Photo courtesy of Ohio State athletics
Last week’s Fifth Quarter/CFBHome Team of the Week had just snapped a 13-year conference road losing streak.
This week’s winner continued a run of domination. In what some might consider its biggest test to date, Ohio State passed with flying colors.
From the opening kickoff, the Buckeyes were downright dominant against No. 7 Michigan State. Ohio State took the opening kick 86 yards for a touchdown and never looked back in a 56-7 rout of the Spartans.
That’s why the Buckeyes earn our “Team of the Week” distinction.
Before Michigan State could blink, Saturday’s contest at Ohio Stadium was over. Ohio State scored touchdowns on its first seven possessions and built an insurmountable 49-0 lead by halftime.
Quarterback C.J. Stroud bolstered his Heisman Trophy case by going 32-for-35 passing for 432 yards and six touchdown passes. In total, six different Buckeyes scored a touchdown.
In the passing game, Chris Olave, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Garrett Wilson each eclipsed 100 yards receiving. Olave and Wilson each caught a pair of touchdowns while Smith-Njigba added another. Julian Fleming also caught a touchdown. Master Teague III powered the ground attack with 95 yards and a score.
Offense was hardly the only phase of the game where Ohio State dominated, however. While the Buckeyes finished with 655 yards of offense, the defense allowed about a third of that.
Michigan State managed just 224 yards of offense. The Ohio State defense came away with two sacks, nine tackles for loss and held perhaps the nation’s best back in Kenneth Walker III to just 25 yards rushing. Kourt Williams II led the team with seven total tackles and two stops for loss.
History is Made
History was made on Saturday in Columbus for both Michigan State and Ohio State.
For the Spartans, the 49-point defeat was their worst ever as a ranked team. For Stroud, the six touchdown passed tied a school record. He also broke the school record for consecutive completions with 17.
Stroud however, wasn’t the only Ohio State player to break records in the passing game. With two touchdown grabs, Olave surpassed David Boston as Ohio State’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions with 35.
The loss takes Michigan State out of contention to win the Big Ten East. The Spartans however, can notch a 10-win season by knocking off Penn State on Saturday in East Lansing.
Ohio State, which ascended to No. 2 in the AP Poll, will play what amounts to a Big Ten semifinal on Saturday. The Buckeyes will visit No. 7 Michigan. That contest begins at 12 p.m. ET and airs nationally on FOX.