In a game that consisted of 3 big runs (Michigan State 17-0 run, Ohio State 24-0 run, and a Spartans 17-0 run to end run the game), Ohio State came up short against the Spartans, 34-24.
Besides the 24-0 run, the Buckeyes were out-played and out-coached for most of the game.
Michigan State’s defense lived up to the hype. They held Braxton Miller to just 101 passing yards and a touchdown on just 8 completions in 21 attempts.
Ohio State’s run-game played very well, just like they have all season. Miller (21 carries, 142 yards, 2 TDs) and Carlos Hyde (18 carries, 118 yards) both ran the ball very well. Miller and Hyde have each had 100+ rushing yards in 4 straight games and 5 total games this season (Buckeyes only had 5 such games in the previous 15 seasons combined.
Unfortunately, the Buckeyes could not get the run-game going (that mostly consisted of Miller QB sneaks). It almost seemed as though Michigan State knew what Ohio State’s play was on 3rd and short and 4th and short. Outside of Miller and Hyde, Philly Brown (5 catches, 53 yards, 1 TD) also played well.
Once again, the defense was led by Ryan Shazier (12 tackles, 1.5 TFL). Along with Shazier, C.J. Barnett (7 tackles, .5 TFL), Noah Spence (6 tackles, 1 TFL), Bradley Roby (6 tackles, .5 TFL), and Joey Bosa (3 tackles, 2 TFL) also played well on defense.
As most people have said all season, the Buckeyes secondary must improve if they want to get better on the defensive side of the ball.
Ohio State punter Cameron Johnston played very well. He had 7 punts that averaged 43.1 yards, 5 of which landed inside the 20-yard line.
The Buckeyes were held scoreless in the first quarter for the first time since October 7, 2012 at Penn State.
Ohio State takes on Clemson in the Orange Bowl, January 3, at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.