The battle for the Big Ten East conference will be in full force this weekend as the Ohio State Buckeyes welcome the Michigan State Spartans to the Horseshoe on Saturday. A loss this weekend for either of these teams could not only hand them their third loss of the season but will also knock them out of a possible place in the Big Ten championship game.
For these two teams, they each enter this weekend’s head to head showdown sitting at 5-1 in the conference and 7-2 overall. On one side, you have a Buckeyes team coming off a blowout 55-24 loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes while their other loss came to a very good Oklahoma Sooners team back in week 2 of the College Football Season. On the other side the Spartans will look to build on their impressive 27-24 win over Penn State last weekend.
As we look ahead to this weekend’s Spartans/Buckeyes matchup the final outcome may come down to the play from the quarterback position. For the Spartans, Brian Lewerke has been really good this season throwing for 2,207 yards to go with 16 touchdowns to just five interceptions. Meanwhile J.T. Barrett continues to put together big numbers as he pushed his season numbers to 2,374 yards to go with 28 touchdowns and five interceptions in the team’s blowout loss last weekend.
Now let’s take a look at the Keys to The Game for both the Michigan State Spartans and Ohio State Buckeyes for Week 11 of the 2017 College Football Season.
Michigan State Spartans – Don’t Be Afraid to take Risks
Despite having a solid defense, the Spartans will need to be aggressive this weekend on both sides of the ball against a very dangerous Buckeyes offense. On the defensive side of the ball, the Spartans will need to dial up pressure to force Barrett to rush his throws while defensive playmaker Joe Bachie will need to find a way to make a few key plays. Meanwhile on the offensive side of the ball, Mike Dantonio will need to take shots early while allowing Lewerke to continue his recent success (445 and 400 yards last two contests).
Ohio State Buckeyes – Time for the Secondary to step up
For the Buckeyes, this weekend’s showdown against the Spartans will be difficult including for the team’s secondary. The same secondary that is coming off a horrible performance against the Hawkeyes where the team combined to allowing over 200 yards to the receiving corps to go along with five touchdowns through the air. In the team’s only two losses this season they have allowed a combined eight passing touchdowns while forcing zero interceptions.
Michigan State Spartans @ Ohio State Buckeyes (-17.5)
Over/Under Line – 53.5
As these two teams get set for their Big Ten matchup on Saturday, the Spartans have put together the betting resume covering the spread in six of their nine matchups this season while the Buckeyes are just 4-5 including covering just one of their five home contests this season. Looking deeper into the recent betting trends neither team has been good as the Spartans are just 1-6 against the spread on the road while the Buckeyes are just 1-6 against teams with a winning record. As far as the head to head trends, the road team has won six straight while covering the spread in each contest as well as in seven of their last nine.
College Football Pick of the Week – Michigan State (W/Points)