Well, that will help erase the memories of last week's loss to Iowa.
Ohio State obliterated Michigan State on Saturday, beating the Spartans 48-3, and that final score was every bit a reflection of how the game played out. The Buckeyes smothered the Spartans offense early and never gave it any room to breathe.
Meanwhile, on the other side, Ohio State showed a commitment to the run, and it worked spectacularly. Ohio State finished the day with 335 yards rushing on 42 carries, good for an average of 8 yards per clip. Mike Weber led the way, picking up 162 yards and two touchdowns on only nine carries. Weber's first touchdown run covered 47 yards, and feeling that wasn't long enough, he added an 82-yard score in the second quarter that put Ohio State up 35-0.
You know, just in case anyone wanted to hold on to the belief Michigan State could get back in the game.
J.K. Dobbins was no slouch himself, rushing for 124 yards on 18 carries.
The Michigan State offense was held to 195 total yards on the day and averaged just 2.8 yards per carry. It was terrorized by the Ohio State defense all day, as the Buckeyes forced three turnovers and had six sacks and nine tackles for loss. It was a dominant performance for Ohio State, and here's what it means for both teams going forward.
1. Ohio State needs to stick with its run game: It's what the Buckeyes do best, and it's no coincidence that when Ohio State's running the ball well, it's winning games. It's not just the amount of carries, either, it's the play calls. There are times when Ohio State becomes too focused on running east and west, and while I understand why getting a guy like J.K. Dobbins to the edge is enticing, it's not something the Buckeyes need to do. To be blunt, there is no team in the Big Ten that the Buckeyes shouldn't have an advantage over on the lines. Not with the talent it has, or with the recruiting classes it pulls in.
This is a team that should run north and south, and it did that against Michigan State on Saturday with great results. The Ohio State offensive line mauled one of the better defensive lines in the conference on Saturday, and it allowed the Buckeyes to run wild. It also set up the passing game and gave J.T. Barrett a lot more time and space to work. This should be the blueprint for the Buckeyes every week.
2. You're going to hear about Ohio State's playoff case again, and it's not as insane as you might think: Don't get me wrong: I'm not going to go out and campaign for Ohio State to be considered for a spot in the top four. I'm of the opinion that, if you get blown out twice as the Buckeyes did this season, you shouldn't be in the conversation. Still, if you look at the landscape right now, it's not crazy to think we could have a situation where four of the five Power Five conference champions have two losses. If that happens, yes, Ohio State's going to be in the conversation. And with this blowout win over Michigan State, if the Buckeyes beat Michigan and Wisconsin to finish the season, well, the resume suddenly looks a lot stronger. Again, I'm not saying I agree with it, nor am I saying I like it. I'm just telling you to be ready for it.
3. This shouldn't have come as much of a surprise: There was a lot of guffawing about Ohio State being such a big favorite in this game during the week, but while the final margin is a bit jarring, I'm not too surprised to see Ohio State win so easily here. Michigan State came into this game ranked No. 12, and it earned that ranking. Still, if you watched Michigan State this year, I don't think you honestly felt like it was one of the 12 best teams in the country. It's a good team that's pulled out some key wins in tight situations, and something it should be commended for. But it is also a team that's been capable of laying an egg the size of the one it just left on the turf at Ohio Stadium today too.
Thanks for stopping by.