Check out this week’s college football “Fab Five” in this short video:
A pair of teams from the East Division of the Big Ten Conference take the field in the Great Lakes State. The #10 Ohio State Buckeyes are on the road as they travel to face the #18 Michigan State Spartans Saturday afternoon. Ohio State comes in off a narrow 36-31 home win over Nebraska last Saturday. Michigan State ground down Maryland 24-3 in their last contest last Saturday. The Buckeyes hold a 31-14 edge in the all-time series and have taken the last two meetings. That includes a 48-3 trouncing at home in the last matchup on November 11, 2017.
Ohio State Buckeyes Hoping to Regroup
Ohio State didn’t exactly inspire confidence as they followed up a loss to Purdue by having a less than stellar showing against Nebraska. The Buckeyes had to rally at home against a Cornhusker team that came in 2-6 on the year. Ohio State trailed 21-16 at the half, rallied to take the lead in the third quarter and hung on for the win. The Buckeyes held a narrow 481-450 edge in total offense but lost the first down battle (27-23) and time of possession (33:33 to 26:27) in the game. Ohio State also committed three turnovers while recording one takeaway though they did manage to record a safety.
— Ohio State on BTN (@OhioStateOnBTN) November 3, 2018
The Buckeyes come into this contest 3rd in the FBS by averaging 369.1 yards per game through the air and stand 56th in rushing by putting up 178.1 yards per game on the ground. Ohio State is 10th in the FBS in scoring by averaging 42.2 points per contest and 46th in scoring defense as they allow 23.8 points per game. Dwyane Haskins has completed 242 of 347 passes for 3,053 yards with 32 touchdowns against six interceptions while adding 45 yards plus a score on the ground. Tate Martell is 23 of 28 for 269 yards plus a score while contributing 121 rushing yards and two scores. J.K. Dobbins leads the Buckeyes with 143 carries for 684 yards plus seven scores while Mike Weber (105 carries, 607 yards, three TD) provides a 1-2 punch. K.J. Hill is second the team with 51 receptions for 695 yards plus four scores. Parris Campbell (team-high 56 grabs, 631 yards, eight TD) and Austin Mack (26 catches, 331 yards, TD) are next in line in the passing game. Sean Nuernberger has hit all 39 extra points and three of five field goal attempts with a long of 30 this season. Blake Haubeil has booted all nine extra points and five of six field goals with a long of 47 this year.
Michigan State Spartans Try to Win Third Straight
Michigan State won their second straight after falling to Michigan last month and now tries to take down another ranked conference foe. The Spartans could take over second place in the East Division of the Big Ten with a win here. Against Maryland, Michigan State completely stifled Maryland, keeping them out of the end zone and dominating the line of scrimmage. The Spartans owned a 356-100 advantage in total offense, rolled up a 19-9 advantage in first downs and controlled the clock by a 36:56 to 23:04 margin in the game. Both teams turned the ball over twice but Michigan State did have a fumble return for a score.
— Michigan State Football (@MSU_Football) November 6, 2018
The Spartans enter this game tied for 65th in the nation in passing offense with 234.8 yards per contest and 112th in rushing offense with 125.6 yards a game. Michigan State is 110th in the nation in scoring with 23.4 points per contest and 16th in scoring defense by allowing 19 points per game. Brian Lewerke has completed 151 of 270 passes for 1,740 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions while adding 117 yards plus two scores on the ground. Rocky Lombardi is 27 of 50 for 327 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Connor Heyward leads the Spartans on the ground with 70 carries for 358 yards and five scores. La’Darius Jefferson (65 carries, 223 yards, two TD) and LJ Scott (55 carries, 180 yards) are next in line on the ground. Felton Davis III is the team’s leading receiver with 31 receptions for 474 yards and four scores. Darrell Stewart Jr. (24 catches, 250 yards, TD), Cody White (22 grabs, 320 yards, two TD) and Heyward (22 grabs, 135 yards) are solid outlets in the passing game. Matt Coghlin has booted all 23 extra points and 12 of 13 field goals with a long of 49 this season.
- Spartans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games
- Spartans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win
- Buckeyes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game
- Buckeyes are 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Both teams have had their struggles this season. Michigan State beat Purdue, who beat Ohio State, but has lost to Northwestern, Arizona State and Michigan. Both teams beat Penn State earlier this season. The big edge in this one has to go to Ohio State’s offense. The Buckeyes have two good running backs, they make plays in the passing game and Haskins is an accurate quarterback. He does just enough against a very good Michigan State defense to get the Buckeyes out of East Lansing with a win.
Prediction: Ohio State Buckeyes -3.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Ohio State has seen their defense scuffle in their last couple of contests. The Buckeyes allowed 49 points to Purdue and 31 to Nebraska: that’s 80 points in two games. Prior to that, the Buckeyes had allowed a total of 134 points in their other seven contests. Clearly, Urban Meyer has to get his defense on track and start shutting down opposing teams. Michigan State relies heavily on their defense as the offense has sputtered this season. Lombardi led the Spartans to a win over Purdue but Lewerke was back against Maryland. Can either of the duo lead Michigan State to a win?
The Buckeyes have seen the under go 4-1 in their last five on grass, 5-2 in their last seven against teams with a winning record and 5-2 in their last seven conference games. Michigan State has seen the under go 4-0 in their last four overall, 4-0 in their last four against teams with a winning record and 4-0 in their last four conference games. The teams have stayed under the total in five of the last seven meetings: look for this to be the same as both teams have their struggles moving the ball in a defensive struggle.
Prediction: Under 52