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Scarlet Saturdays: Ohio State vs Michigan State Preview



Broadcast Info:

  • Ohio State (9-0) vs Michigan State (3-6)

  • Saturday, November 11th, 7:30 PM EST Kickoff

  • Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

  • NBC


 

Countdown Clock as of November 9th vs the cheaters up north

16 Days


 

What's at Stake for Ohio State?


The Buckeyes are officially in "Win November" mode with the countdown clock on for the huge game against the Wolverines up north. With everything leaning towards the most anticipated match-up with the Wolverines since either last year's '11-0 vs 11-0' game or the 2006 game where it was #1 vs #2 (you decide) the weeks leading up to this game are going to be how bad each team won their games against their respective opponents and what else did Harbaugh do to cheat? The Buckeyes host the Spartans for a night game at the shoe with the Buckeyes revealing their new alternate grey uniforms. The Buckeyes are looking to continue to establish the run game with a healthy Treveyon Henderson back and continue to feed Marvin Harrison Jr so he can punch his ticket to New York for the Heisman Trophy Ceremony. The Spartans come into this game just looking to make it competitive and be a part of an upset. If the Spartans are able to win their last three games of the season they could be seeking a bowl eligibility post-season with the turmoil they faced at the beginning of the season in firing their head coach Mel Tucker. The Spartans would have to win Saturday though in order to get their fourth win of the season which seems unlikely.


 

Marvin Harrison Jr Belongs in New York


Marvin Harrison Jr is one of the best players in the country if not the best player in the country, regardless of position. He is currently at 52 receptions for 918 yards with 10 touchdowns with three games remaining in the regular season. He was an All-American last season and will most certainly get that status quo again. Take Marvin Harrison off this Ohio State team, this is a completely different team that probably would not be undefeated nor ranked #3 in the country. In my opinion, Marvin Harrison Jr is one of the reasons why the Buckeyes are ranked as the #3 team in the country. We are looking at a generational prospect and every NFL GM wishes to have a top 5 pick right now so that they can select Marvin Harrison Jr. The only other receiver currently competing as a top WR in college football currently, is Malik Nabers at LSU right now who has 66 receptions for 1,152 yards and 10 touchdowns. Nabers has more receptions currently but has the better QB prospect throwing him the football. He also has 3 losses at LSU as well and will not be competing for a conference championship or College Football Playoff spot which I believe all factors in as one of the best players in the country.


Ohio State needs to do everything they can to involve Marvin Harrison in the offense as much as they can these next two weeks against inferior opponents which then will set up for the huge matchup against the Wolverines. If the Buckeyes can pull off the big win at the end of the month and Marvin Harrison has a huge game and is the factor in this game, I believe he will walk away with the Heisman trophy.


 

Defense Healthy?


All Buckeye fans know that at this point in the season, the Buckeye's injury report is always unknown. The big question heading into this week is whether Lanthom Ransom and Denzel Burke are healthy? There are also questions of whether Tommy Echinberg is healthy and will play or not this week as well after suffering an unknown injury last week. If I were to guess, Tommy Echinberg will play after playing an entire season last year with two broken thumbs but Ransom and Burke will all be game-time decisions. There are rumors that Ransom will not be back until the game up north for the end-of-the-season showdown so that gives Sonny Styles the full-go starting position at safety for the time being. Regarding Denzel Burke's injury, Jordan Hancock stepped up in a huge way last week, providing the Buckeyes the spark needed with his pick-6 return in the second half against Rutgers. A healthy Denzel Burke is crucial to the Buckeye's success, especially against the Wolverines. Will the Buckeyes play the caution game, sit Ransom and Burke out until the end of the season finale, and be fully healthy going into a potential conference championship/playoff season? It is definitely something to consider and it would provide the young depth guys such as Styles, Hancock, Matthews Jr, Hartford, and Stokes the playing time needed in case of a serious injury. This will be something to watch for heading into this game and next week against Minnesota.


 

Who to Watch For?


Emeka Egubka, WR for Ohio State- the one player it would be easy to select for the Buckeyes offense is Marvin Harrison Jr. Emeka though is coming back from a serious ankle injury and is key to Ohio State's post-season success. Unfortunately for Emeka, his season has not been as expected due to the injury. Coming into the season, Ohio State was looking to have a back-to-back season with two 1,000-yard receivers in Harrison and Egbuka but with the injury, Emeka will not be able to surpass that mark. Would he consider coming back for another year and proving he can be a number one option for a team and also raise his draft stock? I think that is something to consider depending on how the end of the season goes for Egbuka and the Buckeyes. This could be another Chris Olave situation where Olave chose to return for his senior year and raised his stock to a top ten selection in the draft. Emeka Egbuka is someone to watch in this game this Saturday with all the attention on Marvin Harrison Jr.


Sonny Styles, Safety for Ohio State- Sonny Styles came to Ohio State early enrolled so technically he should just be a true freshman this season. This is an athlete who skipped his senior season/prom to come to Ohio State and actually played in meaningful snaps as a 17-year-old (vs Georgia in the Peach Bowl). With Ransom potentially being out, Sonny Styles's role will be increased for the time being and a starter in an important safety role for the defense. Styles will be a key player to watch on the defense due to the pure athleticism that he provides and his young experience.


Jaden Mangham, Safety for Michigan State- Mangham is a solid difference maker for the Spartans defense and provides the most out of the Spartans defense. He has four interceptions on the season and has had an interception in the last three of four games. He has also provided the Spartans with 39 tackles on the season as well. Mangham will be key to the Spartan's defense to slow down the Buckeyes and provide a spark for the Spartans.


 

Dawgs Best Bets


The line currently stands with the Buckeyes favored by 31.5 points and the over/under is currently set at 47.5

  • I will take the Buckeyes to cover 31.5 points due to the Buckeyes needing to find as much offense as possible the last couple weeks of the season and the defense playing at a great level currently.

  • I like the over here as well. I see the Buckeyes scoring a lot of points and covering that line themselves.

Predictions: Ohio State-48. Michigan State- 3

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