Defense Propels Spartans Past Buckeyes

Defense Propels Spartans Past Buckeyes

(AP) Kirk Cousins threw a 33-yard scoring pass to B.J. Cunningham and Michigan State’s No. 1-ranked defense overwhelmed Ohio State 10-7 Saturday, shutting out the Buckeyes until the final seconds. Michigan State (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten) came in as the national leader in total defense (172 yards per game) and passing defense (101 ypg) and almost matched those numbers. The Spartans allowed just 178 total yards and 143 yards through the air. The Buckeyes (3-2, 0-1), behind true freshman quarterback Braxton Miller, stumbled and bumbled all day on offense. Joe Bauserman led Ohio State to its only score, a 34-yard pass to Evan Spencer with 10 seconds left. The Spartans then recovered the onside kick. Read the full AP recap, check out the box score and see our Big Ten scoreboard.

FOURTH QUARTER: Michigan State put on a defensive clinic in the fourth, as Ohio State finished with negative rushing yardage (-11 yards), and the Spartans kept the Buckeyes at bay for a 10-7 victory. Michigan State added to its advantage when Dan Conroy kicked a 49-yard field goal, the clincher of a four-play, seven-yard drive to give the Spartans the lead, 10-0. Keshawn Martin’s punt return put Michigan State at the Ohio State 39-yard line to open the drive. Ohio State closed the gap to 10-7 when Joe Bauserman found Evan Spencer open for a 33-yard touchdown pass to clinch a 62-yard drive.

THIRD QUARTER: The two teams combined for more punts than points in a slow third quarter and the margin is still seven, as Michigan State leads 7-0. There were three punts in the quarter as neither team could find a way to move the ball. The Spartans’ defense shut down Ohio State, allowing only 16 yards of offense in the quarter. Michigan State’s B.J. Cunningham hit 150 yards receiving for the game in the quarter, part of his 154-yard, nine-reception performance. The Spartans’ Kirk Cousins passed for 101 yards in the quarter to put him over 200 yards for the game. Cousins has 250 yards through the air so far today. Michigan State is poised to score with the ball on at the Buckeyes’ seven-yard line to start the fourth quarter.

SECOND QUARTER: The teams combined for no points and two turnovers in an ugly second quarter and the margin is still seven, as Michigan State leads 7-0. The Spartans will have possession to start the second half.

FIRST QUARTER: No. 25 Michigan State held Ohio State to 41 total yards during the first quarter and the Spartans lead 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. Michigan State stuffed the run, giving up just 24 yards on the ground in the quarter. The Spartans got on the scoreboard first, rattling off a five-play, 65-yard drive that ended in a score when Kirk Cousins found B.J. Cunningham open for a 33-yard touchdown pass. The Buckeyes have the ball on their own 38-yard line to begin the second quarter.

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