When teams struggle with field position, it’s not uncommon to punt away and live for another day. But Michigan State didn’t quite have that luxury Saturday, because Ohio State kept them buried all day. The field flip caused huge troubles, and Ohio State won 26-6.

Michigan State was backed up against its on goal line just about all day, and couldn’t get out of its own way. The Spartans were only 2-for-16 on third down conversions, which is unfortunate considering Ohio State had given up 80 points in its previous two games. With the loss, Michigan State fell to 6-4 overall, and 4-3 in the Big Ten.

Here’s what I liked — and what I didn’t like — about Michigan State’s loss to Ohio State:

What I liked

Defense hangs tough in difficult situations

It was clear that for Michigan State to win this game, the defense would have to dominate. It did exactly that, holding Ohio State scoreless on its first five possessions. They held Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins to just 227 yards passing, his lowest total of the season, and it was his only game all season where he didn’t have multiple touchdown passes. The 26-6 final score is deceiving because Ohio State’s 17 fourth-quarter points were all the result of turnovers. The defense did its part. Too bad the offense couldn’t help at all.

Cody White is an all-conference talent at WR

There was really only one player who stood out all day on offense, and that was wide receiver Cody White. He had 8 catches for 115 yards, and his impact was helpful, but clearly not enough. The sophomore from Novi, Mich., has been missed. He was out four games with a broken hand, and came back two weeks ago. Saturday was his best game of the season, and only his second over 100 yards. It would have been interesting to see what he could have done with a full season.

What I didn’t like

How can running backs get only 6 carries?

Running back Connor Hayward had 4 carries for just 1 yard and LaDarius Jefferson had 2 carries for 4 yards. Granted, that’s not good production, but how could Michigan State give up on its running game so easily against the Buckeyes? Take out the quarterback scrambles, and Michigan State handed off the ball to running backs only six times all game. Maybe if they had stayed with the running game a little bit longer, some success would have come. Now, we’ll never know.

How can both QBs struggle so badly?

The passing game wasn’t any better. Veteran Brian Lewerke started, but he struggled. He was just 11-for-28 passing for 128 and one interception. Things didn’t get any better when freshman Rocky Lombardi took over. He was just 7-for-20 passing for 92 yards. To gain only 220 yards on 48 attempts, a 4.6-yard average, is atrocious. This was after Ohio State gave up 378 passing yards to Purdue and 266 to Nebraska. Ohio State was there for the taking, especially with how good Michigan State’s defense was playing. The offense did nothing, and that’s a shame.