Friday, December 6, 2013
Why Michigan State can beat Ohio State
1. Defense – Michigan State has an incredible defense and the toughest defense that Ohio State has seen this season and probably has seen in the two years with Urban Meyer as coach. This year’s unit is better than last season’s group that held the Buckeyes to 17 points in East Lansing. MSU has the ability to match Ohio State’s physicality up front and control the Buckeyes’ running game.
2. The offensive line – Though the Spartans had some questions about the front line entering the season, they have performed well above expectations this season. Opponents have just 12 sacks on the Spartans this year and the line has consistently opened up running lanes for Jeremy Langford, who has gotten better as the season has went along. MSU has the potential to control the pace of this game if the offensive line can win the line of scrimmage against Ohio State.
3. No pressure – While it is clear Michigan State wants to go to the Rose Bowl, the pressure is off the Spartans in this game. MSU is coming in the clear underdog (-6 in most sportsbooks) and the Spartans can play with the mindset of having nothing to lose. Ohio State has not only the pressure to win, but to win convincingly enough to keep the SEC champion behind it in the BCS standings. Also, MSU has been in this very environment and knows what to expect when it comes to game-day atmosphere. Ohio State is in this game for the first time and playing in the biggest game Urban Meyer has faced as its head coach.