Monday, September 25, 2023

FINAL: Michigan State crushed at Ohio State, 56-7

November 20, 2021
<p>Michigan State&#x27;s Ronald Williams (9) tackles Ohio State&#x27;s Mitch Rossi (34) on Nov. 20, 2021.</p>

Michigan State's Ronald Williams (9) tackles Ohio State's Mitch Rossi (34) on Nov. 20, 2021.

Photo by Rahmya Trewern | The State News

Michigan State got its doors blown off in Columbus, a 56-7 route that felt over quite early in the game.

Ohio State started backed-up on its own nine-yard line following a poor kick return and a false start before the first play from scrimmage. It didn't matter though, as Ohio State freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud picked apart the Michigan State secondary completing nine of 10 passes and completing a 23-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Chris Olave.

The Buckeyes got the ball back rather quickly and got out to a two-possession lead quickly too. Junior cornerback Chester Kimbrough got burned by another one of OSU’s stars, junior wide receiver Garrett Wilson as he sprinted for a 77-yard touchdown.

The Spartans, down 14, finally moved the ball offensively with a pair of third and long conversions on throws from redshirt sophomore quarterback Payton Thorne. After a review, a 3rd and long pass to redshirt junior Jayden Reed was deemed incomplete and MSU had a chance to put points on the board. Graduate kicker Matt Coghlin’s kick had the leg, but was wide right on the 46-yard try and Michigan State’s terror continued.

Four plays later, Stroud completed another deep ball for a touchdown, this one a 43-yard pass to Olave. It gave OSU a commanding 21-0 lead late in the first quarter, and they were nowhere near done on the day.

MSU’s offense continued to fall apart in the second quarter, gaining just 27 yards and one first down. The Spartans abandoned the run game early, notably with junior running back and Heisman Trophy candidate Kenneth Walker III carrying the ball just five times for 24 yards. Thorne was abysmal too, completing just 31% of his throws for 77 yards.

Stroud threw three more touchdown passes in the second quarter, one to sophomore wide receiver Julian Fleming, one to Wilson, and one to sophomore wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, respectively, and had a whopping 393 yards and six touchdowns in the half. Redshirt freshman running back Miyan Williams added a touchdown too, giving Ohio State a 49-0 halftime lead.

Michigan State' defensive starters played most of the second half, but were without one of their best players in senior safety Xavier Henderson, who spent the half on the sideline in street clothes. Stroud got just one drive in the second half, drove the Buckeyes into field goal range, but a field goal try by freshman kicker Noah Ruggles was no good from 38 yards out. It was MSU's first defensive stop of the game besides a kneel down to end the first half.

Freshman quarterback Kyle McCord took over under center and did not start off sharp. On his first drive, McCord threw a bad interception to redshirt sophomore cornerback Justin White, the first of his career.

It set up MSU's best starting field position of the afternoon and the Spartan offense capitalized for its first points of the game. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Michigan State faced a third and four from Ohio State's 12, the first red-zone trip for MSU. Thorne completed a touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Keon Coleman, the first of his career.

The remainder of the game involved an extremely conservative OSU offense and MSU's offense mailing it in with the reserves. The Buckeyes scored their lone points of the second half on a one-yard touchdown run from graduate running back Master Teague III.

Graduate transfer quarterback Anthony Russo got into the game with three minutes to play, completing two passes for 0 yards. Thorne finished 14-36 for 158 yards and one touchdown.

Michigan State returns home next week to take on Penn State to wrap up the regular season.

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