No. 11 Ohio State Buckeyes came out fast, scoring on five of their first six possessions on the way to a 48-3 rout of No. 13 Michigan State, a team that has given them headaches in recent years.
The blowout in front of the home fans helped Ohio State (8-2, 6-1 Big Ten, CFP No. 13) bury last week's mystifying loss to Iowa, and put it in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten East with two games remaining.
J.T. Barrett threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores, and Mike Weber rushed for 162 yards and pair of touchdowns for Ohio State.
"We can't go back in the past, of course, so I mean we try to just move on, learn from things, learn from losses, and I think that's what we did (after last week's game), grew from it." Barrett said.
In a season already marked by radical highs and lows, the Buckeyes took out their frustrations on the Spartans (7-3, 5-2 Big Ten, CFP No. 12), using a run-heavy attack to dominate them on both sides of the ball.
"I wouldn't have thought this was going to happen," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio acknowledged.Ohio State outgained Michigan State 524-195, and a Buckeyes defense that was smoked by unranked Iowa in the 55-24 loss limited Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke — who threw for 445 yards last week against Penn State — to 131 yards and forced two interceptions.
"We took that one on the chin today," Michigan State center Brian Allen said. "Didn't see that coming, but it happened and it kind of sucks."
Barrett, who threw four interceptions last week against Iowa, was 14 for 21 for 183 yards Saturday with two touchdowns. He also ran nine times for 55 yards, including a pair of 4-yard touchdown runs. J.K. Dobbins, who split time with Weber in the backfield, rushed 18 times for 124 yards.
THE TAKEAWAY: Michigan State: The Spartans suffer a huge letdown after beating Penn State last week and watch their hopes of winning the Big Ten East dissolve in the cold Ohio afternoon. They could never get any significant offensive traction against the stout Buckeyes defense, which was intent on redemption.
"We have to play better," Lewerke said. "We have to step up to the stage when it's there."