Cam’s Corner: Ohio State too much for ailing Spartans


Head coach Mel Tucker runs onto the field prior to game against Ohio State on Oct. 8, 2022/ Photo Credit: Sarah Smith

Cameron McClarren, Sports Broadcast Assistant

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan State Spartans dropped a lopsided game to the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday night, pushing their losing streak to four games. On a day where the Spartans held their own through the first 25 minutes, the high-scoring Buckeyes amassed a 22 point lead heading into the half as the Spartans eventually fell 49-20. 

Here are three takeaways from Michigan State’s loss to Ohio State.

Big Plays

Michigan State does not have a very good pass defense. This is a given. However, when you look at what C.J. Stroud did Saturday against the MSU secondary, it is a rather large pill to swallow. 

In the first quarter, OSU had five passing plays over 15 yards. The Buckeyes had only run 14 plays from scrimmage. The MSU secondary continued to be torched by Stroud for the entirety of his tenure in the Ohio State backfield, which lasted until halfway through the third quarter. 

The Buckeyes finished Saturday’s contest with nine passing plays over 15 yards with five of them resulting in touchdowns. Two of these plays were over 50 yard touchdown passes in the first quarter that made it 21-7 Ohio State. Michigan State had a few big passing plays of their own, but half of their six big plays came in the fourth quarter when the game was well in control by OSU. 

Michigan State lived and died last season from big plays, but this year has been the latter of the two. The Spartan secondary was picked apart once again by a talented quarterback who found open receivers when he needed to. The defensive line has failed to get pressure on quarterbacks as well as the Spartans only had one sack in today’s game. If the Spartans want to compete against Big Ten teams going forward, they have to find a way to mitigate the big plays from the opposition, as well as what is talked about next. 

Night and Day

The Spartan offense started off the season red hot, outscoring opponents 87-13 through the first two games. Now, that was against non-conference opponents who have a combined 3-7 record entering this weekend. 

The past four weeks have seen the Spartan offense sputter to say the least. After a late comeback effort against Washington fell short, the Spartans have not had the easiest of times scoring the past few weeks having been outscored 110-40 in their last three games including Saturday. 

The Spartan offense amassed only 120 yards of total offense halfway through the fourth quarter before their 80-yard scoring drive late in the game. The Spartans totaled 202 yards of total offense after a 321 yard performance last weekend at Maryland. 

In the past three games, the Spartans have scored five touchdowns on offense and the offense has not produced more than two touchdowns in a game since Sept. 17 against Washington. It is simply not what the Spartans wanted, nor thought they would have to address halfway through the season. If Michigan State wants to win a few more games, and put itself in position for a bowl game, they are going to need to figure out their offensive identity and fast. 


After Mel Tucker pleaded with fans to not sell tickets and keep “The Woodshed” as green as possible, there was still a noticeable presence from traveling Ohio State fans. In a crowd of 72,809 there was a significant number of Buckeye fans that made the four hour trip to East Lansing. To add salt in the very large wound that MSU fans were dealing with, the “O-H-I-O” chant began making its way around Spartan Stadium halfway through the third quarter as the Spartans were down by 29. 

Though it is a given that the Michigan State student section will thin out as the game progresses, especially after halftime, the “Deep End” has seen better days this season. For the second week in a row, the student section has thinned out to a “shallow pool” instead of a “deep end” by halftime. To be fair, the product on the field has not kept them in the stands and on a brisk early October Saturday, some students may have just wanted to forget about this game before the final whistle. 

That being said, something has to change. There were times during the game that the crowd was behind the Spartans but their hopes were continually crushed whether it was a failed stop on third down or a big play given up. Momentum is everything, especially at home in the Big Ten. MSU needs its fans behind them going into a tough stretch of games the rest of the way, but in return, there has to be some incentive for them to stay and actively participate.