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Michigan State Falls Short Against Ohio State, Lose 17-16

Turnovers end up the difference in a slug fest in East Lansing

Rutgers v Michigan State Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images

I...don’t know where to start.

I went into this game thinking that we were going to get housed. I know I am the optimistic one on the podcast every week but a season of 3-7 knocked the wind out of my sails. Not for the program but for this team in particular. Add that to the fact that Vegas had Sparty as a 23 point dog and I thought it was going to be a long day for MSU.

Well, I was wrong. Michigan State stated the game with a 2 play, 75 yard drive that saw LJ Scott catch a back door screen pass for a 64 yard touchdown. Things were looking up. While we have been in this spot before (this team has led in all of its 7 losses) things were feeling pretty good in Sparty land. We were feeling alright:

Then after a Buckeye punt led to an MSU punt, OSU was able to get the ball back and JT Barrett hit his man for a wide open 24 yard pass and the first quarter came to an end tied at 7-7.

We were feeling a little different. Confident, but there was a lot of game left.

The second quarter started off with Ohio State making a field goal and on the second play of the next possession, Tyler O’Connor started to show some signs of...Tyler O’Connor. he threw his first pick of the game in Spartan territory.

The Spartan defense however was able to bail out the senior QB and forced a fumble and was able to turn that into three more points and tied us up at 10.

Yes, the 3-7 Michigan State Spartans were tied at halftime with the number 2 team in the country. LJ Scott had over 160 all purpose yards in the first half and things were actually looking good. The defense was holding JT Barrett to under 100 passing yards and had not allowed any big plays in the first half. We were feeling alright.

The second half actually began with 4 straight punts, going back and forth until OSU’s Mike Weber was able to break a big 54 yard run and the Buckeye’s were able to get in the end zone to make it 17-10 OSU. More punts back and forth led us to the 4th quarter where an anemic Spartan offense needed to make some thing happen.

After stalling on 3 and 5 once again, Mark Dantonio went and did mark Dantonio things and called a fake punt. The Direct snap went to Chris Frey Jr. and the caveman bumbled forward for a big gain.

That was short lived however, as the Spartans stalled out once more and had to punt. The defense showed up once again and forced OSU to punt for the 6th time in the game and then it became the LJ Scott show.

The sophomore from Hubbard, OH put the team on his back and Warner FINALLY did the right thing and rode his hot hand. LJ got the ball 8 straight times, covered 56 yards and got into the end zone for his second score of the game. We were pledging allegiance to the LJ Scott Fan Club:

Again, the high of the game was followed by another low. A two-point conversion from Tyler O’Connor was intercepted in the end zone and with 4:41 left in the game, the Spartans were down 17-16.

The story of the game should have been how well the defense played today. Aside from a few bigger plays, they showed up and contained an incredibly talented JT Barrett. Never breaking, the squad forced the Buckeyes to punt with about 2 minutes left on the clock.

Announcers were talking about Geiger’s windmill, fans were loud in Spartan Stadium. Then...Tyler O’Connor did what he has done 8 other times this season and turned the ball over to the Buckeyes.

With no timeouts left, the Spartans left senior day a loser. Falling to the Buckeyes by a score of 17-16.

It was a tough loss, especially for a team that needed a signature moment for the season. The Buckeyes remain in limbo, waiting to see what happens this weekend with Penn State and Michigan, but they kept their playoff chances alive in East Lansing.

And while we are all upset and wish this ended differently, there is a friendly reminder to all those who watched the game.