With the Auburn Tigers beating the Missouri Tigers for the SEC Championship all eyes were on no.2 Ohio State facing no.10 Michigan State. Many perceived that in order for the Buckeyes to get a shot at the National Championship a sound win became a must for Urban Meyer’s squad and that didn’t happen with the Buckeyes losing 34-24 snapping their 24-game winning streak.
Credit goes to the Spartans for dominating the time of possession in the first half illustrated by the first drive of the game that lasted six minutes and 29 seconds resulting in a field goal. After a punt the offense scored on back-to-back touchdown passes thrown by Connor Cook opening up a 17-0 lead. The defense also did its job on the Buckeyes first three offensive possessions forcing three punts and allowing 36 yards on 15 plays.
Braxton Miller came alive in the second quarter utilizing his legs with a 48 yard run and just a few plays later found Philly Brown for a 2o yard touchdown pass. Ohio State’s defense found life and with just over a minute remaining got the football back for the offense. A run of 15 by Miller and a pass to tight end Jeff Heuerman for 36 yards which left kicker Drew Basil an opportunity to cut the lead to just seven at halftime with a 28-yard field goal attempt with four seconds remaining. He made the kick and the momentum favored the Buckeyes.
The Spartans who held Carlos Hyde in check during the first half started to make his mark with Miller’s ability to take off with the football picking up three carries for 27 yards on the first drive of the second half and Miller on two carries picked up 32 yards and capped off the drive with a touchdown to tie the score up. Ohio State couldn’t take advantage of great field position after an interception thrown by Cook and pinned Michigan State deep and after a three-and-out again got excellent field position.
In this case the offensive line imposed its will running the ball on all five plays for 44 yards capped off with a touchdown run by Miller giving the Buckeyes their first lead of the game.
Michigan State trailing for the first time got a big play from running back Jeremy Langford on first down with a 34 yard run and a couple of throws and a run by Cook led to a 44-yard field goal by Michael Geiger. The Spartans defense began to play well and forced a punt. Cook made two beautiful throws first a 12 yard completion to Bennie Fowler and a 48 yard to Macgarrett Kings though an illegal block in the back call lost 10 yards from the spot of the foul. After picking up two additional first downs Josiah Price caught a nine yard touchdown pass to put the Spartans on top 27-24.
Head coach Mark Dantonio attempted to catch the Buckeyes napping with an onside kick and it nearly worked to perfection. Ohio State instead got excellent field position, yet couldn’t capitalize on it. Michigan State didn’t dobetter on offense giving the Buckeyes another chance to either tie or reclaim the lead. The Spartans defense came up with at the time the biggest play of the game on Miller stopping him short of a first down on a fourth down play and got great field position.
Instead of Hyde sealing the victory it was Langord who carried the ball four times for 50 yards and capped it off with a 26 yard touchdown run and made it a two possession game. The Buckeyes did pick up a first down before four straight incomplete passes by Miller giving the ball back to the Spartans. After picking up a first down Cook took the knee to run out the clock.
For Michigan State:
Cook completed 24/40 passes for 304 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Langford carried the ball 24 times for 118 yards and a touchdown
Kings led the way with five receptions and 67 yards
Keith Mumphrey had a team-high 84 yards receiving on just two catches
Miller completed just eight passes out of 21 attempts and threw for 101 yards and a touchdown, he did have 21 carries for 142 yard and two touchdowns
Hyde carried the ball 18 times for 118 yards
Brown led the way with five catches, 53 yards and a touchdown