COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — – From the outside, it looks like the premier game on the opening week of Big Ten play: The conference’s two highest ranked teams, with a combined 7-1 record.
But the guys closest to No. 14 Ohio State and 20th-ranked Michigan State (3-1) know better.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said on Saturday after a closer-than-expected 29-15 victory over winless UAB. “The fact is we’re a bend-and-break defense, which is painful to watch. And then we’re not a methodically dominating offense. I mean, we’re not a very good offense right now.”
Things weren’t a whole lot different just over 200 miles to the north.
Michigan State linebacker Denicos Allen said the locker room was somber after the Spartans were pushed around at times before muscling past winless Eastern Michigan 23-7 on Saturday.
“Everybody knew that we didn’t play like we should. So it was kind of a down mood,” he said. “We need to do our job better and prepare better, especially going into Big Ten. We can’t make the mistakes we did today. All the dropped passes, and missed tackles – all the little things we need to fix.”
Despite playing four nonconference home games, the Buckeyes have looked more like the 2011 team that lost seven games – matching the program’s most since 1897 – than the new-look, fresh-start team anticipated under Meyer.
Continue Reading: Ohio St.-Michigan St. Preview