The Michigan State Spartans came into today’s game against the Ohio State Buckeyes leading the nation in defensive yards per game allowed with 172 yards per game, and had that stat beat until the last Buckeye offensive play of the game, and the Spartans won the Big Ten opener for both teams 10-7 at Ohio Stadium.
The Buckeyes were kept off the board until 10 seconds were left in the game, when Joe Bauseman hit Evan Spencer from 34 yards out. When Michigan State recovered the ensuing onside kick, the victory that moved MSU to 4-1 and dropped OSU to 3-2 was sealed.
Ohio State managed only 178 yards for the game, which saw Braxton Miller have a rough enough outing that he was replaced by Bauserman. Miller went 5-of-10 for only 57 yards, was intercepted once and sacked four times. Bauserman finished 7-of-14 for 87 plus the TD, but was sacked five times.
The Spartans outgained Ohio State 324-178, amassing 250 yards through the air. MSU quarterback Kirk Cousins went 20-of-32 with a TD and two picks that kept Ohio State in the game.
But the Buckeyes’ offense was unable to take advantage, and by the time OSU scored, it would have taken a miracle to pull this one out, and no miracle was forthcoming in this first meeting between the two schools since 2008.
Cousins hit B.J. Cunningham from 33 yards out with six minutes left in the first quarter, and that was all the scoring until Dan Conroy kicked a 50-yard field goal with 11:08 left in the game to make it 10-0.
Jordan Hall led the Buckeyes in rushing with 47 yards, but it took 19 carries to achieve. Carlos Hyde racked up 26 yards in four rushes, but when the nine sacks and their loss of yardage was factored in, OSU managed just 34 net yards rushing.
For Michigan State, Le’Veon Bell rushed 14 times for 49 yards, while Edwin Baker gained 37 yards on 12 carries. The Spartans were not sacked on the day and finished with 74 yards on the ground.
Just a rough day for the Buckeye offense, and next week a real challenge presents itself when Ohio State travels to Nebraska to take on the Cornhuskers at 8:00 p.m.
Ohio State needs to figure out their attack fast, or they will be 0-2 in the Big Ten by next Sunday morning.
Nebraska is ranked eighth and is at seventh-ranked Wisconsin this evening.
Michigan State is off next Saturday and will host Michigan on the 15th.