The Michigan State defensive line was able to dominate the Ohio State offensive line early, as the Buckeyes would have no rushing yards after the first quarter.
Ohio State (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) has beaten the Spartans (4-1, 2-0) the last three times.
Michigan State (4-2) kept it tight in the first quarter. Following a Spartan turnover on the next possession, the Buckeyes were unable to complete a third-and-long on a drive that resulted in a missed field goal. Regardless of who the Irish play, an 11-1 Notre Dame is going to get a playoff nod over a one-loss conference champ.
"I think it's a measuring stick".
The Buckeyes averaged 12.3 yards per play in the second quarter, turning seemingly every Michigan State defensive mistake or misalignment into a game-breaking play.
Fields finished 17 for 25 for 206 yards and threw an interception for the first time in his first 175 pass attempts as a Buckeye.
"That was a great play and a great play call by coach", Fields said. "We had time to throw the football, then when it became just a passing game things changed a little bit in that respect". Ohio State needed a team like the Spartans to expose a few flaws, and no better time for that than going into an off week.
Day and his coaching staff found the answers to Michigan State's questions by making the necessary adjustments from the first quarter and then finally hitting on big plays they showed in the first quarter.
After that, it was nearly all Ohio State in the first half and beyond. "If you want to be the best, if you want to go to the Big Ten Championship, this is the game you've got to win". But that was bound to happen to the Ohio State sophomore quarterback at some point this season.
The Buckeyes don't lack offensive talent at any position. A total of 23 of those are from 20 yards or more.
"We're not focused too much on last year or two years ago, whatever", Michigan State's senior quarterback Brian Lewerke said.
The spread for this game favors the Buckeyes by a whopping 20 points (OSU -20), while the over/under is set at 49.
Even in a struggle, the offense can rely on the big play..
The Buckeyes have yet to meet a team that can give them a fight, and the Spartans look to be a real challenge for Ohio State.
No. 4 Ohio State vs.
Defensively, the Buckeyes rank second in the nation, giving up just 223.8 yards per game to opponents. Fields said he had mixed emotions about the interception and claimed he might have been jinxed by talking about it last week.
"The conversation was I told him it was my fault", Day said.
In college football, number-18 MI hosts 14th ranked Iowa in a homecoming match up at the Big House at noon tomorrow.
It seemed impossible that anyone could top Dwayne Haskins' record-setting turn as Ohio State quarterback previous year, but Justin Fields is working on it. "They're a very explosive team". This might be the scariest assessment of all. "The big one to Bin was huge, and I think that's some of those ones that we hit on the outside; as we go with tempo it really helped us get into rhythm".