Ohio State runs over Michigan State 49-37 in statement win

Ohio State runs over Michigan State 49-37 in statement win

Michigan State had no answer for Ohio State’s high-powered offense Saturday night.

Playing in front of a packed house at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, the Buckeyes put up 568 yards and scored on six straight possessions in a statement 49-37 win over the No. 8 Spartans. Now 8-1 and a perfect 5-0 in conference play, the No. 14 Buckeyes are in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten east division and more importantly, could be back in the conversation for the College Football Playoff.

On top of that, the win offers the Buckeyes a bit of revenge for last year's Big Ten title game loss at the hands of the Spartans.

Michigan State actually controlled the game early and had a chance to take a two-touchdown lead late in the first half after a Dontre Wilson fumble gave the Spartans the ball at OSU’s 18-yard line. It appeared that the Spartans would do just that, but a would-be 11-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Langford was called back due to a holding penalty.

After an incomplete pass, Michael Geiger missed a 39-yard field goal and the Buckeyes regained possession. On the next play, quarterback J.T. Barrett connected with Michael Thomas for a 79-yard catch-and-run. Just like that, the game was tied and the Buckeyes ran away with things from there.

Led by Barrett (300 yards passing, 86 yards rushing 5 total TDs) and running back Ezekiel Elliott (154 yards, 2 TDs), the Buckeyes scored on each of their next four possessions, eating up clock and dominating the vaunted MSU defense.

The Spartans did manage to keep things close for much of the third quarter, but the Buckeyes scored twice in a five-minute span to increase their lead from 28-24 to 42-24 early in the fourth quarter. The Ohio State offense was simply too much to handle.

As previously mentioned, the win is paramount for the Buckeyes for multiple reasons. First, with games against Minnesota, Indiana and Michigan left on the schedule, the Buckeyes have a clear path to the Big Ten title game. As long as Urban Meyer’s squad takes care of business in two of those three games, it’ll be on its way to Indianapolis.

With a handful of other teams ranked ahead of it in the College Football Playoff standings losing Saturday (No. 3 Auburn, No. 7 Kansas State, No. 10 Notre Dame and MSU), the Buckeyes could make a significant leap in next week’s rankings. OSU certainly still has work to do to ascend into the top four, but a spot in the Top 10 seems likely.

A win against 7-2 Minnesota next week would also bolster the Buckeyes’ resume. If the Buckeyes and Big Ten west leaders Nebraska win out and meet in the Big Ten title game with 11-1 records, would the winner of that game crack the final four? We’ll just have to wait and see.

For more Ohio State news, visit BuckeyeGrove.com.

For more Michigan State news, visit SpartanMag.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!