Marvin Harrison Jr. scored touchdowns the first two times he touched the ball, Kyle McCord passed for over 300 yards, and No. 3 Ohio State rolled over Michigan State 38-3 at Ohio Stadium.
“I think you’re starting to see our identity,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “We’ve started to forge a little bit what we’re doing on offense. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer to figure that out.”
The statistics were stellar, and most starters had exited by early in the fourth quarter. Harrison had 149 yards on seven catches with two receiving touchdowns, and he also scored on a 19-yard run in the first quarter. McCord was 24-of-31 passing for 335 yards and three touchdowns. TreVeyon Henderson gained 63 yards on 13 carries. The defense limited the Spartans (3-7) to 182 yards.
The Buckeyes improved to 10-0, with their final home game next Saturday against Minnesota and then a season-ending matchup awaiting Nov. 25 at scandal-ridden No. 2 Michigan, which may or may not have coach Jim Harbaugh on the sideline for the game.
Here are updates from the game.
• With a commanding lead, Ohio State seemed content to run the ball, run out the clock and get some backups in the game. Chip Trayanum picked up 10 and 6 yards on consecutive carries, and receiver Xavier Johnson had 27 on a rush to the left. Backup quarterback Lincoln Kienholz entered and delivered a short pass to Jelani Thurman for a 14-yard gain. A third-and-6 pass from the Michigan State 24-yard line to Jayden Ballard in the end zone was incomplete, and then Jayden Fielding missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt. OHIO STATE 38, MICHIGAN STATE 3, 9:15, FOURTH QUARTER
• After Michigan State was unable to convert a first down, Ohio State handed the ball off to Evan Pryor three times, and he netted two yards. Several Spartans backups entered the game, too, including Andrew Schorfhaar at quarterback. After being unable to convert a first down, they punted the ball back to the Buckeyes, who took over with 2:01 remaining. Pryor picked up enough yards, and took enough time, for time to elapse.
• Michigan State won the pregame toss and deferred to the second half, but in doing so, delayed a three-and-out. On second down, Ohio State’s Sonny Styles broke through the line to bring down Nate Carter for no gain. On Ohio State’s first play of the half, Kyle McCord went deep down the middle to Marvin Harrison Jr. for a 57-yard gain and the ball at the Spartans’ 20-yard line. Passes to Emeka Egbuka and Harrison in the end zone on second and third downs were incomplete, so the Buckeyes sent in Jayden Fielding, who made a 36-yard field goal. OHIO STATE 38, MICHIGAN STATE 3, 11:56, THIRD QUARTER
• The Spartans tried to speed up the pace of their offense, but the effort stalled out around midfield. On third-and-5, quarterback Katin Houser was forced to scramble and brought down by Jayden Ballard for a 1-yard loss at Ohio State’s 48. The Buckeyes converted one first down before having to punt the ball back. The Spartans went more methodical and benefited from a pass interference penalty on Ohio State’s Malik Hartford. As the quarter wound down, the Spartans were facing fourth-and-18 and chose to punt.
• Starting the quarter 9 yards from the end zone, quarterback Kyle McCord found Marvin Harrison Jr. on the first play for the touchdown. OHIO STATE 21, MICHIGAN STATE 0, 14:48 SECOND QUARTER
• Michigan State found the sustained drive it needed, but it failed to net any points out of it or even make it far enough to attempt a field goal. Jaren Mangham had multiple carries, and Katin Houser completed several short passes. The drive stalled out at Ohio State’s 43 when Jordan Hancock broke up a third-down pass meant for Tyrell Henry.
• Pinned at its 2-yard line after a punt, Ohio State was unable to convert a first down and returned the ball to Michigan State. Sonny Styles sacked the Spartans’ Katin Houser on a first-and-10 for a loss of 3. Facing fourth-and-3 at Ohio State’s 36, Jonathan Kim came out for his second field-goal attempt of the game, and he connected from 53 yards. OHIO STATE 21, MICHIGAN STATE 3, 5:38 SECOND QUARTER
• Spreading the ball around benefited the Buckeyes. TreVeyon Henderson gained 5 yards before McCord found Harrison, Emeka Egbuka and Xavier Johnson in succession to put the Buckeyes at the Spartans’ 9-yard line. Then Henderson got another turn, and he split the middle of the line for the touchdown. OHIO STATE 28, MICHIGAN STATE 3, 3:30 SECOND QUARTER
• Stuffing the Spartans on defense, Ohio State got back the ball with 1:41 left in the half at the 25-yard line. On first-and-10 from the 18, McCord found tight end Cade Stover in the end zone, where he made the catch while falling backward with defenders on either side of him. OHIO STATE 35, MICHIGAN STATE 3, 0:15, SECOND QUARTER
• Time ran out on the Spartans after one play. Halftime statistics decidedly favored the Buckeyes, who had 160 yards to the Spartans’ 52. Harrison had 92 yards receiving and three total touchdowns, Stover 70 yards receiving, Henderson 63 yards rushing, and McCord 263 yards passing, completing 21 of 25 attempts.
• With Michigan State’s defense keying on Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., the Buckeyes spread around the ball on their first possession. TreVeyon Henderson and Xavier Johnson gained yards on the ground, and Kyle McCord found tight end Cade Stover and receiver Emeka Egbuka open for passes. But on the final play of a 75-yard drive, McCord handed off the ball to Harrison on a reverse, and he picked up 19 yards for the touchdown. OHIO STATE 7, MICHIGAN STATE 0, 11:20 FIRST QUARTER
• Katin Houser started at quarterback for Michigan State for the fifth time, meaning the freshman won’t be eligible to be redshirted. Sharp passes to Montorie Foster Jr. and Alante Brown led to first downs, moved the Spartans past midfield and seemed to catch the Buckeyes off-guard. But on third-and-3 from Ohio State’s 37-yard line, Jordan Hancock got off his block and forced Houser outside, where Denzel Burke sacked him. A 56-yard field-goal attempt by Jonathan Kim followed, but it was wide left. OHIO STATE 7, MICHIGAN STATE 0, 8:26 FIRST QUARTER
• Ohio State responded with a four-play drive in which Stover gained 31 yards on two catches. Then on first-and-10 from the Spartans’ 26, Harrison was in single coverage outside, and McCord found him in the end zone for a touchdown. OHIO STATE 14, MICHIGAN STATE 0, 6:56 FIRST QUARTER
• The Spartans sputtered on their next possession, and the Buckeyes got to work on a methodical drive. Chip Trayanum had a carry and Julian Fleming a catch as the Buckeyes worked more players into the offensive mix, and Harrison gained 25 yards on a catch from McCord. Ohio State had reached the Spartans’ 9-yard line when time expired in the quarter.
• Ohio State outgained Michigan State 200 yards to 66 in a dominating quarter. And it was the most points in the first quarter for the Buckeyes this season.
• NBC4 Sports Director Joe Nugent went inside St. John Arena to catch the skull session as the football team made its way through.
• Check out how Ohio State looks its special uniforms for the game.
• Safety Lathan Ransom is among the defensive starters who was hurt and won’t play against the Spartans. Check out the full injury report.
• The Michigan scandal continues to provide moment after dramatic moment. After the Big Ten told coach Jim Harbaugh on Friday that he couldn’t coach in the Wolverines’ final three games, Michigan attempted to get a judge to put him immediately back on the sideline for a game Saturday at Penn State. When the judge instead set a hearing date of Monday, Harbaugh was absent and the Wolverines still won 24-15.
• The Buckeyes (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) are first in the College Football Playoff rankings and third in the AP and coaches polls. They’re unbeaten in night times during November, going 5-0 and with the first being played just in 2014. A victory would give them their 30th 10-win season ever.
• The Spartans (3-6, 1-5) snapped a six-game losing streak last week with a 20-17 win over Nebraska. They lead the all-time series with Ohio State 36-15 but haven’t beaten them since 2015. That year also marked the last time they won at Ohio Stadium.