The 10-0 Ohio State Buckeyes and the 9-1 Michigan State Spartans have both been inconsistent throughout the year. On Saturday, both teams will need to be on their A Game if either of the two plan on making the College Football Playoff. The Buckeyes are riding a 23 game winning streak dating back to last season, but have been largely untested to thus point. Their first “theoretical exam” will be administered at 330 this Saturday.
The games against their Michigan rivals have been pegged as their most important. Michigan State is tied for second in the Big Ten Eastern Division, suffering its lone loss of the season on a controversial call in the Nebraska game. Connor Cook is nicked up for this game, so he will need to overcome more than the OSU zone to win this game.
The Ohio State offense has struggled for the most part except for Heisman Trophy candidate running back Ezekiel Elliot, who has run for 100 yards or more in his past 15 games. Elliot plays better with more on the line. Last season during the playoffs, Elliot turned in three straight 200 yard performances to help the Buckeyes win the title. The Buckeyes have platooned quarterbacks for much of the season but Coach Meyer has pushed all his chips to the center of the table, relying on Quarterback J.T. Barrett.
Last season the Buckeyes traveled to East Lansing and defeated the Spartans 49-37 in what Urban Meyer referred to as the best offensive showing of the season.
If the Buckeyes plan to extend their streak of 30 consecutive wins against conference foes, they will need all hands on deck. The Buckeyes will need to run a more balanced scheme against a stout Michigan State defense.
Final Score: Ohio State 38 Michigan State 28