Ohio State grade care: Buckeyes respond when challenged


A grade card on Ohio State’s 34-10 win over Michigan State, the first time the Buckeyes had faced adversity this season:

OFFENSE: B+

Ohio State finished with 529 yards total offense but 513 of those yards came in the final three quarters. Not much went right for OSU in the first quarter on offense other than it managed to hold a 3-0 lead despite a sub-par first 15 minutes. Michigan State gave the Buckeyes two gifts when it lost fumbles on its first two possessions but OSU got only three points out of those two mistakes.

A 60-yard touchdown pass from Justin Fields to Binjimen Victor three minutes into the second quarter changed the tone of the game and gave Ohio State a 10-0 lead. The real game changer, though, was a 67-yard touchdown run by J.K. Dobbins that gave OSU a 24-10 lead late in the first half.

Center Josh Myers and guard Jonah Jackson had big blocks on that run and a Michigan State safety went the wrong way, which allowed Dobbins to sprint through MSU’s secondary.

Fields had his first turnovers of the season, an interception and a lost fumble. Ohio State coach Ryan Day took the blame for the interception, saying he made a bad play call. Ohio State’s 323 rushing yards was the second-most allowed by Michigan State in Mark Dantonio’s 13 years as its coach.

DEFENSE: A

Michigan State produced only 285 yards of total offense and got just 67 yards rushing. Its touchdown, which came on a 20-yard pass from quarterback Brian Lewerke to Darrell Stewart early in the second quarter, was the first touchdown against Ohio State for Michigan State since 2016.

Lewerke carried much of the offensive load for the Spartans and Ohio State contained him for the most part. He was 20 of 38 passing for 218 yards. The Buckeyes sacked him four times and didn’t allow a completion of more than 20 yards. Chase Young applied pressure all night but got only half of a sack on the stat sheet. He shared that sack with freshman Zach Harrison, who continues to show why he gets playing time.

Jordan Fuller had a team-high seven tackles and an interception. He lost a touchdown because of a questionable blind side block penalty during the run back. Michigan State’s second-half drives ended in punts four times, a missed field goal and an interception. Cornerback Damon Arnette was on the sideline in the second half but Day said it was nothing serious.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A-

Kicker Blake Haubeil was two of three on field goals, which makes him 5 of 7 for the season. He misses just often enough to make Ohio State fans nervous. He was 10 of 13 last season. Punter Drue Chrisman delivered when called upon, as usual.

OVERALL: A-

Ohio State did not show even a small amount of panic when it started slowly. That might be the biggest take away from the game for OSU. It passed the adversity test.

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