Ohio State, Michigan State match strengths in Big Ten title game

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 7, 2013 - 8:17 AM

Ohio State vs. Michigan State will be strength vs. strength and more.

hide

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio, left, talks with Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer during a news conference for the Big Ten Conference championship NCAA college football game Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, in Indianapolis. Ohio State will play Michigan State, Saturday for the championship.

Photo: Darron Cummings, Associated Press - Ap

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

– The third installment of the Big Ten title game arrives Saturday night, and it’s finally a showcase with important national implications.

With a win, No. 2 Ohio State (12-0, 8-0 Big Ten) almost surely will secure a spot in the BCS Championship Game, but No. 10 Michigan State (11-1, 8-0) knows a win would mean its first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1988.

The Spartans have the nation’s top defense, and the Buckeyes have one of the nation’s best offenses, but there is far more to this matchup than that. Here’s a tale of the tape:

Overview

Ohio State: After going 12-0 and missing the postseason last year because of violations under former coach Jim Tressel, the Buckeyes cruised through a soft nonconference schedule and seemingly sealed their Leaders Division title Sept. 28 with a 31-24 win over Wisconsin.

Michigan State: The Spartans lost the inaugural Big Ten title game 42-39 to Wisconsin in 2011 then stumbled to 7-6 last year. This year’s team rebounded and would be undefeated if not for a 17-13 loss to Notre Dame, which included three questionable pass interference calls against the Spartans.

Coaches

Ohio State: Urban Meyer is 24-0 at Ohio State and 128-23 for his career. He won national championships at Florida in 2006 and 2008.

Michigan State: Mark Dantonio is 62-29 at Michigan State and 80-46 for his career. This season, he was named Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Best players

Ohio State:

Quarterback Braxton Miller is a two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. Carlos Hyde was named the league’s Running Back of the Year. Linebacker Ryan Shazier led the Big Ten with 122 tackles, 21 for a loss.

Michigan State:

Darqueze Dennard, left, was named the Big Ten’s Defensive Back of the Year, Shilique Calhoun was named the league’s Defensive Lineman of the Year, and middle linebacker Max Bullough also was a first-team All-Big Ten selection.

Defining fact

Ohio State: The Buckeyes’ 24-game winning streak is the longest for a Big Ten team since Michigan won 25 in a row from 1946 to 1949.

Michigan State: The Spartans are the first team to go undefeated in Big Ten play – with every win coming by at least 10 points – since Michigan did it in 1943 with a 6-0 record.

National numbers

Ohio State: Third in points per game (48.2), 18th in points allowed per game (20.3), 6th in total offense (530.5 yards per game), 30th in total defense (355.8 yards per game)

Michigan State: 63rd in points per game (29.4), fourth in points allowed (11.8 points per game), 84th in total offense (380.2), first in total defense (237.7 yards per game)

They'll win if ...

Ohio State

The defense bounces back from its poor showing in last week’s 42-41 victory over Michigan, and if Miller handles his first test on this level of a stage.

Michigan State

  • big ten championship game

    No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 10 Michigan State • 7 p.m. Saturday • Lucas Oil Stadium • TV: Ch. 9

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Miami - WP: S. Dyson 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 5
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Peralta 1
Cincinnati - LP: P. Villarreal 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: H. Rondon 1
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Petricka 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 4
Cleveland - LP: Z. McAllister 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 3
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: C. Fien 6
Los Angeles - WP: J. Wright 11 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Bergman 3
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 6
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 8
Philadelphia - LP: J. Williams 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 1
Philadelphia 30 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close