Ohio State Football: Most Important Buckeyes Against Michigan State

Ben Layman@@houtexmajorinCorrespondent INovember 9, 2016

Sept 1, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Corey Brown (10) catches a pass during the game against the Miami Redhawks at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Leifheit-US PRESSWIRE

The best game in college football this weekend features two Big Ten rivals, as the Ohio State Buckeyes visit the Michigan State Spartans.

Both squads appear to be the strongest teams the Big Ten has to offer, and this game will go a long way towards settling who should be considered the best going forward.

Neither team plays a pretty brand of football, and college football fans shouldn't expect that to change in this gritty matchup.

Here are a few of the most important Buckeyes in this week's game against Michigan State:


Devin Smith

The big-play wide receiver has been a safety valve for quarterback Braxton Miller. Devin Smith's 72-yard touchdown catch against the Cal Bears was the key to Ohio State winning that game.

Having an explosive receiver on the edge is essential for any offense, and this week's game against the Spartans could be settled by a Michigan State defensive mistake that allows Smith to get open deep.


Çorey Brown

Ohio State has relied on its duo of wideouts to move the ball through the air early on this season. Corey Brown is Braxton Miller's go-to receiver on short and intermediate throws.

Brown is also a capable punt returner, and it's just a matter of time before he affects the game on special teams.


Jordan Hall

Ohio State's most effective rusher outside of quarterback Braxton Miller will be relied on in a big way in this week's game. The Buckeyes will likely look to keep the ball on the ground often against the Spartans, and Hall is a reliable option for Ohio State.

His 5.6 yards per carry leads running backs on the team. He also has the most yards and carries.  

Hall will be looking to find the end zone for the first time this season against Michigan State, and the Buckeyes will need to find ways to score in the red zone outside of Braxton Miller.


Doran Grant

The sophomore cornerback is emerging as one of Ohio State's best young defensive backs. His play has impressed so much, Urban Meyer is considering increasing his time on the field. Meyer spoke about Grant getting more playing time to Jim Naveau of the Wilmington News Journal:

He sure could, especially after the way he played. Before Travis got dinged up, he was playing at a high level. But I think we have three guys that can go play corner for us now. And the guys who have the best week of practice will play.

Having three cornerbacks capable of playing at a high level will only help Ohio State this Saturday and down the line. Grant could have a breakout game this weekend as he fights to earn a starting spot.