Nov 21, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiverBraxton Miller
(5) congratulates running back Jalin Marshall (7) after his touchdown against the Michigan State Spartans at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Rapid Reaction: Second Half
The only story that mattered during the second half was Michigan State’s complete dominance up front. Spartans quarterback Tyler O’Connor attempted only three passes the entire scond half and followed his offensive line up and down the field. MSU rushed for 203 yards on the night with 166 of them coming in the second half, which showed that Ohio State’s run defense still was not the stout unit we saw against Minnesota and Illinois.
We mentioned that Ohio State had not exploited a leaky Spartan pass defense. MSU head coach Mark D’Antonio though, took advantage of the weakness against the run for the Buckeyes and rode it all the way to an upset reminiscent of the 1998 upset Sparty pulled off in Columbus against a then top ranked Buckeye team.
Michigan State used 51 rushing attempts to simply outmuscle the Buckeyes front all night, including some impressive runs by O’Connor, their backup quarterback.
On the other sideline, Ohio State did not generate anything at all on offense. 132 total yards by Barrett and company is how you give up 17 points and lose a ball game. All night it seemed as if there was confusion up front and passiveness by the Ohio State attack. After looking through my notes and rewinding film, it’s a combination of Ohio State’s inability to get a push upfront and no attempt at a passing attack.
That lack of execution allowed Michigan State to keep the game in the box. With a poor secondary but a very good front seven, that was exactly what D’Antonio’s defense wanted and Ohio State’s offensive plan gave it to them.
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