Ohio State hosts Spartans in Big Ten East battle
No. 13 Michigan State (7-2, 5-1 Big Ten, CFP No. 12) at No. 11 Ohio State (7-2, 5-1, CFP No. 13), Saturday, noon ET (Fox).
Line: Ohio State by 14 ½.
Series record: Ohio State leads 30-15.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
A win will put one of the teams in the driver’s seat for the Big Ten East crown. For Ohio State, dignity also is on the line. The Buckeyes are still stinging from the 55-24 rout at the hands of unranked Iowa last week. A convincing win over a Top 25 team will go a long way toward letting coach Urban Meyer know if his players still have their heads in the game now that a national title is off the table.
Ohio State RBs vs. Michigan State’s front seven. Dynamic tailbacks J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber have helped Ohio State to an average of 235.3 rushing yards per game, second in the Big Ten. Michigan State’s defense is the best in the conference at stopping the run, limiting opponents to just 87 yards per game, led by linebacker Joe Bachie.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Ohio State: QB J.T. Barrett. A week after the fifth-year senior played his most heroic collegiate game in a 39-38 win over Penn State, he played one of his worst against Iowa, throwing four interceptions.
Michigan State: QB Brian Lewerke. The Spartans are throwing the ball all over the yard, and Lewerke is piling up the numbers. He’s thrown for more than 400 yards in each of the last two games, against Northwestern and Penn State. This season he’s compiled 2,207 yards, with 16 TDs and five interceptions.
FACTS & FIGURES
Ohio State WR Parris Campbell, who sat out the Iowa game because of an injury, should play Saturday....Michigan State has 26 players on the roster from the state of Ohio, and 10 of them are starters. ... It’s the sixth time in the last eight meetings that both teams were ranked in the AP Top 25. ... Ohio State Center Billy Price will break the school record with his 51st consecutive start, breaking former NT Luke Fickell’s record. ... The last two meetings between the teams were decided by a combined four points. ... Under coach Mark Dantonio, Michigan State has compiled a 26-10 record in November.
More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25