Sunday, November 22, 2015

On The Mark 11.22.15: #Buckeyes vs. Michigan State Recap

Ugly day leads to ugly loss for the Buckeyes 17-14 to Michigan State
By @MarkW2112

It was Senior Day in Columbus but there was also a feeling that this would be the last game for such talent as juniors Ezekiel Elliot and Joey Bosa. The way the Buckeyes played, it was a very disappointing day for all involved as a stagnant offense couldn't really do much against the stout Michigan State defense.  In the end, the Spartans won 17-14 due to bad offensive play calls and mistakes on defense.

J.T. Barrett may have had one of his worse performances since last years Virginia Tech game.  He passed for only 46 yards and ran 15 times for 44 more.  It was definitely a day he would like to forget.  What was worse was that Ezekiel Elliot only ran 12 times for 33 yards, ending his 15 game streak of rushing for 100 yards or more.  It seemed that the offensive coaches were mostly concentrating on having Barrett run the option out of the backfield instead of trying to get it Elliot.  Elliot was able to get a touchdown after a fumble recovery by the defense while Barrett threw a touchdown to Jalin Marshall after a fumbled punt set them up within the 5 yard line.  But for most of the day, it was 3 and out as they could not establish any kind of pattern.

The defense played as well as they could.  Connor Cook did not start to Michigan State went with a 2 quarterback system of Tyler O'Connell and Damion Terry.  They combined to move the ball for 90 yards passing and 50 yards rushing.  It was workhorse running back Gerald Holmes who led with 65 yards and a touchdown and help set them up for the final field goal to win the game.  Joey Bosa, playing his last game in Columbus, also jumped off sides 4 times during the game but was disruptive most of the game.  But, when it counted, Michigan State was able to make just enough plays to set themselves up for the win.

My take:  The Buckeyes offense was obviously affected by the wet weather.  But it was still no excuse for them to run basic plays over and over again as it seemed they forgot they had a stout running back in Ezekiel Elliot and, instead, put the game in to J.T. Barrett's hands.  It was a disaster.  The defense was good but not good enough to stop Michigan State from going on long touchdown drives after they were given leads.  It was a heartbreaking way for the seniors and juniors that are leaving early to go in the NFL to end their time at the Horseshoe.  But this team has been off all year, especially on offense, since Tom Herman left to become the head coach of Houston.  It was a fun year but, sadly, the Buckeyes failed to win which pretty much puts them out of a playoff spot this year. 

Player(s) of the game:  Michigan State.  They did just enough to beat the Buckeyes on a cold and rainy day.  It was a full team effort.

Next for the Buckeyes:  The Game against That Team Up North in Ann Arbor, next Saturday at Noon.

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