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Michigan State ends Ohio State’s chase for a National Championship, defeats Buckeyes 34-24

INDIANAPOLIS – The chase for the national championship is over for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The nation’s longest winning streak came to a halt Saturday in the Big Ten Championship Game, as No. 2 OSU (12-1, 8-1) fell to No. 10 Michigan State (12-1, 9-0), 34-24.

Down 27-24 with two minutes to play, OSU coach Urban Meyer elected to go for it on fourth and one from the Buckeyes’ 47 yard line, but junior quarterback Braxton Miller was stuffed on a rush around right end.

“It was my call,” Meyer said about the fourth down play following the loss. “I wanted to put the ball in the hands of our best player, Braxton (Miller).”

The Spartans’ junior running back Jeremy Langford put the game out of reach on the ensuing drive, rushing 26 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead 10 points.

OSU turned the ball over on downs on its next possession, allowing the Spartans to run out the clock.

Early on, Michigan State was in control, burning 6:29 off the clock on the game’s opening drive, jumping out to a 3-0 lead after freshman kicker Michael Geiger nailed a 40-yard field goal. The drive was aided by a pair of OSU penalties on third down, by both junior defensive back Doran Grant and junior linebacker Ryan Shazier.

The Buckeyes offense failed to get anything going early, and the first quarter ended with the Spartans leading, 3-0.

Michigan State extended its lead to 10 when sophomore quarterback Connor Cook connected with junior wide receiver Keith Mumphery for a 72-yard touchdown down the right sideline, as OSU safety redshirt-senior Corey “Pitt” Brown went for the interception.

Junior linebacker Ryan Shazier (2) emotionally walks off the field after OSU lost against Michigan State, 34-24, in the Big Ten Championship game Dec. 8 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

Junior linebacker Ryan Shazier (2) emotionally walks off the field after OSU lost against Michigan State, 34-24, in the Big Ten Championship game Dec. 8 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

After a pair of first downs on its next drive, Miller fumbled the ball on third down as he tried to evade pressure. Miller would recover, but OSU would punt again.

Another long passing play extended the Spartans’ lead to 17-0, as Cook this time hit junior wide receiver Tony Lippett from 33 yards out.

“(I’m) disappointed with our pass defense,” Meyer said. “We’re have to get this fixed. We’re going to get back to work.”

The Buckeye offense would get going on its next drive, as Miller hit senior wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown for a 20-yard touchdown strike to make the score 17-7.

An exchange of punts from both teams gave the Buckeyes the ball back with just 1:23 left before half, but a big rush from Miller coupled with a 36-yard pass to junior tight end Jeff Heuerman put OSU in position to kick a field goal before half. The 28-yard attempt from senior kicker Drew Basil was good, making the score 17-10 at halftime.

OSU’s offense quickly went down the field on the first drive of the second half as Miller tied the game at 17 on an eight-yard run to the outside.

Cook was intercepted on the Spartans’ next possession by senior safety C.J. Barnett, but the Buckeyes were unable to capitalize on the turnover.

OSU would take its first lead of the game, 24-17, on its next possession, though, as Miller scampered into the end zone from six yards out.

The third quarter ended with the score 24-20 after Michigan State hit a 44-yard field goal late in the quarter.

The Spartans took the lead for good on their first possession of the fourth quarter, when Cook found redshirt-freshman Josiah Price wide open in the end zone from the nine yard line.

Langford finished with 117 yards on 22 carries to go with his touchdown.

Miller ran for 142 yards on 21 carries, and senior running back Carlos Hyde added 118 on 18 attempts.

Miller said that after the loss the team must look to each other in order to get through the disappointment.

“(We) just (need to) grow as a team. Things happen in games, really don’t go your way,” Miller said after the loss. “You got to come back and fix the mistakes. Keep your head high, come back stronger.”

Michigan State is set to travel to Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 1, 2014, to take on Pac-12 Champion Stanford in the Rose Bowl. OSU will have to wait to see where they will head for the postseason until Sunday night, when the BCS bowl selections will be announced.

“I imagine there’s a chance we’ll get invited to a great bowl game. If we do, they’re going to get a very good Buckeye football team that’s going to stick together and try to win a game,” Meyer said. “If you’re asking me to measure the levels of hurt, I’m not sure I can do that.”


  1. Unfortunately we are failing for fixing our defensive mistakes. We repeated the same mistakes in the last four games and many times over last few years. How hard is to make man to man coverage to better defend the pass game. MSU did it against us today. Even Minnesota defense played much better than us against MSU. Are they more athletic then us. Hell no….
    It is time to change our all the defensive coaches and schemes in order to gain National respect.

  2. Its not the defense that lost the game it was the strategy of a high scorng offense that lost the game. You do not need a good D to get national attention just look at any team in the SEC

  3. In order you you to gain national respect… Start having a tougher schedule before you start chest thumping. Your team had no business being ranked in the top 5 all year and when it finally came down to playing better teams, the truth became obvious. In a way, it’s probably for the best because had you gone to the BCS Championship game, you would have been been embarrassed just as bad as Notre Dame was last year playing against Alabama.

    OSU is a good team when they’re playing the no-name teams… It just takes more than that to rise to the top

  4. We'll get them next year.

  5. On any given day, I still think the Buckeyes are as good as Michigan State. Michigan, too.

  6. I think it is “Philly” not “Pitt” Brown. Wrong city.

  7. Ignore I see you referenced both! That’s what I get for reading so early!

  8. Blah blah blah blah, You finally played a winning team and were drilled. You should have seen this coming after you almost lost to Michigan, that horrible team.

  9. Urban got out coached and the same mistakes were made.

  10. Urban and his staff did not shine

    1-pass defense never improved the entire season and not enough blitzing was called to compensate 2- how can you run Braxton more than Hyde in that game? 3- the offensive play calling was pitiful. We gave up on the passing game and played it too close to the vest 4-MSU played to win (passes from their end zone,onside kick, etc)

  11. No Passing game! You can't win today like Woody did years ago. Poor play calling did us in!

  12. Great run Buckeyes!

  13. I’m not so sure the Buckeyes abandoned the passing game, as MSU eliminated the success of our passing game with a stellar defensive secondary. Give MSU the credit they are due. As they say: defenses win championships. We have seen it coming, haven’t we? They had one, we had less than a strong one, especially against the pass. Buckeyes have some great individuals on defense. Absolutely some of the best I have ever enjoyed watching play, but as a whole it is not coming together.

  14. Great couple of seasons Buckeyes! We had a great run, we have a great team, we have great coaching and wonderful players. I’d rather be a Buckeye.

    Now, what matters is where we go from here. We will see what we are made of in the bowl game. We, and all the other B1G teams need to go out there and prove we are better than the slanted BS hype out of ESPN/SEC/ABC who are really nothing but one big conglomerate.

    So much for being neutrally reporting on sports. B1G needs to make a statement and go win their bowls.

  15. Defense wins championships and MSU has the number 1 defense in this year’s CFB season.

    OSU’s defense was suspect from the beginning and key injuries only compounded their problem.

    OSU was over rated the entire year but the fans and local media refused to acknowledge it. I am a life long OSU fan and saw this play out the entire season.

    Hopefully Meyer and company can put Brutus back together again but I think Luke may be gone after their bowl game. I’m not saying that would be a bad thing…probably a step in the right direction.

  16. Braxton Miller is good- not great. Buckeyes go down. Almost as good as Madison Wisconsin 10/16 3 years ago. Ouch.

  17. Exactly right. MSU did a much better job mixing up the pass and the run. Once we gained the lead, and kept banging away, MSU adjusted and shut down the runs. Passes? Nowhere in sight. Too bad, but MSU was the better team last night.

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