COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Coach Ryan Day previewed Ohio State’s first road game when the Buckeyes travel to East Lansing to face Michigan State on Saturday.
The Buckeyes have not lost at Michigan State since 1999.
“We expect a top-10 team when we go to East Lansing,” Day said. “We know we got our hands full.”
The Spartans are led by former OSU assistant coach Mel Tucker, who served under Jim Tressel from 2001 to ’04, winning a national championship.
“Maybe he wasn’t as highly-recruited, but we just felt like we saw something from the kid from Cincinnati that ran hard,” Day said about Williams from Winton Woods.
Starting back TreVeyon Henderson was a last-minute scratch, giving Williams a chance to be OSU’s feature back after the two players had split carries through the first four weeks. Henderson’s status for Saturday is unclear.
Injuries have affected the Buckeyes’ defense as well. Starting cornerback Cameron Brown missed a second straight game, nickel back safety Tanner McCalister was injured in the first quarter, safety Cam Martinez was unavailable and Tyleik Williams was injured in the second quarter.
Despite the injuries, OSU’s defense held strong against the Scarlet Knights, allowing no more than 10 points for the second time this season. Rutgers’ 80 yards passing was also the second week in a row the Buckeyes have allowed fewer than 100.
Ohio State defense dominates through 5 games
- #8 passing yards allowed (153.4 per game)
- #11 third-down defense (27%)
- #14 scoring defense (14.8 points allowed per game)
- #24 defensive efficiency (73.5)
- #33 rushing yards allowed (110.4 per game)
Michigan State limps into its game with the Buckeyes having lost three straight, including double digits losses to Big Ten foes Minnesota and Maryland.
During his press conference Monday, Tucker referenced advice he received from Tressel in 2002 about reflecting on the past.
“Coach Tressel told the staff in a staff meeting, he said, ‘Don’t let me catch you looking at your ring, so just don’t wear it you won’t have to worry about it,’ so I don’t wear them. I never have,” Tucker said. “If you keep looking in the past, that’s not going to help you very much.”