This is it. The biggest game the Ohio State Buckeyes will play this year. And while it is against a Michigan team, this time it's the Michigan State Spartans that will stand in their way to make a trip to the Big 10 Championship this year. As we all know, the Sparty's won the championship against the Bucks last year. This year the Bucks and Spartans are both in the Big 10 East division so which ever team wins will write their ticket to Indianapolis.
Once again, it's the big prime time stage for the Buckeyes away from the friendly confines of Columbus, this time the setting will be East Lansing. The only hope for the Bucks is that playing in front of the hostile crowd in Happy Valley 2 weeks ago give J.T. Barrett and the offense a slight edge over a much smaller crowd. He faces an excellent defense who dominated the Bucks last year. The Spartans offense, led by quarterback Connor Cook, look to pick apart the young defensive backfield while trying to contain Joey Bosa on the defensive front.
My take: this is going to be the hardest game of the season for the Buckeyes. Michigan State is tough on both sides of the ball and may have gotten better from their match up against the Bucks last year. J.T. Barrett, Ezekiel Elliot and the offense have their work cut out for them while the defense needs to try and clamp down on the Spartan's offense. It's a tall task for a young team.
Prediction: for the first time this year, I'm predicting a Buckeyes loss. At this point, the Spartans are just slightly better than the Bucks. That said, I hope I eat my words.
What: Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan State Spartans
Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
Time: 8 PM EST
TV: ABC, ESPN3