On a day when Ohio State punter Drue Chrisman set a dubious Buckeye record for the shortest punt--just 4 yards--he ended up being the difference in the game as the Buckeyes kept Michigan State pinned back near their own goal line and knocked off the Spartans 26-6.
Chrisman, whose shanked his first punt of the game, was brilliant in the second half, with punts that formed Michigan State to start their first five drives of the second half from its own 5, 6, 3, 1 and 2-yard line. The Buckeye cashed in by controlling the Michigan State offense, and putting points on the board.
On the fourth of those second half possessions, the Spartans had to punt from their own end zone. They took a safety that appeared intentional, giving Ohio State a 9-6 lead. After the next Chrisman punt, a Michigan State shotgun snap hit a man in motion and the loose ball was recovered in the end zone by Buckeye defensive tackle Dre'Mont Jones and suddenly, the Buckeyes opened up a 16-6 lead and put the game away from there.
The Buckeye defense, maligned much of the year, held Michigan State to only 54 yards rushing, 274 total yards and just 12 first downs.
Meanwhile, the Ohio State offense had a difficult time gaining traction against the Spartan defense, until putting together an 11-play 55-yard touchdown drive in the final minutes of the first half, capped off by a 1-yard touchdown, on a pitch pass, from quarterback Dwayne Haskins to Parris Campbell. It put Ohio State ahead 7-0--a lead they would never relinquish.
Haskins finished 24-39 for 227 yards and a touchdown and the ground game, which struggled in the first half, found its footing behind Mike Weber. The junior from Detroit capped off the scoring with a 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter and finished with 104 yards on 22 carries.
Ohio State (9-1, 6-1 Big Ten) visits Maryland next week. Urban Meyer spoke after the game. Here's the video courtesy of Bucknuts.com.