Ohio State Football: 5 Reasons The Buckeyes Will Beat Michigan State

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Nov 14, 2015; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans quarterback Connor Cook (18) carries the ball against the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State Is Banged Up

As the College Football Playoff poll currently stands, Ohio State is No. 3, while the Spartans are No. 9.

Yet the Buckeyes are basically two-touchdown favorites going into Saturday’s contest at shoe.

So, what gives?

The injury bug is eating up Sparty, and with so many players at less than 100 percent, Michigan State deserves to go into what many contend is a virtual-playoff game as underdogs.

From MLive:

"“The Spartans have been without their most productive defensive player from a year ago (senior linebacker Ed Davis) since the preseason, and MSU’s top playmaker in the secondary (senior safety RJ Williamson) has been out since Oct. 3. Top cornerback Vayante Copeland suffered a season-ending neck injury against Oregon on Sept. 12.”"

Offensively, Connor Cook got shoved into the turf twice by the Maryland defense last week. MSU head coach Mark Dantonio got nervous and pulled his starting quarterback for the second half, and the northeast Ohio native is still battling a sore shoulder.

Despite the injury, Cook says he’ll “be ready to go.”

Regardless of what he said, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Cook’s passes lacked some zip against Maryland, via ESPN:

"“Cook completed only six of his 20 pass attempts against the Terps, and Dantonio said the lack of his usual zip seemed to be frustrating for Cook. Both said holding him out during the second half was a precautionary measure. On Monday night, Cook was asked if he’s had X-rays on the shoulder or if he has thrown at all and he said he wasn’t going to answer the question. Dantonio stuck to the school policy of not discussing injuries when asked for an update on the quarterback Tuesday afternoon.”"

Huge losses on defense, on top of a questionable running game and an injured star quarterback, can only favor the Buckeyes’ chances of remaining undefeated.

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