Last week’s 48-7 destruction of Nebraska showed how good No. 4 Ohio State can be when the Buckeyes are clicking on all cylinders from the get-go. Saturday night’s 34-10 win over No. 25 Michigan State showed how good they can be when they’re not.
Ohio State gained all of 16 yards in the first quarter, but still led 3-0 thanks to two Michigan State fumbles in Spartan territory.
The Buckeyes finally woke up in the second quarter, and that was pretty much all they needed. Ohio State snapped the ball 24 times in the frame — and gained 296 yards and scored 24 points.
The onslaught began with a 60-yard touchdown toss from Justin Fields to Binjimen Victor, pushing the lead to 10-0. After a Michigan State touchdown, Ohio State answered with a 7-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 21-yard Luke Farrell grab, then broke the game wide open with a 67-yard JK Dobbins run, putting the Buckeyes up 24-10 at the 2:24 mark of the second quarter.
Ohio State (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten) added a 43-yard Blake Haubeil field goal, effectively turning the game from “defensive struggle” to “out of reach” in 15 minutes of work.
Fields added a 1-yard touchdown run at the 10:41 mark of the fourth quarter, the only scoring of the second half. He finished the game 17-of-25 for 206 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while rushing 11 times for 61 yards and a score. Dobbins rushed 24 times for 172 yards and a score, while Master Teague III added 90 yards on 14 carries.
For Michigan State (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten), there were simply too many missed opportunities to make a game out of it. Brian Lewerke went 20-of-38 for 218 yards with a touchdown, an interception and a handful of missed open receivers. Elijah Collins led the Spartans’ ground effort with 63 yards on 12 carries.