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Live blog: O'Connor pick seals MSU's fate

Geoff Robinson
The Detroit News
LJ Scott leaves Buckeye tacklers behind on a long run in the first quarter.

The Spartans kept it close, but the offense wasn't able to come through in the clutch. Tyler O'Connor fumbled on the first play of the final drive and threw an interception on the next play as he just threw a ball up for grabs on second down with a minute and a half left to play.

O'Connor just wasn't able to do anything to compliment LJ Scott's huge day today. Scott ran for 160 yards and a touchdown, while also setting the tone for today's game with a 64-yard touchdown reception on the second play of the game. O'Connor was 6-for-16 through the air and threw for just 41 yards after that opening screen pass to Scott.

Mike Weber ran for 111 yards and J.T. Barrett ran for 105 to power Ohio State.

MSU offense gets one last chance to win the game

A couple of holding penalties helped out the Spartans defense and OSU punted the ball back to Mark Dantonio's squad with 2:04 left. The Spartans have used all of their timeouts and will start a potential game-winning drive from their own 20 after the punt went into the end zone.

Scott brings MSU closer, 2-point try fails

LJ Scott carried the ball eight times for 56 yards and was the only man to touch the ball as the Spartans went in for a touchdown with 4:41 remaining. Mark Dantonio decided to roll the dice and go for the two-point conversion, putting the ball in the hands of Tyler O'Connor, who threw an interception into the end zone.

OSU is clinging to a 17-16 lead as this one winds down.

Scott has now carried the ball 19 times for 160 yards.

Fake punt can't energize Spartan offense

Damion Terry got the call from Mark Dantonio on MSU's next possession, but the Spartans were unable to move the chains and looked ready to punt the ball back to OSU as the fourth quarter got underway.

Not so fast.

The Spartans pulled a fast one, running a fake punt to Chris Frey that went for 25 yards down to the Buckeye 37. Unfortunately, that's where the good times ended for Dantonio's crew. A holding penalty put the Spartans behind the chains and the pass game has been non-existent in the whipping wind at Spartan Stadium.

OSU will start at its own 9, leading 17-10, with 11:13 left to play.

Cass Tech product Weber puts OSU on top

Mike Weber reeled off a 52-yard run on the first play of the drive and capped it off with a 4-yard touchdown run that puts the Buckeyes up, 17-10, with 5:33 to play in the third quarter.

It took OSU just four plays to go 69 yards.

Defense is the name of the game

The battle between the Spartans and the Buckeyes has turned into a battle of attrition. With 7:19 to play in the third quarter, the game is still tied, 10-10.

After the teams exchanged punts, MSU started at its own 25 and Tyler O'Connor missed a wide open Monty Madaris for a completion that would have moved the chains. O'Connor has struggled mightily with his accuracy today. He's 5-for-12 for 97 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

MSU gets a stop to start second half

The Buckeyes picked up a first down right out the gate and appeared on their way to another one near midfield, but the Spartan defense shut the door on third and short as Mike Weber tried to run up the middle.

That's a big start to the second half for this defense. An opening touchdown to start the second half would've put the Spartans on their heels going forward.

MSU, OSU go to the break all tied up

The weather has helped slow down the Buckeyes, but the Spartan defense has had a lot to do with it, too.

MSU had answered every challenge that J.T. Barrett and Co. has presented and they've helped keep things tight in East Lansing. It's 10-10 at halftime and the Spartans look like a team their fans haven't seen all year.

LJ Scott has broken two big plays, including a 64-yard touchdown on the second play of the game that set the tone for MSU early on. He also set up a Michael Geiger field goal with a 61-yard run. Scott has 97 yards on just seven carries.

Tyler O'Connor is just 3-for-8 for 87 yards and an interception, but he was picked up by his defense, who forced a fumble in the red zone to keep OSU from taking the lead.

J.T. Barrett is 6-for-12 for 67 yards. He seems to be having a lot of trouble with the swirling winds at Spartan Stadium. He does, however, have 63 yards on the ground on 15 carries.

Mike Weber has carried the ball seven times for 43 yards for the Buckeyes.

MSU defense picks up its quarterback

Tyler O'Connor didn't see the underneath defender and threw an interception to give the Buckeyes the ball back at the MSU 37. The Spartans were able to force a fumble from Mike Weber inside the 15 to keep OSU off the board and keep this game tied, 10-10, with 6:37 to play in the first half.

Buckeyes get even with field goal

OSU running back Mike Weber used a big run to get into Spartan territory, and after the play was over, stuck is fingers in Montae Nicholson's facemask. The Buckeyes were called for a personal foul on a different part of the play, but Nicholson was given one of his own for reasons unknown. After the offsetting penalties, the Buckeyes settled for a 39-yard Tyler Durbin field goal that ties things up at 10-10 with 10:10 to play in the second quarter.

Mark Dantonio went nuts on the officials and the crowd made their feelings for the penalty against Nicholson known. The call of a personal foul against Nicholson made no sense, considering there was no physical contact initiated by him.

Spartans take the lead on Geiger FG

After both teams exchanged punts, LJ Scott flipped the field with a 61-yard run. Donnie Corley picked up a first down on an end around to get MSU down to the 12, but they weren't able to finish off the drive and settled for a 28-yard Michael Geiger field goal.

With 13:42 remaining in the second quarter, MSU now leads, 10-7.

Scott is proving to be the difference maker for the Spartans right now, but he came out of the game for the next six plays of the drive. That questionable move is nothing new to MSU fans.

Barrett TD pass ties it up

Despite forcing a third down, MSU wasn't able to hold the Buckeyes out of the end zone this time around. After J.T. Barrett knifed through the defense on a third and short, he found Curtis Samuel wide open in the middle of the field for a 23-yard touchdown.

With 7:56 to play in the first quarter, it's 7-7.

It took the Buckeyes just five plays to go 50 yards after forcing the Spartans to punt from their own end zone.

MSU bends, doesn't break on opening possession

The Spartans defense gave up a few chunk plays and allowed the OSU offense to get down to the 26 after picking up a third and short. That's where the Buckeyes progress stopped, however, as Shane Jones recorded MSU's first sack in three games to drive the offense back to the 35 and into a fourth and long.

OSU punted, leaving the Spartans to take over at their own 4.

With 10:22 to play in the first quarter, MSU leads, 7-0.

Spartans get on the board quickly

Well, that didn't take long.

LJ Scott took the screen pass from Tyler O'Connor on the second play of the game and took it 64 yards to the house to give MSU a 7-0 lead less than a minute into the game.

The Spartans got 10 yards and a first down on an end around by RJ Shelton. It's safe to say this is exactly the start they needed against the second ranked Buckeyes.

MSU faces uphill climb

The Spartans won a thriller last season in Columbus, so it's safe to say they'll have the full attention of the Buckeyes today in East Lansing.

Coming off its first conference win, a 49-0 drubbing of Rutgers, Mark Dantonio's defense is going to have to come to play again today against OSU quarterback J.T. Barrett and his high-powered offense that's put up 62 in each of its last two games. While the Buckeyes are clearly heads and shoulders above the Scarlet Knights, the Spartans can take some confidence into today's game coming off their first win in two months.

The weather has a chance to be the great equalizer today. The winds are swirling and there's a possibility of snow. Funny things can happen when the calendar flips to November, as evidenced by last week's trio of top five upsets. The Spartans will hope to pull off the big upset and throw another wrench into the already cloudy College Football Playoff situation.


When: Saturday, noon

Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing

TV / radio: ESPN / WJR AM 760

Records: Michigan State 3-7 (1-6 Big Ten), Ohio State 9-1 (6-1)

Line: Ohio State by 22


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