COLUMBUS, Ohio — No. 13 Ohio State rebounded in emphatic fashion from a stunning loss a week earlier, rolling to a 48-3 victory over No. 12 Michigan State on Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
The Buckeyes raced to a 35-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
After the Buckeyes were humiliated in a 55-24 pounding at Iowa the previous Saturday, they did the same to the Spartans and moved into the driver’s seat for the Big Ten East Division title and a berth in the Big Ten Championship Game next month.
Mike Weber broke long runs of 47 yards and 82 yards for touchdowns, and J.T. Barrett ran for a touchdown and threw for one in a dominant opening half that ended with the Buckeyes (8-2, 6-1 Big Ten) up 35-3.
Ohio State continued to pile on points in the second half. Barrett threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Binjamin Victor on the third play of the third quarter and from that point the only thing left undecided was the final score.
After Barrett threw four interceptions at Iowa, the senior had a better day, completing 14 of 21 passes for 183 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Ohio State returned to running the ball after its play calling was questioned following last week’s loss, specifically the lack of carries for freshman running back J.K. Dobbins.
The Buckeyes turned to Dobbins early and often against Michigan State, and he finished with 18 carries for 124 yards. Weber was even more productive in limited touches, with his big plays boosting his rushing total to 162 yards on nine carries.
Ohio State gained 335 of their 524 total yards on the ground.
Michigan State (7-3, 5-2) was riding high after pulling out a last-second win at home over Penn State a week earlier and rising in the College Football Playoff rankings, but the Spartans had nothing to offer the Buckeyes from the outset.
Quarterback Brian Lewerke threw for just 131 yards after passing for more 400 or more in each of the previous two games. Michigan State was held to 195 total yards and a 37-yard field goal by Matt Coghlin on the final play of the first half.
Any Ohio State hangover left over from the pounding at Iowa the previous week quickly disappeared.
On the Buckeyes’ first possession, Weber burst through the middle of the Spartans’ defense for a 47-yard run that make it 7-0 with 8:14 remaining in the first quarter.
Ohio State kept it on the ground and Barrett reached the end zone on two 4-yard runs, the first near the end of the first quarter and the second early in the second quarter that gave the Buckeyes a 21-0 lead.
Barrett threw his first touchdown pass of the game, an 8-yarder to Dobbins that expanded Ohio State’s lead to a commanding 28-0 with 9:21 left in the second quarter.
Weber turned the game into a runaway when he burst untouched up the middle for an 82-yard touchdown run and a 35-0 bulge with 6:27 left in the opening half.
NOTES: Ohio State LBs Jerome Baker and Dante Booker missed the game with injuries. Baker was tied for the team lead in tackles with 44. Booker has 31 tackles. … For the second straight week, an Ohio State player was ejected for targeting. DT Dre’Mont Jones was flagged for hitting Michigan State QB Brian Lewerke in the second quarter. DE Joey Bosa was disqualified at Iowa a week ago. … Michigan State and Ohio State have been ranked in the AP Top 25 in six of the last eight meetings. … Michigan State LB Chris Frey played high school football at Upper Arlington, a stone’s throw from the Ohio State campus. … Ohio State C Billy Price set a school record with his 51st start. The previous mark was held by Luke Fickell. … Buckeyes QB J.T. Barrett moved into second place in Big Ten career all-purpose yards, passing Minnesota’s Adam Weber.