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Malik McDowell out vs Ohio State Buckeyes

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The Spartans won’t have their best player vs one of the best teams in college football.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan State Spartans will not have have Malik McDowell against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The star defensive lineman is not dressed for today’s noon game against the No. 2 team in college football, which is bad news for a Spartans defense that ranks 60th in scoring defense and 57th in rushing defense.

McDowell suffered an ankle injury during the Spartans’ loss at Illinois two weeks ago. He then missed Michigan State’s win over Rutgers last week. While McDowell hasn't had the same success in 2016 (4.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks) as he did last year (13 TFLs and 4.5 sacks), he’s still a force on a defensive line that is dangerously thin and young without him.

Josh King, Mike Panasiuk, Raequan Williams, and Robert Bowers are now the starting defensive linemen. Other players expected to be held out today includes defensive lineman Gabe Sherrod, cornerback Tyson Smith, and safety Matt Morrissey.