Buckeyes escape East Lansing

Buckeyes escape East Lansing

zz The Buckeye Battlecry

Buckeyes escape East Lansing

They say defense wins championships.

And Ohio State’s defense kept the Buckeyes championship aspirations alive Saturday with a pair of key interceptions late as OSU escaped East Lansing with a 17-16 win over Michigan State.

Gareon Conley picked off a Tyler O’Connor pass in the final two minutes, piggy-backing a Malik Hooker interception on a 2-point try after a MSU TD with less than five minutes left.

The Ohio State offense took a step back in East Lansing but it shouldn’t make a difference for OSU, which is still in a win-and-in situation as far as the College Football Playoff.

But the offense must play better. QB J.T. Barrett completed just 10 of 22 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown, while running 24 time for 105 yards. Mike Weber Jr., carried just 14 times for 111 yards, 52 on a long-run that set up a short TD plunge to give the Buckeyes a 17-10 lead late in the third quarter.

Curtis Samuel was basically a non-factor running just 4 times for 13 yards and catching 4 balls for 40 yards and one touchdown.

The 3-9 Spartans out-gained 10-1 OSU 334-310 and gashed the OSU defense for 207 rushing yards. Cameron Johnston punted seven times for a nifty 41.6 yard average. He put three inside the 20.

Michigan State used a big play, something Ohio State doesn’t give up too often, to take an early 7-0 lead. Tyler O’Connor found L.J. Scott for a 64-yard swing pass on the game’s second play.

OSU answered quickly on a 24-yard floater from Barrett to Samuel.

A 28-yard field goal from Michael Geiger gave the Spartans a 10-7 lead with 13:42 left in the half and Tyler Durbin tied it three minutes later with a 39-yarder.

Weber’s TD seemed to give the Buckeyes all they would need, but the Spartans scored late in game using a good field position, a 26-yard run by L.J. Scott (160 yards) and several other Scott runs to move into position to tied it.

But Coach Mark Dantonio went for the win and lost.

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