Jeffrey Okudah and the other cornerbacks helping set the tone with big hits
Last game: Dwayne Haskins threw for 218 yards and a touchdown, Dre'Mont Jones recovered a fumble in the end zone and Detroit-native Mike Weber ran for a 2-yard touchdown as the Buckeyes won 26-6 in East Lansing last season. Punter Drue Chrisman had a huge day, pinning the Spartans inside their own 10 on five consecutive possessions in the third quarter.
FLASHBACK: Win at Spartan Stadium provided Buckeyes needed shot of confidence
Coaches: Ohio State's Ryan Day is 8-0, including a 3-0 mark last season as interim coach of the Buckeyes. Michigan State's Mark Dantonio is 111-52 in 13 seasons at Michigan State and 129-69 overall, including three seasons at Cincinnati. He is a former Ohio State defensive coordinator.
Ohio State notes: The Buckeyes have the second-longest active winning streak in the nation at 11 games, trailing only defending national champion Clemson (20)… They have scored at least 28 points in the first half of each of their games this season and are outscoring opponents 173-22 in the first half… Ohio State defensive end Chase Young has 8.5 sacks to lead the nation… Ohio State leads the nation in sacks (4.8 per game) while Michigan State is No. 9 in sacks allowed (0.8)… OSU's first five opponents have all failed to gain 300 yards… Two current Buckeyes are from Michigan: Offensive lineman Josh Alabi (Detroit Cass Tech) and long snapper Bradley Robinson (Troy Athens).
Ohio State linebacker sharing the MLB role with Tuf Borland
Michigan State notes: The Spartans have more wins (three) against Ohio State than any other team since 2011… Michigan State ranks 60th in the country in scoring (31.4 points per game) and 14th in scoring defense (15.0 ppg.)… Senior linebacker Joe Bachie leads the Big Ten with 46 tackles and ranks sixth in tackles per game (9.2 avg.). He has 4.5 tackles for loss, four pass break-ups, 1.5 sacks and one interception this season… Darrell Stewart leads the Big Ten in receptions (35) and receiving yards (556). He also ranks among FBS leaders in total receptions (tied for sixth with 35), total re- ceiving yards (fourth with 556), receiving yards per game (seventh with 111.2 ypg) and receptions per game (tied for 10th with 7.0 pg)… Dantonio is a native of Zanesville… Bachie is one of 28 players on the Michigan State roster from Ohio. The Berea native is among 10 potential starters, joining cornerback Josiah Scott (Fairfield), offensive linemen Luke Campbell (Lews Center Olentangy) and Matt Carrick (Perry), tight end Matt Dotson (Cincinnati Moeller), kicker Matt Coghlin (Cincinnati Moeller), punter Jake Hartbarger (Anthony Wayne), long snapper Jude Pedrozo (Westerville South) and safeties David Dowell (Lakewood St. Edward) and Xavier Henderson (Pickerington Central).
Quotable: Dantonio on the matchup overall: "We'll have to be at our best to measure up as we go down to Columbus. I think Ryan Day is doing an outstanding job in his first year there as the permanent head coach. He's got them playing at a very high level, and he's done a great job getting everybody going in the same direction. They continue to push forward."
Next game: The Buckeyes are off next weekend. They will play at Northwestern on Oct. 18. The Spartans play at Wisconsin next Saturday afternoon.