COMMENTARY | Heading into the Big Ten championship game as a six-point favorite, the Ohio State Buckeyes walked away with a 34-24 loss at the hands of the #10 Michigan State Spartans.
Riding a 24-game winning streak and a possible BCS national championship berth into the matchup, many, including myself, were already looking ahead to a Ohio State-Florida State national title game.
So what, exactly, happened to the Buckeyes?
It’s actually quite simple — Michigan State was the better team.
Boasting one of the best defenses in the country, it seemed a sure-bet that Ohio State would be able to create pressure on sophomore Spartan quarterback Connor Cook and force mistakes. Though the Buckeyes were able to force Cook into one interception, the Spartans never had much difficulty in airing it out. Cook ended the day with 304 yards and three touchdowns on 24-40 passing.
Not only was Cook throwing all over the Buckeyes’ defense, but running back Jeremy Langford had a very productive day as well. Langford carried the ball 24 times for 128 yards and the walk-off touchdown in the fourth quarter, essentially sealing the game for the Spartans by giving them a 10-point lead.
The biggest problem for Ohio State was that only one of Michigan State’s scores came from within the red zone. With touchdown passes of 72, 33, and 9 yards, and a rushing touchdown of 26 yards, it is evident that the Buckeyes struggled with the passing game in any capacity. Cook’s three touchdowns all came to different receivers, proving that there wasn’t any one singular weak secondary player for the Buckeyes.
Continue Reading: What Happened to the Ohio State Buckeyes? (Yahoo Contributor Network)