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Ohio State-Michigan State preview


Who: Ohio State (12-0) vs. Michigan State (11-1)

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

When: 8 p.m.

TV, radio: FOX, 1410

Series history: The Buckeyes have a 28-13 all-time record, including a 17-16 win in East Lansing last season. The Spartans snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 10-7 win in Columbus in 2011.

Stat pack: QB Braxton Miller 138-210 (65.7 percent), 1,759 yards, 21 TDs, 5 ints., 891 yards rushing, 6.8 avg., 8 TDs; RB Carlos Hyde 1,290 yards, 7.8 avg., 14 TDs.

MSU QB Connor Cook 177-304 (58.2 percent), 2,119, 17 TDs, 4 ints.; RB Jeremy Langford 1,210, 4.9, 16 TDs.

About OSU: The Buckeyes are second in the nation in rushing (321.3 yards per game), third in scoring (48.2 points per game) and sixth in total offense (530.5). They’re also second in fewest three-and-outs, failing to gain a first down on only 22 of 145 possessions (15.2 percent). Navy is first (15 percent).

They’re No. 1 in the nation in touchdown percentage, reaching the end zone on 53.5 percent of their drives.

Their defense has been maligned this season, but they rank second nationally with 39 sacks.

Buckeye background: MSU coach Mark Dantonio helped the Buckeyes win the 2002 national title during a three-year stint as defensive coordinator. He also is a former OSU graduate assistant under Earle Bruce in the 1980s. He has a 1-5 career record against the Buckeyes, including an 0-2 mark at Cincinnati.

Jim Bollman, who was OSU’s offensive line coach from 2001-11, is the Spartans’ co-offensive coordinator.

Comparing scores: OSU and MSU played six common opponents in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes’ total victory margin was 130 points, the Spartans 126.

Record watch: OSU’s Miller has 77 total TDs in his career (49 passing, 28 rushing), the second-most in the program behind Art Schlichter’s 85.

LB Ryan Shazier needs 5.5 tackles for loss in the last two games to break Mike Vrabel’s school record of 26.0.

The OSU single-season rushing record of 4,199 set in 1973 could fall. The Buckeyes have 3,855 yards.

Quote: Coach Urban Meyer on the Spartans’ defense: “It’s not so much the scheme. It’s the toughness and the fundamentals the kids play with in that scheme.

“This style of defense — I can imagine there’s been many, many people trying to copy it, and that’s a credit to the coaching staff and the players because they are at a different level right now.”

Prediction: Ohio State 27, Michigan State 14


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