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Ohio State at Michigan State

10/18

**Note this game is also a 5* Key Release

The Ohio State Buckeyes are in an unfamiliar situation. For the first time in several seasons they are not a contender for the national championship. This is not to say they aren’t good, because their record at 6-1 is superb. Their only loss came to #1 USC earlier in the year in a blowout. The loss was the worst in Ohio State history. They have since come back to defeat #18 Wisconsin and are on the road to recovery. They have several tough games left on their schedule, and this weeks match against Big Ten rival #20 Michigan State will not be an exception

The Michigan State Spartans got their season off to a slow start, losing a heartbreaker to California. Since that loss they have won 6 straight, catapulting them into the top 25. Their best win was a dominating 23-7 win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but the Buckeyes are clearly their toughest opponent so far this year. Tied at 3-0 atop the Big Ten standings along with Penn State, both of these teams can expect a hard fought battle.

Led by Terrell Pryor, the Ohio State offense is fairly balanced, but leans toward running the ball. They are averaging 177.3 rushing YPG, 143.6 passing YPG, for a grand total of 320.9 YPG. Pryor has thrown 5 Touchdown passes this year, and rushed for 4 more. His total passing yards are 537 with 232 of them going to Brian Robinskie, who has also caught 4 Touchdown passes from 24 receptions. Chris “Beanie” Wells is the top Running Back, averaging 6.7 yards per carry. On the whole, the offense is averaging 24.3 points per game.

While the offense is capable, the defense is the heart of this Buckeyes team. They are allowing on average just 14.3 PPG. Remove that loss to USC, and they would be giving up just 10.8 PPG. I know the Ohio State fans are sick of hearing about that USC game, but Pete Carroll did say the OSU defense is the best in the country-before his team trampled it.

Michigan State is seeking to win 7 straight for the first time in over 30 years. Running Back Javon Ringer is the heart of the offense, racking up 14 Touchdowns thus far and grinding out 1,112 yards on the ground. He steps it up against good teams, running for 201 yards and 2 Touchdowns against Notre Dame. He is clearly the heart of the offense which is averaging 368.9 YPG. Quarterback Brain Hoyer has also been a pivotal part of the offense. His QB rating is 122.91 as he has thrown for 1,314 yards and 5 Touchdowns.

The Spartan defense has been phenomenal, pitching a shutout against Florida Atlantic, and holding Notre Dame to 7 points. They were also able to hold Iowa to 13 points. They are allowing just 16.7 PPG on average. When playing at home they are giving up 7.5 PPG. I expect to see them hold Ohio State to a score less than their average.

This will be a great football game between two Big Ten rivals. They appear to be evenly matched, but I will give the tip to Michigan State for two reasons. The first reason is they will have home field advantage. OSU hasn’t played its best football on the road, and Michigan State seems twice as good when playing at home. I also like Michigan State because they are getting 4 points. I encourage you to take a long look at the Spartans! Mich State +3.5

 

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