As the college football season comes to a close, the Big Ten East race is shaping up to be one of the tightest, with one of the most pivotal games of the season set to kick off on Saturday between Ohio State and Michigan State.
Just one game separates the two in the standings and both the Buckeyes and Spartans boast some of the nation’s most dynamic offensive skill position players.
On Ohio State, take your pick and you’ll get burned offensively. Wide receivers Chris Olave, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Garrett Wilson, running back TreVeyon Henderson or tight end Jeremy Ruckert can all do major damage and can at any one time become quarterback CJ Stroud’s or the Buckeyes’ go-to playmaker.
For their efforts, the Buckeyes rank third in third down conversion percentage, sixth in passing offense and most notably, first in points per game.
Michigan State meanwhile, has Kenneth Walker, one of the most electric running backs in the country. A Wake Forest transfer, Walker ranks first in the conference and second nationally in rushing yards, leads both the Big Ten and nation in rushing touchdowns and is averaging 6.5 yards per carry.
He’s been a big part of why the Spartans are 9-1 on the season and 6-1 in the Big Ten. The Spartans’ success is also a big reason why coach Mel Tucker is reportedly in line to sign a historic contract extension to keep him in East Lansing for the next decade.
This matchup figures to have its share of explosive offensive plays. Sporting News has all the info you need to catch this marquee Big Ten game.
Ohio State vs. Michigan State score
Ohio State vs. Michigan State live updates, highlights
All times Eastern.
Halftime: Ohio State 49, Michigan State 0
1:49 p.m.: Thorne throws consecutive incompletions and forces the Spartans to punt from the 42. Smith-Njigba makes the catch at the OSU 19.
1:47 p.m.: Simmons rushes for seven yards to give the Spartans a first down from the MSU 42.
1:45 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN OHIO STATE. Stroud finds Smith-Njigba wide open in the end zone for a five-yard score. Buckeyes lead 49-0 with 1:37 remaining in the half.
1:43 p.m.: Stroud finds Olave for 15 yards and marks a first down at the MSU 21. He then completes a short pass to Rossi, but the ball comes loose and bounces out of bounds. Ohio State resumes the drive from the 16.
1:42 p.m.: Williams rushes 19 yards and executes a spin move to give the Buckeyes a first down from the MSU 36.
1:40 p.m.: Maverick Hansen sacks Stroud for a loss of eight yards.
1:36 p.m.: Stroud finds Ruckert and rushes to pick up 28 yards for a first down at the OSU 43.
1:32 p.m.: After gaining only nine yards on the drive, Michigan State is forced to punt again. Smith-Njigba returns and positions the Buckeyes at their own 15.
1:29 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN OHIO STATE. Stroud finds Wilson in the end zone for a 12-yard score. Buckeyes lead 42-0 with 7:02 remaining in the half.
1:25 p.m.: Stroud completes to Smith-Njigba and Olave to give the Buckeyes a first down at the MSU 12.
1:20 p.m.: Stroud throws his second incompletion on a pass intended for Wilson.
1:18 p.m.: Smith breaks up a pass from Thorne intended to Joiner, forcing the Spartans to punt. Henderson returns 18 yards to position the Buckeyes at their own 39.
1:14 p.m.: Walker rushes nine yards to the MSU 34, but an offensive holding penalty against the Spartans pushes them back to their own 15.
1:10 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN OHIO STATE. Williams rushes into the end zone to keep Ohio State on top. Buckeyes take a 35-0 lead with 10:02 remaining in the half.
1:07 p.m.: Stroud finds Smith-Njigba for another 14 yards, then completes a deep 27-yard pass to Olave at the 1.
1:05 p.m.: Williams rushes for 14 yards to give the Buckeyes a first down from the 44.
1:02 p.m.: Thorne throws consecutive incomplete passes and forces the Spartans to punt from their own 31. Smith-Njigba returns for the Buckeyes at the OSU 30.
12:58 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN OHIO STATE. The Buckeyes capitalize on the fumble recovery as Stroud completes a short pass to Fleming in the end zone for the first touchdown of his career. Ohio State leads 28-0 under a minute into the second quarter.
First Quarter: Ohio State 21, Michigan State 0
12:55 p.m.: FUMBLE, MICHIGAN STATE. Thorne tosses to Simmons, but the ball is knocked out during the rush. The Buckeyes recover and take over from the MSU 44.
12:53 p.m.: Denzel Burke breaks up a pass from Thorne intended to Reed, but immediately grabs his arm and heads to the OSU sideline.
12:51 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN OHIO STATE. Stroud completes to Olave for 43 yards in the end zone, marking the 35th touchdown of his career. Buckeyes lead 21-0 with 2:31 remaining in the first quarter.
12:48: Spartans’ kicker Matt Coughlin missed a 46-yard field goal attempt, leaving MSU scoreless with 3:55 remaining in the first quarter.
12:45: Thorne completes to Terry Lockett Jr., but he falls short of the first down and loses control of the ball. After an official review, the complete pass ruling is reversed, and Tommy Eichenberg gets credit for the breakup on the pass.
12:42 p.m.: Walker rushes for 15 yards to position the Spartans at the OSU 29.
12:39 p.m.: Thorne completes a 21-yard pass to Jayden Reed on third down to give the Spartans a fresh set of downs at the 42.
12:37 p.m.: Kenneth Walker III makes a 10-yard rush for a first down at the MSU 36.
12:35 p.m.: Tyreke Smith sacks Throne for a loss of four yards at the MSU 12.
12:31 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN OHIO STATE. Stroud completes a deep pass to Wilson, who escapes defenders and runs into the end zone for a 77-yard score. Ohio State leads 14-0 with 8:03 left in the first quarter.
12:25 p.m.: After Thorne throws consecutive incomplete passes, the Spartans punt from their own 35 on their opening drive. Jaxon Smith-Njigba returns, and the Buckeyes will start their second drive from their own 12.
12:22 p.m.: Zach Harrison breaks up a pass from Thorne intended to Ricky White.
12:20 p.m.: Thorne completes to Tyler Hunt for 16 yards for a first down at the Michigan State 35.
12:15 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN OHIO STATE. Stroud finds Olave for 23 yards in the end zone and puts the Buckeyes on the board in their opening drive. After the extra point is good, Ohio State leads 7-0 with 10:42 remaining in the first quarter.
12:07 p.m.: Stroud completes to Garrett Wilson for 12 yards to give the Buckeyes a first down at the MSU 37.
12:03 p.m.: After a false start penalty on the opening play of the game, Stroud makes consecutive completions to Chris Olave for a first down.
12:00 p.m.: Michigan State wins the coin toss and defers. Ohio State starts with the ball from the 14 after the kickoff.
Ohio State vs. Michigan State start time
- Date: Saturday, Nov. 20
- Kickoff: Noon ET
Ohio State vs. Michigan State will kick off at noon ET from Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
How to watch Ohio State vs. Michigan State
- TV channel (national): ABC
- Live stream: ESPN App, fuboTV
This matchup between Big Ten powers will air on ABC. Chris Fowler will handle play-by-play duties with former Buckeyes QB Kirk Herbstreit joining him as the analyst. The two will be accompanied by Holly Rowe reporting from the sidelines.
Ohio State football schedule 2021
|at Minnesota||Sept. 2||Ohio State 45, Minnesota 31|
|vs. No. 12 Oregon||Sept. 11||Oregon 35, Ohio State 28|
|vs. Tulsa||Sept. 18||Ohio State 41, Tulsa 20|
|vs. Akron||Sept. 25||Ohio State 59, Akron 7|
|at Rutgers||Oct. 2||Ohio State 52, Rutgers 13|
|vs. Maryland||Oct. 9||Ohio State 66, Maryland 17|
|at Indiana||Oct. 23||Ohio State 54, Indiana 7|
|vs. Penn State||Oct. 30||Ohio State 33, Penn State 24|
|at Nebraska||Nov. 6||Ohio State 26, Nebraska 17|
|vs. Purdue||Nov. 13||Ohio State 59, Purdue 31|
|vs. Michigan State||Nov. 20||TBD|
|at Michigan||Nov. 27||TBD|
Michigan State football schedule 2021
|at Northwestern||Sept. 3||Michigan State 38, Northwestern 21|
|vs. Youngstown State||Sept. 11||Michigan State 42, Youngstown State 14|
|at No. 24 Miami (FL)||Sept. 18||Michigan State 38, Miami 17|
|vs. Nebraska||Sept. 25||Michigan State 23, Nebraska 20 (OT)|
|vs. Western Kentucky||Oct. 2||Michigan State 48, Western Kentucky 31|
|at Rutgers||Oct. 9||Michigan State 31, Rutgers 13|
|at Indiana||Oct. 23||Michigan State 20, Indiana 15|
|vs. Michigan||Oct. 30||Michigan State 37, Michigan 33|
|at Purdue||Nov. 6||Purdue 40, Michigan 29|
|vs. Maryland||Nov. 13||Michigan State 40, Maryland 21|
|at Ohio State||Nov. 20||TBD|
|vs. Penn State||Nov. 27||TBD|
Jake Aferiat contributed to this article.