No. 18 Michigan State kept things close throughout two quarters of a low-scoring affair in East Lansing Saturday, but couldn't get out of its own way as it fell to No. 10 Ohio State, 26-6.
Ohio State (9-1, 6-1 B10 East) suffocated the Spartans (6-4, 4-3) in the field position battle; Michigan State started five consecutive drives inside its own 6-yard-line in the second half, resulting in a safety and a fumble in the end zone that was recovered by the Buckeyes for a touchdown.
Neither Brian Lewerke nor Rocky Lombardi could find a rhythm running the offense, and each quarterback turned the ball over while down two scores in the fourth. Cody White was the lone bright spot for Michigan State's offense, catching 8 passes for 115 yards.
MSU - Brian Lewerke: 11/28, 128 yds., INT
OSU - Dwayne Haskins: 24/39, 227 yds., TD
MSU - Rocky Lombardi: 3 atts., 49 yds.
OSU - Mike Weber: 22 atts., 104 yds.
MSU - Cody White: 8 recs., 115 yds.
OSU - Terry McLaurin: 5 recs, 63 yds.
Michigan State airs it out on final drive
After an unsportsmanlike penalty, Michigan State will start at the 7.
Brian Lewerke throws behind Cam Chambers on first down and the pass falls incomplete. He gets it to Cody White on second down for a gain of 15 that'll give the Spartans a new set of downs at the 22.
Lewerke's passes on first and second down to Chambers and Laress Nelson both fall incomplete. He then goes back to Nelson and Chambers on third and fourth down. Neither is caught.
Ohio State takes a knee to run out the clock.
Ohio State 26, Michigan State 6 (FINAL)
Weber rumbles and stumbles into end zone
Mike Weber runs for 2 yards on first and second down.
Timeout #2 Michigan State (4:22 4th)
Dwayne Haskins completes a 7-yard pass to Terry McLaurin to keep the drive alive on third down.
Weber gets 3 yards on first down. Rashod Berry hauls in a 15-yard reception that'll give Ohio State a first down at the 13.
Weber gets the handoff on first down and picks up 5.
Timeout #3 Michigan State (2:24 4th)
Weber picks up the first down inside the 3-yard-line with a 5-yard gain. He now has 101 yards. Weber loses 1 on second down, but gets into the end zone on third-and-goal from the 4.
Ohio State 26, Michigan State 6 (1:12 4th)
Lewerke throws interception in crunch time
Brian Lewerke rushes for 3 yards on first down to reach the 16. He throws an incomplete pass to Cam Chambers on second down, and then finds Cody White for a 17-yard gain on second down to move the chains.
On first down, Lewerke hits Brandon Sowards for a 12-yard gain that'll make it first-and-10 at the 45.
Lewerke is hit as he throws on the next play, resulting in an interception by Shaun Wade that's returned to the Spartan 42.
Ohio State 19, Michigan State 6 (5:04 4th)
Michigan State recovers fumble in red zone
Mike Weber rushes for 6 yards on first down. Dwayne Haskins throws it complete to Rashod Berry on second down for a gain of 11 that'll give the Buckeyes a first down at the Spartan 34.
Weber picks up 4 tough yards on first down and gets 3 more on second down to make it third-and-3. Weber gets the ball again on third down and bruises through the middle for a gain of 6 that'll move the sticks and continue to bleed the clock.
Weber takes it to the outside on the next play and picks up 13 before getting tackled at the 8 to make it first-and-goal.
Tate Martell continues to keep the Spartan defense honest with run-pass options that are going to Weber. Weber gets 1 yard on first down and 3 more on second down. Martell can't corral a bad snap and the ball is recovered by Michigan State.
Ohio State 19, Michigan State 6 (6:22 4th)
Lewerke back in, things still not going well for Spartans
Alright, let's try this thing one more time. Michigan State ball. First down. Brian Lewerke is back in.
Lewerke is cracked by Tuf Borland (appropriate name) immediately for a sack that loses 6. Lewerke's throw is off the mark on second down. Lewerke is pressured by Chase Young on third down and decides to chuck the ball out-of-bounds.
Will Przystup's punt is downed at the 49.
Ohio State 19, Michigan State 6 (11:19 4th)
Another fumble leads to Buckeye points
Michigan State will look to get back on track starting from the 25.
Rocky Lombardi pitches to La'Darius Jefferson, which is just a little off. Jefferson fumbles and the ball is recovered by Ohio State at the 15. Holy smokes.
Ohio State 16, Michigan State 6 (14:03 4th)
J.K. Dobbins gets to the 11 with a pickup of 4 on first down. A false start penalty will back things up 5 yards. Haskins' throw to Terry McLaurin on second down is defended in the end zone by Khari Willis. Dobbins loses 2 yards on third down.
Blake Haubeil's 35-yard field goal is through the uprights.
Ohio State 19, Michigan State 6 (12:22 4th)
Trouble with the snap leads to Ohio State touchdown
Michigan State's center snaps it right into Laress Nelson, who was going in motion. The ball drops into the end zone and is recovered by the Buckeyes.
Ohio State 16, Michigan State 6 (14:03 4th)
Buckeyes continue field position dominance after safety
Cole Hahn kicks the safety punt out-of-bounds. Ohio State will start at the 50.
A false start penalty makes it first-and-15 at the 45.
Mike Weber rushes for 7 yards on first down, and Ohio State will let the third-quarter clock expire.
Ohio State 9, Michigan State 6 (End 3rd)
Parris Campbell is hit hard by Khari Willis and Kenny Willekes after a 2-yard run. Willekes walks off the field gingerly; it looks like he was kicked in the groin while going to the ground by Willis, so he should be fine after a minute. Dwayne Haskins misses his receiver on third down.
Drue Chrisman. 2-yard-ilne.
Ohio State 9, Michigan State 6 (14:12 4th)
Pinned deep, Spartans take safety on punt
Here come the Spartans from the 1. Rocky Lombardi throws incomplete to Cody White on first down and misses Laress Nelson on second down. Lombardi is forced to throw the ball out-of-bounds as the Buckeyes' front collapses down on him in the end zone.
Michigan State's punt attempt was snapped straight out of the end zone. Safety.
Ohio State 9, Michigan State 6 (0:42 3rd)
Ohio State drive stalls in Spartan territory
Ohio State wastes no time after getting the ball. Dwayne Haskins gets it to Terry McLaurin on first down for a gain of 21.
The Buckeyes have a new set of downs at the 44. Haskins' throw on first down is dropped by Johnnie Dixon and he misses his receiver on second down. K.J. Hill catches a 9-yard pass on second down. Tate Martell comes in for the Buckeyes as they elect to go for it.
Well, at least they were going to until they were flagged for a false start.
Drue Chrisman's punt is downed at the 1. Give him all the helmet stickers.
Ohio State 7, Michigan State 6 (0:56 3rd)
Spartans start inside 6 for third consecutive drive
Rocky Lombardi fires to Cam Chambers on first down for a gain of 18. That'll not only give the Spartans a first down, but also move them out of trouble of sitting in the shadow of their own end zone.
Connor Heyward rushes for 1 yard on first down. Lombardi fakes the handoff and fires over the head of Chambers on second down. Lombardi takes a chance down the field to Laress Nelson on third down, but his pass is thrown over his receiver's head once again. He's putting a little too much mustard on the football now.
K.J. Hill is brought down on the punt return at the 35.
Ohio State 7, Michigan State 6 (2:31 3rd)
Ohio State's third-down woes continue
Cole Hahn's kick goes for a touchback.
Mike Weber gets up the left sideline for a gain of 11 to pick up a first down.
Weber gets the handoff again on the next play, this time for a gain of 6. K.J. Hill catches a pass from Dwayne Haskins on second down and picks up 2. Haskins can't get it to Johnnie Dixon on third down, and the Buckeyes will punt for the seventh time today.
Drue Chrisman's punt goes out-of-bounds at the 3. He's had a fantastic day outside of the 5-yard punt he had to start the game.
Ohio State 7, Michigan State 6 (4:05 3rd)
Lombardi dazzles with his feet, Coghlin kicks field goal
The Spartans go play-action and Rocky Lombardi throws deep to midfield to Justin Layne. The ball hits Layne's hands, but he can't hold on to it. Lombardi completes an 11-yard pass to Cam Chambers on second down to make it third-and-1. Lombardi fakes the jet sweep and takes it himself to the left side, getting all the way to the Buckeye 39 with a 47-yard scramble.
Lombardi keeps it himself again on the next play for a gain of 12. Dantonio goes into his back of tricks with a wide-receiver pass that goes for a Spartan touchdown to Matt Sokol and blows the non-existent roof off the stadium. But then it's called back for an ineligible man downfield.
So, it'll be first-and-15. Lombardi's pass to Laress Nelson misses the mark. He hits Matt Dotson on second down for a pickup of 12, and on third down, Lombardi's pass is batted at the line.
Matt Coghlin will be out to try a field goal. His 38-yard attempt is good.
Ohio State 7, Michigan State 6 (5:35 3rd)
Michigan State defense bending at times, but not breaking
J.K. Dobbins is dropped at the 40-yard-line for a loss of 1 on first down. Dwayne Haskins throws a 16-yard completion to Terry McLaurin on second down to move into Michigan State territory at the 44.
Dobbins rushes for 5 yards on first down and Parris Campbell finishes off the set-of-downs with a 7-yard run on second down.
Dobbins goes for 1 yard on the next play. Haskins' throw on second down falls incomplete, making it third-and-9 from the 31. Haskins throws to K.J. Hill on third down, and the Buckeye receiver is immediately wrapped up by Kenny Willekes and Justin Layne for a loss of 2.
Drue Chrisman's punt is downed at the 6.
Ohio State 7, Michigan State 3 (8:27 3rd)
Lombardi back in to start third quarter
Rocky Lombardi is back in at quarterback to start the third quarter. His first pass misses the mark. He gets it to Cody White quickly near the sideline for a gain of 5 on second down. Lombardi tries to throw back-shoulder to Cam Chambers, but he's covered nicely and the throw is just a bit off.
William Przystup's punt is fielded by K.J. Hill, and he's immediately dropped at the 41.
Ohio State 7, Michigan State 3 (11:19 3rd)
Michigan State halts Buckeyes' first second-half drive
Ohio State will receive the football to start the second half. It'll begin from the 25.
Mike Weber runs for 6 yards on first down. Dwayne Haskins fires a 7-yard completion to K.J. Hill on second down to keep the chains moving.
Weber gets the ball again on first down, this time reaching the Michigan State 44 with an 18-yard gain.
Ohio State goes back to the air on the next play. Haskins' throw misses the mark. J.K. Dobbins takes the option pitch on second down and loses 2 yards. Haskins gets it out to Terry McLaurin with several Spartan defenders closing in, but the reception is only for 8 yards.
Drue Chrisman's punt is deflected beautifully by McLaurin at the goal line and then downed at the 5.
Ohio State 7, Michigan State 3 (12:14 3rd)
First half leaders
MSU - Brian Lewerke: 8/16, 84 yds.
OSU - Dwayne Haskins: 14/22, 133 yds., TD
MSU - Brian Lewerke: 4 atts., 7 yds.
OSU - J.K. Dobbins: 8 atts., 23 yds.
MSU - Cody White: 5 recs., 78 yds.
OSU - Parris Campbell: 6 recs., 42 yds.
Lombardi in, Spartans pick up 3 before half
Rocky Lombardi enters the game to massive cheers after the touchback.
Lombardi's throw on first down is over the top to Cody White for a gain of 27 yards. The Spartans are already in Buckeye territory at the 48.
Is next throw bounces off the hands of Matt Dotson. Brendan White was covering Dotson tightly, forcing the incompletion. Lombardi goes back to White on second down for a gain of 13 that'll move the chains and make it first-and-10 at the Ohio State 35.
Lombardi throws a dangerous pass to White that eventually falls to the turf. His second-down pass to Dotson is just short of the intended receiver. Lombardi fires an absolute rocket to Connor Heyward on a seam route that picks up 9. Not sure how Heyward held onto that one.
Timeout #2 Michigan State (0:32 2nd)
Michigan State is going for it on fourth down.
Timeout #2 Ohio State (0:32 2nd)
The Buckeyes need a little more time to draw up a gameplan.
Timeout #3 Ohio State (0:32 2nd)
And now the Spartans will need to take another look at things.
Timeout #3 Michigan State (0:32 2nd)
After all that, they'll try a field goal.
Matt Coghlin's try from 44 is good.
Ohio State 7, Michigan State 3 (0:30 2nd)
Ohio State takes a knee after receiving the kickoff to end the half.
Ohio State 7, Michigan State 3 (End 2nd)
Buckeyes strike first late in second quarter
Dwayne Haskins runs for no gain on first down. His second-down throw to Johnnie Dixon falls incomplete. Brandon Bouyer-Randle is flagged for jumping offsides, making it third-and-5. Haskins fits it in a tight window to K.J. Hill, and Hill makes a nice effort to fight up the field to pickup extra yards for a total gain of 17.
Dobbins reaches the Michigan State 28 with a 5-yard pickup on first down and gets 3 more on second down. Dobbins forces his way up the middle on third down and moves the chains with a 4-yard sprint.
Parris Campbell gets to the left edge and picks up 5 yards on first down. Haskins finds Luke Farrell underneath on second down for a gain of 10 to make it first-and-goal at the 6.
Backup quarterback Tate Martell comes in to run the RPO and finds a hole to reach the 1-yard-line. Dobbins is stopped for no gain on second down. Campbell gets it on the end-around and jukes a couple defenders on his way to the end zone. Touchdown, Buckeyes.
Ohio State 7, Michigan State 0 (1:29 2nd)
Boo birds out as Spartans go three-and-out again
With the defense in hot pursuit on first down, Brian Lewerke throws a pass way short of Cody White that looks bad at first glance, but was a necessary attempt to just get rid of it. Lewerke runs for 2 yards on second down. His throw on third down is sailed over the head of Darrell Stewart, and the boo birds have officially made their appearance at Spartan Stadium.
Bryce Baringer's punt goes out-of-bounds at the Ohio State 45.
Michigan State 0, Ohio State 0 (5:55 2nd)
Ohio State moves ball well, can't capitalize
Ohio State takes a shot to start the next drive. Terry McLaurin has a step on his defender deep, but Dwayne Haskins can't hit the target. His pass falls to the grass beyond his receiver's route. He does, however, throw it complete to Parris Campbell on second down for a gain of 8. Naquan Jones drills Mike Weber for no gain on third down, but Kenny Willekes is called for an offsides penalty. That'll give Ohio State a first down.
Willekes makes up for his error by sacking Haskins for a loss of 4 on the next play. Haskins fires a gem to Chris Olave over the middle for a gain of 24 that crosses into Spartan territory at the 47.
McLaurin catches an 11-yard pass on first down to move the chains again. Buckeyes really moving now.
And now it's a Olave again with a 16-yard reception that'll make it first-and-10 at the 20.
Weber runs for 3 yards on first down. Haskins goes to McLaurin in the end zone on second down, but his pass is underthrown. Justin Layne makes a nice play in coverage to break up the pass. Haskins scrambles to make the line-to-gain on third down, but Malcolm Pridgeon is called for illegal use of hands to the face. It's now third-and-22. Haskins has time to throw, but nowhere to go with the pass. He checks it down to K.J. Hill for a gain of 5.
Out comes Blake Haubeil to try a 45-yard field goal.
It's not even close. We're still scoreless here in East Lansing.
Michigan State 0, Ohio State 0 (6:55 2nd)
Michigan State offense showing more of the same
Brian Lewerke bobbles the ball and Michigan State receovers at the 11 for no gain. Darrell Stewart hauls in a reception near the line-to-gain and makes the second effort to reach across that imaginary yellow line. First down, Spartans.
Stewart catches a 2-yard pass on first down. Connor Heyward rushes up the middle for a pickup of 5 on second down. Lewerke throws a dangerous pass to Heyward over the middle that goes high in a heavily-trafficked area. It falls to the ground incomplete.
William Pryzstup's punt is downed at the 19.
Michigan State 0, Ohio State 0 (11:05 2nd)
Stalemate continues into second quarter
J.K. Dobbins gets to the 41 with an 8-yard gain on first down. He goes up the middle on second down and gets nowhere. Dwayne Haskins' third-down throw into traffic is incomplete to Binjimen Victor.
Drue Chrisman's punt is downed at the 12.
Michigan State 0, Ohio State 0 (13:48 2nd)
Spartan offense gains traction; still no points
Darrell Stewart gets the Michigan State passing game on track to start the drive. He catches an 11-yard pass on the first play and gets 18 yards on the ensuing first down to make it first-and-10 at the Ohio State 36-yard-line.
Brian Lewerke completes a wide-receiver screen to Cody White on first down, but a holding penalty will bring it back. First-and-20 now. Lewerke underthrows an open White and the pass falls incomplete. He throws it high to Brandon Sowards near the sideline. Third-and-20 coming up. White catches a 13-yard pass over the middle that'll look good on the stat sheet but won't move the sticks. That'll be the last play of the quarter.
Michigan State 0, Ohio State 0 (End 1st)
Matt Coghlin is out to attempt a 51-yard field goal. He pushes it right.
MIchigan State 0, Ohio State 0 (14:55 2nd)
Neither offense can pick up momentum
Mike Weber is wrapped up behind the line by Kenny Willekes for a loss of 2 on second down. Dwayne Haskins completes an 8-yard pass to Parris Campbell on second down to make it third-and-4. He goes back to Campbell again on third down, this time completing it to the Buckeye receiver that goes for a gain of 10 and will move the chains.
Haskins' first-down throw to Luke Farrell is incomplete. His throw on second down is defended beautifully by Justin Layne. And then Haskins is sacked on third down by Justin Layne and Naquan Jones.
Drue Chrisman's punt is fair caught at the Spartan 35.
Michigan State 0, Ohio State 0 (1:52 1st)
Michigan State goes three-and-out again
Cam Chambers pulls in a 4-yard reception on first down. La'Darius Jefferson is wrapped up by all of Columbus on second down - no gain. Brian Lewerke tucks it and runs for 4 yards on third down, bringing up fourth-and-2.
William Pryzstup is now punting for the Spartans. His punt is downed at the 10.
Michigan State 0, Ohio State 0
Haskins missing receivers early
J.K. Dobbins gets to the edge and picks up 9 yards on a first-down reception. Dobbins gets 2 yards up the middle on second down.
Dwayne Haskins throws an incomplete pass to Johnnie Dixon on first-and-10 from the 22. J.K. Dobbins runs for a yard on second down. Haskins greatly overthrows his receiver on third down.
Drue Chrisman's next punt is much better than the first, travelling 47 yards before Brandon Sowards hauls it in with a fair catch.
Michigan State 0, Ohio State 0 (6:00 1st)
Miscues stump Spartans in Buckeye territory
Brian Lewerke and Connor Heyward fumble a handoff exchange. Heyward recovers for a loss of 4. Cody White manages to gain a handful of yards on a double-reverse that was doomed from the start. Regardless, a holding penalty backs Michigan State up 10 yards to the 49. Second-and-24 coming up. Lewerke throws it complete to White for a gain of 15. His third-down throw is tipped at the line and Michigan State will punt.
Bryce Baringer's punt is fair caught at the 10.
Michigan State 0, Ohio State 0 (7:42 1st)
Spartan defense picks up slack, forces three-and-out
Mike Weber loses a yard on a first-down carry. The Buckeyes show some confusion at the line, and are forced to take a timeout.
Timeout #1 Ohio State (11:06 1st)
Weber catches a screen pass to the strong side and has nowhere to go. He's dropped for a loss of two more yards on second down. Michigan State brings the heat on third down, and Dwayne Haskins throws a 10-yard completion to Parris Campbell. Drue Chrisman shanks the punt terribly. It nets 4 yards and the Spartans will take over at the Buckeye 35.
Michigan State 0, Ohio State 0 (9:42 1st)
Michigan State offense sluggish at start
Ohio State has won the toss and deferred to the second half. The kick goes for a touchback.
Brian Lewerke is coming out at quarterback for the Spartans. Connor Heyward loses a yard on first down. Cody White hauls in a 10-yard reception to make it third-and-1. Lewerke tries to sneak it up the middle, but is stuffed at the line. The Spartans go for it on fourth-and-1 at their own 34. It appeared that Ohio State stuffed Lewerke on his next quarterback sneak, but the officials rule he made the line-to-gain. First down, Michigan State.
Timeout #1 Michigan State (12:44 1st)
Out of the timeout, Tyler Higby is flagged for a false start. La'Darius Jefferson cuts up the middle for a gain of 4 on first down. Lewerke's second-down throw is just out of reach for White, bringing up third-and-11. Lewerke makes a dangerous throw over the middle on third down that's nearly intercepted by a Buckeye defender.
Bryce Baringer's punt goes out at the 24.
Michigan State 0, Ohio State 0 (11:54 1st)
Michigan State tackles Ohio State in an important Big Ten East showdown on Saturday. Follow the action here with live updates throughout the game by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.
MICHIGAN STATE VS. OHIO STATE
Kickoff: Noon Saturday, Spartan Stadium, East Lansing
TV/radio: Fox/WJR 760
Records: No. 24 Michigan State 6-3, 4-2 Big Ten; No. 8 Ohio State 8-1, 5-1
Line: Ohio State by 3.5