Ohio State vs. Michigan State: What you need to know about Saturday’s game

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

Who: No. 4 Ohio State (4-0) at Michigan State (2-3)

When: Noon, Saturday

Where: East Lansing, Mich.

TV/Radio: ABC/1410.

Series history: Ohio State leads 33-15 and has won four games in a row against the Spartans. The Buckeyes won 34-10 last season in Columbus.

Last game: Ohio State beat Indiana 42-35 in Columbus on Nov. 21. Its game last week against Illinois was cancelled. Michigan State beat Northwestern 29-20 last week.

Coaches: Ohio State’s Ryan Day is 20-1, including 14–0 against Big Ten foes. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson is filling in for Day as head coach for this game because Day tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Mel Tucker is 2-3 in his first season at Michigan State.

Ohio State notes: Ohio State leads the Big Ten in rushing yards per game (233.2). ... Master Teague ranks sixth in the conference with 380 rushing yards, and he’s tied for fourth with six rushing touchdowns. He ranks second with 95.0 yards per game. ... Justin Fields ranks fourth in the nation in quarterback efficiency (202.10). He has completed 79 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. ... Garrett Wilson ranks seventh in the nation with 128.3 receiving yards per game. Chris Olave averages 97.3 receiving yards per game.

Michigan State notes: Senior linebacker Antjuan Simmons won the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award. He recorded 13 tackles against Northwestern. He ranks second in the Big Ten with 10.6 tackles per game. ... Redshirt junior defensive back Shakur Brown shares the national lead with five interception. He had four in the last two games: two against Indiana and two against Northwestern. ... Michigan State ranks last in the Big Ten with 18.0 points per game. Ohio State ranks first (45.3).

Quoted: Michigan State’s Tucker after a victory last week against Northwestern: Today was a great win for our guys. Very proud of them. A great day for our coaches, our staff, and our support staff. And also a great win for our State fans and all the Sparty dogs out there. Like I said earlier this week, culture doesn’t change overnight. It just doesn’t. But wins like today show what type of football that we’re capable of playing when we’re more focused, when we’re process driven, when we play complimentary football, and when we take care of the football.”

Next game: Ohio State plays Michigan at noon, Dec. 12.

Prediction: Ohio State 35, Michigan State 17.

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