Ohio State vs. Michigan State score: No. 3 Buckeyes cruise past Spartans as defense flexes its muscle


No. 3 Ohio State put on another impressive offensive display while also flexing the power of a top-10 defense in a 49-20 win at Michigan State. The final margin should grab the attention of AP Top 25 voters, who will take a much harder look at where the undefeated Buckeyes stand among the top teams in the country when the rankings are updated on Sunday.

CJ Stroud and the rest of the Buckeyes offense scored touchdowns on seven of the team’s first eight offensive possessions, including touchdown drives of 98, 91 and 96 yards. Although Stroud had to overcome an early interception that led directly to a Michigan State touchdown, the rest of his performance was on par with his current stats as the Heisman Trophy favorite. Stroud finished with 361 yards and six touchdowns on 21-of-26 passing, and it was so clear early that Michigan State was not going to be able to defend the many elite options that the Buckeyes offense presented in the passing game.

Even with star wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba out, this offense is still lining up multiple future pros capable of big plays and jaw-dropping highlights.

Emeka Egbuka led the team with 143 receiving yards and a touchdown on five catches as he was able to turn routine completions into explosive plays with 83 of those yards coming after the catch. But the star of the wide receiver room Saturday was Marvin Harrison Jr., who had a team-high seven catches for 131 yards with a team-high three touchdowns.

Harrison also one of the best catches of the entire day in college football:

The dominance of the passing attack made TreVeyon Henerson’s 118 yards and a touchdown — nearly all of which was amassed in the first half — a footnote, along with a defensive performance that for most of the game was stifling. Through three quarters of the game, Michigan State had just 105 yards of offense at 3.1 yards per play and -8 rushing yards. The Spartans picked up some more yards and another touchdown in the final 15 minutes with the outcome more than decided, but even then the final totals (202 yards, 4.2 yards per play) represent one of the best performances of the season for Ohio State’s defense. .

Ohio State has picked up more first-place votes in the AP Top 25 poll after each of the last two wins, although the Buckeyes have remained No. 3 behind the SEC duo of Alabama and Georgia at that time. With more well-rounded performances, dominating opponents on offense and defense, Ohio State — a team that we have No. 1 in the country in the CBS Sports 131 — will get more consideration for that top spot in the polls.


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