Ohio State is just a couple of Saturday’s away from the big showdown in Ann Arbor, but before that, the Buckeyes must avoid looking ahead with a couple of home games. The first one on Saturday night against Michigan State should bring an electric night atmosphere into the Shoe with plenty of big name recruits on hand and some slick grey alternate jerseys hanging in the locker room.
Will Ohio State take care of a business as a 31-point favorite?
With two weeks until Michigan, this is the kind of game where Ohio State should rotate heavily and let several important players heal from injury. That said, the Buckeyes would also benefit from a fast start on offense where they play well through the first half.
Look for Ryan Day to get Kyle McCord going early to Marvin Harrison and Emeka Egbuka, with Ohio State continuing to amp up their use of play action to create explosive plays downfield. Day will likely also feature Trey Henderson on gap run schemes, while ideally limiting him to 15 carries.
Ohio State 41 Michigan State 11
Michigan State is the lowest-scoring team in the Big Ten. Yes, they score fewer points per game (18.2) than Iowa. When you score less than Iowa, you have a problem. They did get a good (for them) win last week against Nebraska. Everybody was expecting this team to just pack it in, but they’ve fought here and there.
Offensively, they can’t run the ball and they have no consistency at quarterback. That being said, there will somehow be the one touchdown drive that the Buckeyes always give up. But I don’t expect much more than that. The running game is going pretty well right now, but I don’t expect TreVeyon Henderson to be counted on too much this weekend. This would be a good opportunity for the Buckeyes to throw the ball around. The Spartans have the second-worst pass efficiency defense in the conference. I’m expecting some good numbers from Kyle McCord. This will also be an opportunity for Devin Brown to return to action. This should be a fun game for Buckeye fans.
Ohio State 42 Michigan State 10
I have been pretty conservative in my picks in recent weeks, which has worked out well for the purposes of predictions. I think this week will be a little different though. Michigan State is really struggling to find an identity on both sides of the ball in the aftermath of Mel Tucker’s dismissal.
I think the night atmosphere in Columbus, coupled with the Buckeyes knowing they need to keep their foot down on the gas pedal will lead to some fireworks on Saturday night and a comfortable win.
Ohio State 42 Michigan State 7
Is anyone paying attention to the Michigan State game this weekend? I know that I am not, but I do know that Ryan Day and his team are.
Ohio State is a 31(Ish) point favorite and scoring just shy of 33 points per game, so the Buckeyes either need to blow that number out of the water or get to it and pitch a shutout.
I think that both things are possible and at least one of them is probable.
Sparty is coming off of a win but I put that more on Nebraska’s will to lose than Michigan State’s will to win.
For what it is worth, Michigan State was dealt a mediocre hand this season and found a way to play that bad hand into worse results.
Ohio State will try and rest some guys along the way but I just don’t see a lot of real resistance on their part as the Buckeyes win this one easily.
Ohio State 38 Michigan State 3
Ohio State is still dealing with a bunch of injuries on both sides of
the ball, but particularly on defense. While several of those players
could probably come back and play this weekend, the Buckeyes may
decide to take the long view and play it safe, with the ultimate goal
of having those guys ready for Michigan.
Michigan State has had one of the worst seasons imaginable, starting
with its head coach taking matters into his own hands and potentially
fumbling an $80 million bag. Since then, the Spartans have spiraled to
a 1-5 Big Ten record, with only a 20-17 win over Nebraska on the left
side of the column.
The Spartans may be able to hold the Ohio State rushing attack
somewhat in check, but have turned into human torches any time the
Buckeyes have thrown the ball in the past few seasons, and their
offense is Iowa-esque.
Ohio State 35 Michigan State 7