Ohio State squeaks by Michigan State
Mike Weber ran for 111 yards and a touchdown, and No. 2 Ohio State held off Michigan State 17-16 on Saturday after the Spartans missed a 2-point conversion with 4:41 remaining.
Ohio State (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten, No. 2 CFP) can now move on to next weekend’s showdown with rival Michigan, but only after withstanding a spirited challenge from a Michigan State team that derailed the Buckeyes’ national title bids in two of the previous three seasons. The Spartans (3-8, 1-7) were down 17-10 when LJ Scott scored on a 1-yard run with 4:41 to play. Michigan State went for the lead, but Tyler O’Connor’s pass on the 2-point conversion attempt was intercepted in the end zone.
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said he’d planned all week for the Spartans to go for 2 if a situation like that came up.
The Spartans got the ball back one more time, at their own 20 with 2:04 remaining. Tyquan Lewis sacked O’Connor on the first play, and then Gareon Conley intercepted him on the second.
Scott ran for 160 yards and also scored on a 64yard catch-and-run in the first minute of the game, but the Ohio State defense didn’t allow much more after that. J.T. Barrett threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Curtis Samuel in the first quarter, and the game was tied at 10 at halftime.
Weber’s 4-yard TD run in the third gave the Buckeyes the lead for good. T.J. Watt returned an interception 17 yards for a touchdown, and Wisconsin scored 35 points in the final 8 ½ minutes of the first half.
Alec Ingold and Bradrick Shaw each scored twice during the flurry, helping the Badgers (9-2, 6-2 Big Ten, No. 7 CFP) to their fifth straight win overall and 11th in a row in the series. They can wrap up the West Division title and earn a spot in the conference championship game with a victory next weekend at home against Minnesota. Corey Clement rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown for Wisconsin.
Purdue (3-8, 1-7) closed out its home schedule with a sixth straight loss, five under interim coach Gerad Parker.
Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett, right, and Tyquan Lewis celebrate following a 17-16 win over Michigan State on Saturday.