Rapid Reaction: Cast changes, but show remains the same as Ohio State rolls over Michigan State
In a season in which its one consistency seems to be the results, Ohio State played without its leading rusher and again without its preseason top wide receiver available. But the results were the same, as Ohio State blasted Michigan State 49-20 Saturday in East Lansing.
With leading rusher Miyan Williams out with a leg injury, Ohio State subbed TreVeyon Henderson back into the lineup, at least for a half. Henderson rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries before leaving with his own apparently minor injury early in the third quarter. But whether the running back is Williams, Henderson or freshman Dallan Hayden, Ohio State continues to be productive.
Heisman candidate CJ Stroud threw an interception in his 3rd straight game, but was otherwise nearly perfect. Stroud had his 3rd career 6-touchdown passing game, again tying Ohio State’s record. He finished 21-of-26 for 361 yards.
Emeka Egbuka and Marvin Harrison Jr. each easily eclipsed 100 yards receiving, with Harrison nabbing 3 touchdown catches for the 3rd time in his young career. Except for a few early hiccups, Ohio State rolled over the Spartans.
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In was the 2nd straight year the Buckeyes shredded Michigan State’s defense. In 2021, OSU ripped through the Spartans for 655 total yards in a 56-7 victory. Ohio State was again over 600 by midway through the 4th quarter on Saturday.
Ohio State turned away Michigan State’s opening drive with a Lathan Ransom interception in the end zone. The Buckeyes then embarked on a 7-play, 80-yard drive that finished with a 19-yard scoring connection from Stroud to Harrison, giving Ohio State a 7-0 edge with 10:50 to play in the first quarter.
After a Michigan State punt, Stroud had a rare mishap, throwing behind Egbuka on a pass that was intercepted and returned 32 yards for a touchdown by Charles Brantley. The extra point tied the game at 7 with 8:32 to go in the quarter.
Michigan State’s momentum didn’t last long. Three plays later, Stroud found Egbuka for a 69-yard catch-and-run when Egbuka got behind the Spartans’ secondary. OSU led 14-7 with 7:11 left in the first quarter, and would not trail again.
After Michigan State punted the Buckeyes back to the 2, OSU bridged the first and second quarters with a 98-yard drive, the final 51 yards of which came on a downfield pass to Julian Fleming. With 14:29 left in the first half, Ohio State’s lead was 21-7.
Michigan State pulled closer on a 76-yard drive, with QB Peyton Throne connecting with wideout Jayden Reed on a 19-yard touchdown. State missed the extra point, but had pulled within 21-13 with 10:43 left in the first half.
OSU answered on Henderson’s 1-yard scoring run, and after a MSU punt, Stroud connected with Harrison for another touchdown, this one from 28 yards out. Ohio State led 35-13 at the half. At intermission, Ohio State led the total yardage battle 429-117.
The second half continued the same pattern. Ohio State’s opening drive was a 96-yard march after a poor kick return. Harrison hauled in an underthrown pass from Stroud and reached the end zone from 19 yards out for his 3rd score of the game with 9:46 left in the third quarter. Ohio State extended its lead on a 2-yard strike from Stroud to Gee Scott with 3:04 remaining in the 3rd quarter that made the score 49-13.
Ohio State moved to 6-0 on the season and has an off week ahead of a home matchup with Iowa on Oct. 22. Michigan State fell to 2-4 and will face Wisconsin in the Spartans’ Homecoming matchup next Saturday.