COLUMBUS — No. 1 Ohio State wasted no time dispatching lowly Michigan State on Saturday, scoring touchdowns on its first three drives en route to a 38-3 bludgeoning to remain unbeaten.
Buckeyes quarterback Kyle McCord threw for a career-high 335 yards and three touchdowns. Marvin Harrison Jr. continued his push toward an invite to the Heisman Trophy ceremony with seven receptions for 149 yards and three total touchdowns.
Michigan State, which entered the game ranked 111th in total offense, managed just 118 total yards in the first half and 182 for the game in another dominant showing from the Ohio State defense. Spartans quarterback Katin Houser completed only 11 of his 23 attempts for 88 yards, and he was sacked twice while being under constant pressure throughout the game.
Starting in place of injured linebacker Tommy Eichenberg, Cody Simon tied with cornerback Davison Igbinosun with three solo tackles and five total stops to lead the defense.
Ohio State started the scoring quickly with a 19-yard rushing touchdown by Harrison, his first career touchdown on the ground, to cap an eight-play, 75-yard opening drive.
Harrison was just getting started, and he added a 26-yard touchdown reception on Ohio State’s second possession to stretch the lead to 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
As Michigan State continued to sputter, Ohio State didn’t relent. On the first play of the second quarter, it was McCord and Harrison again connecting, this time from nine yards out as Ohio State blew the game wide open.
A Michigan State field goal ended any hopes of a shutout, but Ohio State continued to roll in the first half with touchdowns by TreVeyon Henderson and Cade Stover to take a 35-3 lead into halftime.
Ohio State wracked up 360 yards in the first half, its second-best output of the season behind only the 396 yards it put up in the first half against Western Kentucky on Sept. 16.
Jayden Fielding’s 36-yard field goal proved to be the only points of an uneventful second half, pushing the lead to 38-3 as Ohio State cruised while substituting liberally throughout the remainder of the game.
Day said of his team after the game, “I just feel like we’re getting all of our pieces back, and you’re starting to see our identity start to forge a little bit with what we’re doing on offense. Every year, sometimes it takes a little bit longer to figure that out, but I think you’re seeing us play with more and more confidence.”
Despite a win that was, at times, clunky last week at Rutgers, Day said he came away from that game encouraged and believing there was a big performance coming for his team.
“We were knocking on the door, so I am counting on this to continue to push us forward with the momentum to finish this season the way we should,” Day said.
Ohio State will close out its home slate next week when it hosts Minnesota (5-5). A kickoff time will be announced on Sunday.