clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Spartan Football Playback: Michigan State vs. Ohio State (1998)

The Spartans’ timely defense, precise kicking and a bit of magic forced Ohio State off the college football mantle in 1998.

Bill Burke

Opponent: Ohio State Buckeyes

Date: Nov. 7, 1998

Location: Ohio Stadium (Columbus, Ohio)

Final Score: 28-24, Michigan State

All-time Matchup Record: Ohio State leads 35-15

Nearing the halfway point of the 2022 season, things begin to become more clear in the college football landscape. The Michigan State Spartans are looking for answers any way they can find them and question marks are beginning to stack up.

With MSU’s three-straight losses and arguably the Spartans’ three toughest games still yet to come, it’s important to look for positives and generate some sort of momentum. Let’s remember that Tucker inherited a program that was overall slim on the talent front, and it’s showing.

Key injuries on defense and the absence of an elite playmaker in running back Kenneth Walker III have been crippling. Some of the transfers have played well overall, but depth and talent have looked bleak over the last three weeks. We’ll see what changes are eventually made, but it’s clear they need to come in some way.

It would be tough to find anyone picking Michigan State to defeat Ohio State on Saturday in East Lansing, so the Spartans should play like there’s nothing to lose. A few bright spots emerged in last weeks loss to Maryland, including the rebirth of running back Elijah Collins and some impressive defensive stands. However, the pass defense was once again picked apart and will have to go against one of the best arms in college football in C.J. Stroud.

Let’s brighten it up not and go back to one of the more memorable games in the series, where the Spartans shocked a top-ranked Buckeyes team in Columbus.

Nick Saban’s fourth season with the Spartans had its fair share of ups and down, with the highest point undoubtedly being Michigan State’s upset victory over No. 1 Ohio State.

The 8-0 Buckeyes came out of the gate hot and it looked like they would cruise to an easy victory. OSU jumped out to a 17-3 lead after the first quarter, but three first-half field goals by kicker Paul Edinger brought the Spartans within one score going into the half.

A Damon Moore interception return went 73 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter, which once again swung momentum Ohio State’s way, putting the Buckeyes up 24-9.

Following a fumble recovery on a non-hazardous punt that hit a Buckeye, Spartan quarterback Bill Burke threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Lavaile Richardson to pull within nine points at 24-15 halfway through the third quarter.

OSU fumbled again on its next possession, leading to yet another Edinger field goal, this time from 49 yards out to inch closer at 24-18. Momentum now heavily swung into the Spartans’ favor and they used it to fuel a 92-yard drive, capped off by a three-yard touchdown run by Sedrick Irvin. MSU took the advantage for the first time in the game at 25-24 early in the fourth quarter.

Edinger tied his own school record on the next possession by drilling his fifth field goal of the game, this time from 42 yards out to give Michigan State a 28-24 lead.

A historically good defensive game from the Spartans — highlighter by five forced turnovers — was capped by an interception in the end zone by Renaldo Hill to seal the victory, virtually erasing the Buckeyes’ hope for a national championship.