Quick Hits: No. 14 Ohio State 17, No.20 Michigan State 16
Urban Meyer only needs one game to pick up his first Big Ten victory as a head coach as the Buckeyes improve to 5-0.
OHIO STATE WON: It's starting to look like the best team in the Big Ten this season is one of the teams that won't be allowed to reap the rewards. Ohio State improved to 5-0 on the season and 1-0 in the Big Ten with a win against Michigan State in East Lansing on Saturday. It wasn't the best offensive performance for the Buckeyes this season, but it was enough.
Braxton Miller finished the day with 315 total yards -- Ohio State had 383 as a team -- and a touchdown, but he also turned the ball over twice: once on an interception forced into traffic, and once when he fumbled after he appeared to hyper-extend his left knee on a run. His biggest play of the game came when he found Devin Smith for a 63-yard touchdown less than two minutes after Michigan State had taken a 13-10 lead in the third quarter.
WHY OHIO STATE WON: The Buckeyes turned the ball over three times on Saturday while Michigan State didn't turn it over once, which is rarely the case when you win a one-point game. However, what Ohio State did do extremely well was stop the run. Michigan State is a one-dimensional offense, and Ohio State took that dimension away by holding Le'Veon Bell to only 45 yards on 17 carries.
That forced Michigan State to try to win this contest through the air, and if not for some comically bad attempts at tackling by the Buckeyes on Keith Mumphrey's 29-yard touchdown catch, the Spartans passing attack probably never scores. It also didn't hurt when Dan Conroy -- who made kicks from 50 and 48 yards -- misses a 42-yard field goal like he did at the end of the first half. Those three points loomed large.
WHEN OHIO STATE WON: Carlos Hyde converted a third-and-4 with a 5-yard run with two minutes remaining to give Ohio State a first down. Michigan State had no timeouts left and Braxton Miller took a few knees to end it.
WHAT OHIO STATE WON: We all know that Ohio State can't go to the Big Ten Championship Game or the Rose Bowl this season, but that doesn't mean it isn't going to try to finish with the best record in the conference. Winning a tough road game like this is an excellent start.
WHAT MICHIGAN STATE LOST: The loss to Notre Dame earlier this season hurt, but with conference play starting, Michigan State had a chance to wipe the slate clean and take early control of the Leaders Division. Instead, it now finds itself looking up at everybody else.
THAT WAS CRAZY: During the first half, Michigan State defensive end William Gholston took a vicious blow to the head from teammate Isiah Lewis while tackling Braxton Miller. Gholston's head snapped back, and his body appeared to go limp after the hit -- and he laid motionless on the ground atop Miller. He eventually got up and left the game.
Then Michigan State trainers told sideline reporter Heather Cox that Gholston merely had the wind knocked out of him and he would return to the game. He did.
Now, I'm not a doctor, but I have had the wind knocked out of me before. I've seen plenty of other people have the wind knocked out of them. None of them laid still on the ground afterward. They all clutched their chest or writhed in pain because it feels like you're dying.
Furthermore, I've never seen anybody have the wind knocked out of them from a blow to the head. Your lungs are in your chest, after all.
So although Michigan State may say that Gholston only had the wind knocked out of him, I'm having an awful hard time believing that.
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