Thursday, September 27, 2012

What Ohio State is saying about MSU

The only game featuring MSU or Michigan this week is the Spartans hosting Ohio State. Here is a look at the news coming out of Buckeye camp heading into Saturday’s contest.

Ohio State
Quarterback play will be key for both teams on Saturday, as MSU hopes to find a spark from Andrew Maxwell and his receivers while Ohio State is hoping that Braxton Miller will continue to play as well as he has.
That could be an issue against this MSU defense, which limited Miller in last year’s meeting. In only his second start as the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes, Miller was just 5 of 10 passing for 56 yards and was credited with -27 rushing yards due to four sacks.
Bill Rabinowitz, of The Columbus Dispatch, has some thoughts from Miller heading into this year’s game, noting that Miller feels like a completely different player.
“I looked at my body,” Miller said last night. “I was like 190 (pounds). I was skinny. I’m more developed as a quarterback, and I’m trying to learn each day.”
Miller has gained 26 pounds of muscle since that game, but the biggest transformation has come between his ears. He has gone from hoping for success as an unready freshman to expecting success as a burgeoning sophomore.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I have a lot of confidence.”
With good reason. Miller is the nation’s 15th-leading rusher, averaging 110 yards. He’s 25th in all-purpose yards with an average of 299 a game.
“He’s a lot different now than he was,” coach Urban Meyer said. “It’s typical (progress) from year one to year two.”
Miller has currently rushed for 441 yards and seven touchdowns this season and he is 60 of 98 passing for 754 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. He is currently 10th in the nation in rushing yards.
Miller has led the offense to 37.8 points and 427 total yards per game, but Saturday will be his first road start of the season.
Along with his thoughts on Miller, Urban Meyer also offered some thoughts on the MSU defense.
“This is a force-you-to-go-over-the-top defense,” Meyer said. “This is a defense that’s very physical. They’re going to devote a lot of people to stop the run. (Miller) is a big part of our run game, so there aren’t going to be as many seams.”
Michigan State currently ranks sixth in the country in yards allowed at 237.3 per game.
By comparison, the Ohio State defense is holding opponents to just 17.3 points per game, but the Buckeyes are giving up nearly 400 yards per contest. Ohio State has given up the second most passing yards (1,109) of any team in the Big Ten.

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