No. 13 Ohio State bounced back from a blowout loss to Iowa last week with a convincing 48-3 victory over No. 12 Michigan State on Saturday at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.
Buckeyes running back Mike Weber led the offensive explosion with nine carries for 162 yards, including first-half touchdown runs from 82 and 47 yards. In all, OSU outgained its Big Ten rival 524-195 to take sole possession of first place in the East Division.
Spartans quarterback Brian Lewerke struggled to find a rhythm against an aggressive Ohio State defense, completing 18 of his 36 throws for 131 yards and two interceptions. MSU didn't find any success on the ground either, averaging 1.9 yards on 34 carries.
The matchup of Top 15 teams in the College Football Playoff rankings was never competitive. The Buckeyes raced out to a 21-0 lead by early in the second quarter and never looked back.
Ohio State's dominant performance with its ground game was made more impressive by the fact Michigan State entered the day third in the nation in rush defense, allowing just 87 yards per game.
Fox College Football highlighted the touchdown that started the scoring bonanza:
FOX College Football @CFBONFOX
lol good luck catching Mike Weber https://t.co/tBnF45gO972017-11-11 17:36:46
SportsCenter passed along a look at Weber's other first-half TD:
He gone. Watch Ohio State capitalize on the gaps in this @CocaCola Instant Replay. https://t.co/jzQJi6iBZD2017-11-11 19:04:20
J.K. Dobbins added 124 yards on 18 carries to his backfield mate's success, while quarterback J.T. Barrett also rushed for 55 yards and two scores as the team tallied 335 rushing yards on 42 totes.
Chris Solari of the Detroit Free Press provided a couple of notes from the Spartans' perspective after a forgettable day:
Chris Solari @chrissolari
FINAL: Ohio State 48, MSU 3. Most lopsided loss in Mark Dantonio's tenure and most rushing yards allowed.2017-11-11 20:23:52
Ohio State will be left to wonder why it didn't produce a similar effort last week against the Hawkeyes. That second loss after an early-season defeat against Oklahoma left the Buckeyes with an extremely narrow path to the College Football Playoff. They need serious chaos at the top.
Looking ahead, OSU will welcome Illinois to the Horseshoe next Saturday before finishing the regular season with its annual rivalry clash with Michigan at the Big House. Winning both games would clinch a Big Ten title game berth for the Buckeyes.
Michigan State returns home next week to face Maryland at Spartan Stadium and then concludes the regular season by visiting High Point Solutions Stadium to battle Rutgers.