No. 9 Michigan State drove down the field to beat No. 3 Ohio State, 17-14, to end the Buckeyes' undefeated season, and possibly their College Football Playoff hopes, thanks to a field goal from kicker Matt Geiger as time expired. Despite quarterback Connor Cook being out with an injured shoulder, the MSU defense held strong on a rainy day in Columbus for what was a very sloppy game. All they needed was Geiger, who is from Toledo, Ohio, to save the day, and man, was he excited.
Cook's absence was certainly felt from a team that has relied more on offense than defense this year. Quarterback Tyler O'Connor was not great, but at 7-for-12 for 89 yards and a touchdown, he did just enough to lead the Spartans to victory.
The real story was Michigan State's defense, which has struggled with injuries this year, particularly in the secondary. But the secondary did enough and the defensive line was monstrous on a record-setting day for MSU.
Ohio State's 132 yards of total offense are the fewest in a game by any Urban Meyer-coached team.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 21, 2015
Michigan State now controls its destiny in the Big Ten East, having beaten both Ohio State and Michigan — with a lot of drama.
Amazingly Michigan State led both Michigan & Ohio State for zero seconds on the clock but won both games— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) November 21, 2015
The Spartans do have a loss to Nebraska, so they will need to beat Penn State next week to clinch a trip to Indianapolis. If MSU wins that, the Spartans could theoretically make the College Football Playoff.
What's next for Ohio State? With no good wins, and without a conference championship game win, it is very unlikely the Buckeyes will make the Playoff for the second straight year. The offense struggled for much of the game, as neither Ezekiel Elliott nor J.T. Barrett got going.
Three things to know
1. Michigan State controls its destiny to make the Playoff now, having beaten Ohio State and Michigan. Who would have thought that after the Spartans lost to Nebraska? Mark Dantonio's team has been ravaged by injuries, particularly in the secondary, but that secondary had a monster day against Ohio State.
2. This is the fifth consecutive time the underdog has won in this series. While OSU-Michigan is still the big game in the Big Ten, this series is turning into a heck of a rivalry.
3. What was Ohio State thinking at the end of the game? With Michigan State driving, Ohio State held onto its timeouts, which allowed the Spartans to kick the game-winning field goal with no time left on the clock, rather than having to give the ball back to the Buckeyes. OSU wouldn't have had a high probability of winning, but you have to know how to use timeouts in that instance.