(Saturday, October 18th)
Final Score: (12) Ohio State 45, (20) Michigan State 7
East Lansing, MI (Sports Network) - Terrelle Pryor threw for 116 yards and a touchdown, and also added 72 yards and a score on the ground to lead 12th- ranked Ohio State in a 45-7 rout of No. 20 Michigan State in a Big Ten showdown.
Pryor finished 7-of-11 for the Buckeyes (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten), who have rattled off five wins since getting manhandled by USC, 35-3, on September 13. The win sets up next week's showdown at the Horseshoe with undefeated Penn State, which crushed Michigan 46-17 on Saturday. Ohio State and Penn State are the lone unbeatens in Big Ten play.
Chris "Beanie" Wells added 140 yards on 31 touches and a score in the win, while Brian Robiskie had two grabs for 10 yards and a score. Ohio State's defense also forced five turnovers, while the offense failed to turn it over once.
Kirk Cousins was 18-of-25 for 161 yards and a score in relief of Brian Hoyer, who left at the half with a hand injury and finished 5-of-13 for just 27 yards with an interception. Javon Ringer ran for only 67 yards on 16 carries for the Spartans (6-2, 3-1), who saw their six-game win streak come to a halt. Charlie Gantt had three catches for 32 yards and his team's only TD.
Ohio State was forced to punt on its first possession of the game, but the Buckeyes held the Spartans to a three-and-out on the following drive.
On the next series, Pryor ran 18 yards for a touchdown to cap a four-play, 47- yard drive that lasted 1:49 and gave Ohio State a 7-0 lead with 8:25 left in the opening stanza.
Keshawn Martin then fumbled on Michigan State's next series and Donald Washington ran it back 44 yards to the Spartan 17-yard line. Five plays later, Pryor hit Robiskie for a seven-yard score to make it 14-0 with 4:33 left.
"We didn't measure up today," Michigan State defensive tackle Justin Kershaw said. "The game got out of hand. We didn't tackle well enough and we didn't block well enough. But we're a 6-2 football team, and we've got Michigan coming up so we can't hang our heads too long. Obviously we're disappointed, but we just didn't get the job done."
Michigan State was again held to a three-and-out and Ohio State took over at its own 43. On the first play from scrimmage, Brian Hartline hauled in a 56- yard ball from Pryor to make it 1st-and-goal from the one. Wells found paydirt on the next snap, and Ohio State was sitting on a 21-point cushion that held up to the end of the frame.
The Spartans were unable to gain a first down on their first drive of the second quarter, and the Buckeyes answered with a nine-play, 77-yard drive highlighted by Wells' running abilities.
Wells broke a 25-yard run to move the ball to the MSU 32 and, four plays later, scored on a 12-yard run which served as the only points of the second quarter.
MSU got the ball first in the second half from their own 15 and looked like a new team. After a pair of four-yard runs by Ringer, Cousins, who took over at quarterback in the third quarter in place of Hoyer, hit B.J. Cunningham for a 17-yard gain. The drive continued until Cousins found Gantt for a three-yard score in the back of the end zone to pull the Spartans within 28-7.
With Michigan State deep in Ohio State territory early in the fourth, Cousins dropped back to pass on 3rd-and-11. Malcolm Jenkins broke through and sacked the QB, jarring the ball loose, before Thaddeus Gibson scooped it up and hustled 69 yards to the end zone to balloon the Buckeyes' lead to 35-7 with 14:41 left in the game.
"I would say it was a good tough win on the road," Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel said. "If you want to be the champion, you are going to have to come up with good, tough wins on the road; so that is huge. They (Michigan State) are a ranked opponent and a team playing with a lot of confidence. There was a great atmosphere and the crowd was riled up and ready to go. It was an excellent win for us."
A 40-yard field goal from Aaron Pettrey made it 38-7 with about 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation.
With under a minute left, Blair White hauled in an 18-yard pass from Cousins but fumbled as Devon Torrence applied a hit. Jermale Hines then picked up the ball and dashed 48 yards to the end zone to account for the final margin with 15 ticks left.
"We always talk about winning the turnover margin and today we didn't do it and it really hurt us," Hoyer said. "It's always going to hurt you when you give the other team more opportunities."
OSU outrushed MSU 216-52, though the Spartans had more passing yards 188-116...Under head coach Jim Tressel, the Buckeyes are 32-10 overall and 11-5 on the road against ranked teams...Ohio State owns a commanding 27-12 series lead over Michigan State, which includes victories in each of the last seven meetings.
10/18 22:37:19 ET