Michigan State at Ohio State: What to know about Saturday night’s game

Who: Michigan State (3-6, 1-5 Big Ten) at No. 1 Ohio State (9-0, 6-0)

When: 7:30 p.m., Saturday

Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

TV/Radio: NBC/1410

Series history: Ohio State leads 36-15 with a 17-9 advantage in Columbus. The Buckeyes have won seven in a row against the Spartans.

Last meeting: The Buckeyes gained 614 yards while beating the Spartans 49-20 in East Lansing last season. C.J. Stroud threw six touchdown passes.

Coaches: Ohio State’s Ryan Day is 54-6 in five seasons, including 37–2 in the Big Ten and 4-0 against Michigan State. Interim coach Harlon Barnett is 1-6 after taking over when Mel Tucker was placed on administrative leave in September.

Ohio State notes: Ohio State is aiming for its 31st season with at least 10 wins… The Buckeyes will be wearing all-gray uniforms for the first time… The Buckeyes are 26-7 in alternate uniforms since first donning one at Michigan in 2009… Ohio State has three players from the state of Michigan: DB Cam Martinez (Muskegon) and brothers Cayden and Kai Saunders (Northville). They are the sons of former Ohio State tight end Cedric Saunders… Cade Stover needs two receptions to overtake the elder Saunders for fourth in career receptions for an Ohio State tight end (69) … Ohio State is second in the nation in scoring defense (10.7 points per game) and fifth in total defense (271.1 yards per game) … This will be the first NBC broadcast from Ohio Stadium as part of the network’s new primetime TV package.

Credit: Jay LaPrete

Credit: Jay LaPrete

Michigan State notes: The Spartans have beaten top five Ohio State teams five times, including wins over Buckeye teams that were ranked No. 1 in 1998 and 1974… Michigan State is 121st in the nation in scoring (18.2 points per game) and 111th in total yards (319.1) ... The Spartans are 21st in third down defense and 23rd in sacks (25) … Michigan State has played the second toughest schedule in the FBS, and all nine opponents have winning records… The Spartans have held five opponents below 300 yards… Michigan State has used five different starting combinations on the offensive line this season.

Quoted: Barnett on facing Ohio State: “Great attention to detail will help us not beat ourselves and get those costly penalties and give ourselves a chance. Don’t help them beat us, make them beat us. Having them earn the right to beat us, and so that’s where we got to start. And then we move from there, but great attention to detail is always going to be a major factor, and that great attention to detail means you’re doing your job, playing with great discipline, great eye control and great physicality.”

Next week: The Buckeyes are home again against Minnesota at noon, 3:30 or 4 p.m. Michigan State will play at Indiana.

Prediction: Ohio State 27, Michigan State 10

About the Author