COLUMBUS – Any hope visiting No. 7 Michigan State (9-2) had of upsetting No. 4 Ohio State (10-1) disappeared before the fans in the stadium could get really settled in their seats.
The Buckeyes drove the opening kickoff for a score on a 23 yard pass from C.J. Stroud to Chris Olave, forced a punt by MSU, and scored another touchdown on a 77 yard strike from Stroud to Garrett Wilson to make it 14-0 with 8:03 remaining in the first quarter.
It was just the beginning of the fireworks show.
OSU scored on every possession in the first half to put 49 points on the board before the intermission. The closest MSU could come to getting on the scoreboard was a missed 46 yard field goal attempt that went wide right. Michigan State had no answer for the OSU passing game and could not get its own running game going. That was a very bad formula for the Green and White. OSU quarterback C.J. Stroud led an offense that produced 500 yards in the first half, 293 of them passing yards, and six touchdowns via the air. Stroud, who completed over 80 percent of his passes last week against Purdue, actually improved this week in the first half against the Spartans. In the first half Stroud completed 23 of 25 for a completion rate of 92%.
Chris Olave broke the OSU career touchdown record his second TD reception of the day that made the score 21-0. That score came on a 43 yard reception. It was Olave’s 35th-career TD catch and put him one ahead of previous record holder David Boston. Stroud’s six touchdown passes tied him for the single-game mark with several other Buckeye quarterbacks.
OSU receiver Julian Flemming scored a TD on a two-yard pass from Stroud to make it 28-0. Garrett Wilson scored on a one yard rush to make the score 35-0, and Wilson scored again on a 12 yard reception from Stroud to make it 42-0. Jaxon Smith-Njigba got in on the action with a six yard TD reception with just 1:37 remaining to make it 49-0 at the half.
Anything that happened after that doesn’t really matter. The game was over.
Ohio State pulled its starters for most of the second half. Each team scored a touchdown in the second half. Ohio State’s came on a one yard run by senior running back Master Teague. That score delighted the crowd who was pulling for Teague to score on his last game in Ohio Stadium.
Ohio State amassed 655 net yards of offense, 449 passing and 206 rushing. MSU could manage just 224 total yards, 158 passing and 66 rushing.
Teague led all rushers with 102 yards on 21 carries, most of them in the second half when OSU was basically running clock.
The Ohio State defense had nine tackles for loss and force on turnover on a fumble. Ohio State only turned the ball over on an interception thrown by Kyle McCord, in the second half of the game.