Ohio State grade card: Partial team, total domination


A grade card on Ohio State’s return to the field in a 52-12 win over Michigan State:

OFFENSE: A-

Ohio State had 521 yards total offense, 322 of it on the ground, on a day when three starters on the offensive line were unavailable. The 322 rushing yards were a season high and the 521 yards of total offense was the third-highest total in OSU’s five games this season.

Dawand Jones and Max Wray replaced Thayer Munford and Nicholas Petit-Frere at offensive tackle. Harry Miller moved from guard to center to replace Josh Myers and Matthew Jones filled in at guard for Miller.

Justin Fields put an erratic game against Indiana in the past by completing 17 of 24 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for a career-high 104 yards and two touchdowns.

About the only negatives were two fumbles by Chris Olave and some center snap problems, including one that led to a safety.

DEFENSE: A-

Michigan State went three and out against Ohio State’s defense the first four times it had the ball. By the time the Spartans finally got a first down five minutes into the second quarter Ohio State was ahead 21-0.

Haskell Garrett had a defensive lineman’s dream come true when he batted a pass by MSU’s Rocky Lombardi into the air, caught it and scored a touchdown. Linebacker Pete Werner forced a fumble. Safety Marcus Hooker had a nice pass break up in the end zone on what could have been a touchdown pass and Shaun Wade had a spectacular diving interception.

About the only sour note was MSU back-up quarterback Payton Thorne completing his first 11 passes.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A

Drue Chrisman pinned MSU at the 1-yard line and the 2-yard line on two of his punts. The best news was that kicker Blake Haubeil appeared to have recovered from a groin injury and kicked a 27-yard field goal.

OVERALL: A

Ohio State wasn’t sure until Friday it would get to play this game. It traveled to Michigan State without four starters and more than 20 players overall, without head coach Ryan Day without three assistant coaches and played one of its best games of the season.

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