Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan State Spartans
Ohio State travels north to face off with Michigan State on Saturday in a battle of two teams trying to stay within striking distance of division leading Michigan in the Big Ten East. Ohio State has not lost in East Lansing since 1999, but is still looking to regain their shine after a defeat to Purdue and narrowly escaping Nebraska at home. Michigan State is riding a two game winning streak against Purdue and Maryland. Ohio State is currently a -3.5 favorite as they head on the road.
Buckeyes Need to Win Out
Ohio State needs to win out the rest of the season to have a shot at the College Football Playoff.Currently sitting at 8-1, the Buckeyes are the worst ranked one loss Power 5 team in the College Football Playoff selection committee standings. They currently sit at 11th and will need to win out and get some help to make it to the final four. There is no doubt that the Buckeyes will need to play better than they have recently to hold up their end of the bargain.
After pretty much coasting through the first half of the season, Ohio State was thrashed by Purdue two weeks ago. Despite that loss and a close win at home against Nebraska, the Buckeyes still boast the nation’s 17th best scoring offense and are in the top 10 in both total yards and passing yards per game. Michigan State is always known for their tough interior line play, so much of Ohio State’s success should come off the arm of Heisman candidate Dwayne Haskins. Haskins is currently averaging 340 yards per game with 32 touchdowns to 6 interceptions.
Spartans Seeking Upset
Michigan State will have quarterback Brian Lewerke back for the second straight game after he missed the Spartans victory against Purdue. Lewerke has been underwhelming this season and much of the Spartans’ anticipated success rested on his arm. Lewerke is averaging just 217 yards per game with 8 touchdowns and 8 interceptions on the season.One advantage Michigan State has coming into this game is the play on the defensive side of the ball.
Ohio State has given up points and massive yardage amounts their last two times out. Lewerke and the Spartans offense will need to take advantage of this. Of course, Mark Dantonio loves his low scoring, defensive bruisers, but it is hard to keep this Buckeyes offense down. The Spartans are going to have to go into uncomfortable scoring territory, the mid to high thirties, to win this game.
Ohio State vs. Michigan State Pick and Prediction
Michigan State has yet to hit the 30 point mark in any conference game, despite playing against some suspect defenses. Ohio State is going to score points. They just have too many weapons in Mike Weber, JK Dobbins, and Dwayne Haskins that the Spartans need to contain over a sixty minute span. Michigan State does not have enough offensive firepower to counter and keep pace. The Buckeyes go into East Lansing and keep their playoff hopes alive. Ohio State wins and covers, 34-20.
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