5 yards per carry and have been solid against the pass as well. Andrew Stewart paces the club with 24 total tackles, while Etienne Sabino has 4.5 TFL, including a pair of sacks.
Ohio State has the obvious advantage of playing at home, but Michigan State may very well be the better of these two teams. Expect this one to be decided on the final possession.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Michigan State 27, Ohio State 24