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Ohio State vs. Michigan State Prediction, Game Preview

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Ohio State vs. Michigan State prediction and game preview. The Buckeyes look to avenge last year’s loss to the Spartans on Saturday in East Lansing.


Ohio State vs. Michigan State Game Preview

When: Saturday, Nov. 19 – Noon ET
Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Mich.
TV Broadcast: ESPN

Ohio State is the No. 2 team in the AP Top 25, but its hopes for reaching the College Football Playoff might hinge on winning the Big Ten title. That’s where it gets tricky, because the Buckeyes are going to need some help even if they beat Michigan State and Michigan. They lost to Penn State, which holds the tiebreaker if both teams end up with one loss. Coach Urban Meyer’s team still has to handle its own business, though.

Beating Michigan State should provide some gratification after the Spartans ended Ohio State’s CFP hopes with last year’s 17-14 victory in Columbus on a field goal as time expired. Michigan State isn’t nearly as good this year, as it enters with a 3-7 record, no chance of playing in a bowl, and coming off its first Big Ten victory.

What To Know About Ohio State

J.T. Barrett accounted for four touchdowns in last week’s 62-3 trouncing of Maryland and did the same in the previous week’s victory over Nebraska by the same score. That gives him a Big Ten-record 98 total TDs, breaking the previous mark of 95 held by Drew Brees.

Ohio State might not to be able to run up the score like it has the previous two weeks, but Barrett, Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel are going to try to blitz the Spartans early and put the game out of reach before halftime.

What To Know About Michigan State

The worst season in Mark Dantonio’s 10-year tenure at Michigan State is finally drawing to a close, but games against Ohio State and Penn State could add two more ugly chapters. The Spartans aren’t nearly as talented as either team, but it at least is entering this matchup with some confidence after beating Rutgers, 49-0, to snap a seven-game losing streak.

L.J. Scott has rushed for 120-plus yards in three of the last four games after finishing with 122 and a touchdown against the Scarlet Knights. The Buckeyes have the second-best run defense in the conference, though, and have allowed only three rushing touchdowns, tied with Michigan, Louisville and Alabama for the fewest in the nation.

Advantages

Offense: Ohio State – It has far more weapons than Michigan State, which has suffered from spotty quarterback play all season.

Defense: Ohio State – This is one of the top units in the country.

Special Teams: Ohio State – The Spartans have one of the worst kickoff-coverage units in the Big Ten.

Coaching: Ohio State – Meyer has never, in his career, had a year like Dantonio is experiencing now.

Intangibles: Michigan State – The Buckeyes are 59-5 under Meyer. Two of those losses have come against the Spartans, with both ruining Ohio State’s national title hopes.

Matchup To Watch

Scott vs. Ohio State’s run D

The only hopes for Michigan State to pull off an upset is its defense having its best performance of the season and Scott providing the offensive production. Scott had only 58 yards in last year’s meeting, though.

Betting Odds

Spread: Ohio State -22.5
Over/Under: 61.5

Ohio State vs. Michigan State Prediction

The Buckeyes start slowly, but Barrett hits Samuel for a long touchdown pass to get them going. Ohio State shuts down Scott in the second half and winds up winning easily.

Ohio State vs. Michigan State final score prediction: Ohio State 37, Michigan State 17

MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 12

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