Ohio State Week 5 Recap: Despite the odds, wins at Michigan State

#14 Ohio State defeated #20 Michigan State 17-6 in East Lansing.  Michigan State was a 2.5 point favorite.

The Buckeyes took the lead on their first possession and led for the remainder of the game, except for 1 minutes and 44 seconds.  And that came as a result of one of worst examples of collective tackling that can be found at this level.  With 4:49 to go in the 3rd quarter, MSU’s Keith Mumphery caught a pass on the 25-yard line and somehow managed to shake off 7 would-be OSU tacklers to find the end zone.  None of them actually seemed to be going for Mumphery as much as they were going for the ball to strip it from him.

How the Buckeyes got the lead back.  On 1st and 10, 63 yard touchdown catch by Devin Smith who beat the defender in man-to-man coverage.  The Buckeyes went back up by 4.

Stop the run and you stop the Spartans. Michigan State has averaged 218 yards per game on the ground in their three wins this year, but in both of their losses (ND and OSU), they rushed for less than 50 yards.

Braxton Miller continues the Urban Meyer trend of having a dual threat quarterback (see example, Tim Tebow) account for almost the entire offense, or more precisely 70% of it.  Miller had 23 passing attempts and 23 rushing attempts, while running backs Carlos Hyde and Jordan Hall combined for just 17 rushing attempts.

Interesting tidbit about Urban Meyer I learned from the broadcast.  He has kept the defensive coordinator at every school he’s gone to.

Turnover drama.  OSU had been +5 in the first four games in turnover margin.  But today they were at -3 with two fumbles and an interception, while Michigan State did not turn the ball over once.

Game film doctoringMichigan State filed a complaint with the Big Ten that the game film OSU was required to send them prior to the game was doctored.  However, MSU athletics director Mark Hollis and Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith settled the issue independently, with no Big Ten involvement.