Nov 21, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebackerRaekwon McMillan
(5) tackles Michigan State Spartans quarterbackDamion Terry
(6) to force a fumble in the first quarter at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
About The Buckeyes
I first want to start with giving credit to D’Antonio and Michigan State. With two backup quarterbacks and reeling from a strange loss to Nebraska, Michigan State executed their game plan and won, pulling off their biggest win in Columbus since the aforementioned 1998 disaster. That disaster started the end of then Ohio State head coach John Cooper’s time leading the Buckeyes.
But for Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer and his offensive coaching staff, this was a poor effort. They gave up 17 points and lost by generating only 132 total yards. and five total first downs. For comparisons sake, Ohio State had six three and outs. No attacks downfield and no passing game to speak of really hurt Ohio State. In fact, that’s the biggest offensive reason the Buckeyes lost this game. They played right into the defensive game plan for Michigan State, who was able to keep the game to a ground and pound affair.
Yet, that last point will bring up perhaps the most controversial part of the night. Elliott, who had 15 straight 100 yard rushing games coming into the contest, ended the night with only 12 carries and 33 yards. Barrett actually had more carries with 15, but he often looked like he was unable to read the ends and make aggressive moves. Yes, Sparty was able to play a great game up front, but without any passing game to force the defense to play balanced, it was much easier to control the line of scrimmage in Sparty’s favor.
Not only does this game end the ‘Zeke for Heisman campaign, but Ohio State may not even make the Big Ten Championship game. Unless Michigan State gets tripped up by Penn State next week, Ohio State will be on the outside looking in and will be punished by the playoff committee for it. The most likely scenario, assuming a Buckeye win in Ann Arbor, is that Ohio State finishes somewhere in the top 10 to 12 teams and can play in a major bowl game. Either way, this season’s high expectations ended with the Geiger field goal.
Next: Saturday Superlatives