COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State secured its first road win of the season in a dominant fashion and went 6-0 with a 49-20 win at Michigan State on Saturday. After a few early challenges, the Buckeyes rallied for an impressive blowout win on the road.
Buckeye quarterback C.J. Stroud tied the Ohio State program record throwing six touchdowns for 361 yards, with one interception in the first quarter. Marvin Harrison Jr. scored three of those touchdowns, with the others going to wideouts Emeka Egbuka and Julian Fleming, and tight end Gee Scott Jr. Running back TreVeyon Henderson also had one touchdown.
Stroud reached 68 career touchdowns and moved into second in Ohio State history in career passing touchdowns. Egbuka had 143 yards and a touchdown, Harrison had 131 yards and three touchdowns, and Fleming had 81 yards and a touchdown. With Harrison’s three touchdowns, he became the first Buckeye to have three touchdown passes in three games.
The Buckeyes were once again without veteran receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who has yet to play in Ohio State’s last three games due to a hamstring injury. But even without Smith-Njigba’s starpower, the Ohio State wideouts found creativity offensively and executed at a high level on the windy Saturday.
Ohio State head coach Ryan Day described his receivers as “warriors” following their spectacular showing.
Ohio State also played without running back Miyan Williams who scored five touchdowns last week against Wisconsin. But Henderson returned after missing the Wisconsin game, and picked up 118 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Henderson limped off the field in the third quarter following a blow to his leg by a Spartan defender.
The Ohio State offense racked up 614 yards of total offense, as compared to the Spartans’ 202 yards.
But Ohio State’s defense also had a strong showing, recording four sacks and an interception by safety Lathan Ransom — which was the first big play of the game. Mike Hall Jr. had 2.5 sacks, and linebacker Tommy Eichenberg led the defense with seven total tackles. The Buckeye defense gave up only seven yards rushing by the Spartans on 20 attempts.
“It certainly didn’t start the way we wanted it on offense — and nobody panicked at all. I thought the way the defense played, Lathan [Ransom] got the early interception and across the board we gave up a couple of things on the outside and a couple penalties, but after that they did a great job of stoping the run,” Day said. “Across the board our guys played strong.”
Ohio State took most of its starters out of the game in the third quarter.
With the win on Saturday, Ohio State secured its seventh straight win against Michigan State and moves into the bye week with some momentum. The Spartans dropped their fourth straight game.