An­other test waits in Spar­tans

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Sports - By Noah Tris­ter The As­so­ci­ated Press

If all goes ac­cord­ing to form, Ohio State would face Michi­gan on the last Satur­day of the month, with a divi­sion ti­tle in the bal­ance.

Be­fore that, though, the Buck­eyes have other chal­lenges.

This week, it’s Michi­gan State that stands in the way, and al­though Ohio State routed the Spar­tans, 48-3, a sea­son ago, there have been enough tight games in this se­ries lately that the Nov. 10 matchup should have the eighth-ranked Buck­eyes’ at­ten­tion. The 24th-ranked Spar­tans will be at home, and they still have a lot to play for them­selves.

“Very strong ri­valry,” Ohio State coach Ur­ban and camps, and they’ve spo­ken about the Spar­tans.

“I hit him up ask­ing how they played de­fen­sively, and he just gave me some tips go­ing into this week,” Hask­ins said.

Hask­ins said he doesn’t even root against Pat­ter­son as long as the Wolver­ines are play­ing some­one else.

“He’s do­ing well this year,” Hask­ins said. “Look­ing for­ward to play­ing them when we do play them. But right now it’s Michi­gan State, so he’s help­ing me out with Michi­gan State.”

Pat­ter­son led Michi­gan to a 21-7 win over the Spar­tans on Oct. 20, but Michi­gan State (6-3, 4-2 Big Ten, No. 18 CFP) can still po­si­tion it­self for a pres­ti­gious bowl with a strong fin­ish. A win over the Buck­eyes (8-1, 5-1, No. 10) would do won­ders.

“Once we kind of get to­ward the end of the sea­son, and you start see­ing the bowl pre­dic­tions,” Spar­tans quar­ter­back Brian Lew­erke said. “All that we can do now, now that we’re in bowl po­si­tion, is just win out and try to win as many games as we can, just keep try­ing to get to a bet­ter and bet­ter bowl for us.”

Here are a few things to know be­fore the Spar­tans host the Buck­eyes:

His­tory

Michi­gan State beat Ohio State en route to Big Ten ti­tles in 2013 and 2015, but the Buck­eyes won a key matchup against the Spar­tans in 2014 and went on to win the na­tional ti­tle.

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