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Michigan State Football: Weekly Press Conference

The road to a Big Ten Title goes through Ohio State

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

EAST LANSING — Michigan State heads to Columbus for a Big Ten East Division showdown in Ohio Stadium.

Both the Spartans and Buckeyes are tied atop the division standings at 2-0. Last Saturday, MSU outlasted Indiana, 40-31, while OSU trounced Nebraska in Lincoln, 48-7.

Michigan State has defeated the Buckeyes three times since 2011, the most of any Big Ten team (Dantonio is 2-2 against Ohio State in Columbus during his tenure at MSU).

What do those three victories have in common? Each allowed the Spartans to play for a conference championship. This fact isn’t lost on Mark Dantonio, who knows all too well what it takes to win in the B1G.

“At the end of the day, if you want to be Big Ten Champions or Big Ten East Division Champions that goes through Columbus, Ohio,” said Dantonio on the challenge of facing OSU this weekend.

The Spartans have defeated Ohio State ten times when OSU has entered the game ranked in the AP Top 25.

Five of those losses came when the Buckeyes were ranked inside of the top five. Two of those came at the hands of Mark Dantonio. Once in 2013 and again in 2015 for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Sure, those were completely different MSU football teams, but it gives their head coach this idea that it isn’t impossible.

“We’ve had success down there in the past, and we look forward to trying to replicate that, but again it’ll be a challenge as we go,” said Dantonio.

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

Past success aside, the Spartans haven’t scored a touchdown against the Buckeyes in the last two seasons.

However, this is a much improved Michigan State offense compared to the last couple of years. Is it beat the Buckeyes worthy? I’m not sure, but Darrell Stewart Jr. feels like the offense is finally coming together.

“Highly confident, man,” said Stewart Jr. “You can see each and every week we want to get out there on Saturday and prove that we can be better every week and show different things we can do.”

Depth Chart Notes

  • Dotson OR Seybert at TE.
  • Heyward no longer listed.
  • Bouyer-Randle also gone with Kline replacing him.
  • Dantonio said Collins is his No. 1 running back and has proven that multiple times.
  • Dantonio continuously harps on how the chance to win a title constantly goes through the Buckeyes.
  • Dantonio on OSU DE Chase Young: “We have to be able to control him to some degree because he can wreck a football game.”
  • Dantonio says the Spartan defense hasn’t lost their confidence, but if they want to be known as one of the best in the country its essential they show up against great offenses.