Last week the Ohio State Buckeyes put the giant-slaying Purdue Boilermakers in their place by crushing them 59-31. In Week 12, the Buckeyes want to make their case as a playoff team.
Standing in their way is a Michigan State Spartans squad with a 9-1 record. Who will prevail? And what are the current college football odds for the biggest game of the week?
Read on for an in-depth look at the numbers for the upcoming Michigan State at Ohio State game.
Ohio State Planting Its Flag
The demise of Ohio State in the post-Urban Meyer era hasn’t occurred. Every year, there’s always a time that I think they’re in trouble, and they always seem to prove me wrong. This year, that moment occurred after the loss to Oregon.
Other than that early-season home loss to Oregon, Ohio State looks a step above their Big Ten competition. They’ve scored 40 or more in five of their seven conference games.
Room to Improve
The heralded 2021 Buckeyes freshman class is already making an impact.
Five-star freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson is a force on the ground, rushing for 1,035 yards and 14 TDs through Week 11.
Defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau contributes on the other side of the ball with 2.5 sacks and five solo tackles.
Not to be outdone, redshirt freshman QB C.J. Stroud is a Heisman hopeful, throwing for 3,036 yards and 30 TDs.
These young guns should only continue to improve.
Kenneth Walker III is Michigan State
Kenneth Walker III is, maybe, the most dominant NCAA running back in over a decade. Maybe more. The junior Wake Forest transfer leads the Michigan State attack, rushing for 1,473 yards.
In a heroic game versus their Michigan rivals, Walker III rushed for all five Spartans touchdowns.
Every team knows that to beat Michigan State, they must stop Walker III. Yet, only three held him under 100 yards this season.
Why Ohio State Will Cover
The current BetMGM odds have Ohio State as a -18.5 home favorite against Michigan State. That number feels high, considering these are two one-loss teams locking horns.
A closer look reveals a few unfortunate truths about the Spartans in this game.
First, MSU lacks a consistent passing attack. While Ohio State will have trouble stopping Walker, Michigan State may not keep pace if the Buckeyes jump to an early lead.
And OSU will jump to an early lead in this game. Michigan State’s defense ranks 130th in passing yards allowed (329.4) and 41st in points allowed (22.5).
Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell threw for 536 yards and three touchdowns against MSU in Week 10. Purdue scored 21 points in the first half, and the Spartans couldn’t recover.
Michigan State vs. Ohio State looks like a marquee game due to each team’s record and rankings. I’m not buying. Ohio State is far too talented and won’t let up after an early lead.
Michigan State at Ohio State is a Mismatch
This week’s Michigan State at Ohio State game is a top ten showdown. However, Ohio State is by far the best team in the Big Ten, and I believe they’ll dominate on Saturday.
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