In a slugfest to the finish, Ohio State defeated Michigan State, 17-16, in East Lansing. This marks Ohio State's first Big Ten win of the season and continues the Buckeyes' undefeated streak through the fifth game of the season. Ohio State also gained a bit of retribution against the Spartans, after losing 10-7 to MSU last year in Columbus.
Braxton Miller proved to be OSU's greatest commodity, posting 309 total yards—179 in the air and 130 on the ground.
Ohio State came out strong with a 75-yard touchdown to open the game. After having an uncomfortable lead throughout the first half, the Buckeyes trailed for the first time in the third quarter. The Spartans gained a 13-10 lead after poor tackling—specifically, four missed tackles—gave MSU sophomore WR Keith Mumphrey the opportunity to score the go-ahead touchdown.
OSU bounced back with a 63-yard touchdown pass from Braxton Miller to WR Devin Smith and held MSU to just a field goal in the fourth quarter to get the one-point win.
Nebraska will be the Buckeye's next challenge. Last year, the 'Huskers executed their biggest comeback in school history by rallying with 28 unanswered points in the second half, beating OSU by a final score of 34-28. The determination, passion and all-around expertise of Urban Meyer will hopefully give the Buckeyes enough confidence not to repeat that tragic debacle.
With a record of 5-0, Ohio State is one of only two unbeaten Big Ten teams—the other being Northwestern.
Overall, it was a decent fifth-game showing. The tackling continues to be a problem and must be addressed and changed immediately, if remaining unbeaten is an objective. Conversely, the stout rushing defense only gave Junior RB Le'Veon Bell 45 yards, over 100 yards fewer than his season average of 152.5. If this defensive trend continues, Ohio State will be a Big Ten force to be reckoned with.
Do you think Ohio State has a change of remaining unbeaten in the Big Ten? Comment below.