5 Reasons Why Michigan State Beat Ohio State

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Why Michigan State Beat Ohio State

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Spartans came into yesterday’s Big 10 Championship Game as not only the two best teams in the conference, but both ranked in the top 10 of the BCS standings with a combined 23-1 record. The game was set up as a classic battle of a stellar offense against a stellar defense.

As the tradition says, a great defense beat a great offense. Michigan State held the Buckeyes well below their season averages for both points and yards. The Spartans were also able to take advantage of Ohio State’s mediocre defense to take the 34-24 victory. Michigan State was able to effectively run their coverage schemes, and got consistently solid tackling throughout the game. They limited the big plays that the Buckeyes’ offense thrives on and made Ohio State drive the length of the field to get points. While the Spartans were aided in winning this game by three missed Buckeye field goals, the defense made the plays necessary to force Ohio State to settle for a try for three as opposed to getting the ball into the end zone.

There were five big factors that determined the outcome of this game and decide who went to the Rose Bowl, and Michigan State was able to force their will and assert their dominance in all five of them. If the Spartans can replicate that execution in Pasadena, they have a chance to defeat Stanford in the Rose Bowl and bring that trophy home to the Big 10.

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5. The Spartan Running Game

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State running back Jeremy Langford rushed for 137 yards on 24 carries, and caught five passes for 21 yards. Langford also ran for a touchdown and averaged over five yards per rush.

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4. Michigan State Won the Turnover Battle

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Spartan CB Darqueze Dennard forced one of two Ohio State fumbles on the day, helping Michigan State win the turnover battle.

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3. The Efficiency of Connor Cook

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from the interception, Spartan quarterback Connor Cook was outstanding. He went 24-of-40 for 304 yards and three touchdowns.

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2. Michigan State's Stingy Third Down Defense

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Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Spartan defense allowed the Buckeyes to convert only one of their 10 third down conversion attempts, which led to a five minute time of possession advantage.

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1. Michigan State Made Braxton Miller One-Dimensional

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State's defense limited Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller to a mere 8-of-23 for 101 yards passing and sacked Miller twice.

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