Last week we took a postgame look at the 49-10 win over Rutgers by using The Sopranos to describe some of what we saw. This week we’ll keep with the visual medium and use stars of film and television that attended Michigan State to recap the 49-20 victory over the Spartans. There are some important figures in film and television that spent some time in East Lansing, so it figured it was a fitting way to put a bow on yesterday’s game.
“I’m Tom Bodett for Motel 6, and we’ll leave the light on for you.”
After being born in Champaign, Illinois, Tom Bodett was raised in Sturgis, Michigan. Bodett did attend Michigan State University, but didn’t graduate before going on to become the famous voice from the Motel 6 commercials. Bodett was actually discovered by the company while he was contributing to NPR’s All Things Considered.
Yesterday, C.J. Stroud was the manager of Ohio State’s Motel 6, tossing six touchdowns, marking the third time he has tied the school record for passing touchdowns in a game. Over the last two years against Michigan State, Stroud has gone 53-of-61 for 793 yards and 12 touchdowns. The 69-yard touchdown pass to Emeka Egbuka in the first quarter moved Stroud pass Justin Fields for second-most career touchdown passes in school history. Stroud currently has thrown 68 touchdown passes in less than two seasons as Ohio State’s starting quarterback.
Marvin Harrison Jr. looked like a superhero yesterday with some of the catches he made, especially his third touchdown catch early in the third quarter. The score, which made it 42-13 Ohio State, was the third time in his career Harrison has caught three touchdowns in a game, making him the first Buckeye to catch three touchdown passes three times in a career. Even more impressive is that trio of three-touchdown games have all come in the last seven contests.
Harrison, as well as Emeka Egbuka, have been massive in the absence of Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Along with Harrison recording his third 100-yard receiving game of the season, Egbuka hauled in five receptions for 143 yards and a score. Egbuka now has reached triple digits in four games this season. It’s crazy to think the Buckeye offense is going to get even more dangerous, but once Smith-Njigba is able to return to the field, opposing defenses are going to have to try and figure out how to slow down one of the best receivers in the country, along with Harrison and Egbuka.
Jim Cash was a teacher of writing and film history at Michigan State. Cash would go on to write movies like Top Gun, Dick Tracy, and Anaconda. So far this season, Ohio State has been squeezing the life out of their opponents. Aside from the first half of the season opener against Notre Dame, Ohio State has pretty much been doing anything they want on offense.
We all know the type of stats C.J. Stroud has put up this year. A lot of the success wouldn’t be possible if Ohio State wasn’t able to run the football like they have been. A couple weeks ago, Miyan Williams and TreVeyon Henderson both ran for 100 yards against Wisconsin. Then last week Williams found the end zone five times while Henderson didn’t play against Rutgers. This week Williams wasn’t available, which allowed Henderson to record his second 100-yard game of the season.
The Buckeyes have opposing defenses on roller skates. With Ohio State fielding so many stars on offense, defenses don’t know where to allocate their resources, since there are so many players that can hurt them. Any team that has designs on knocking off the Buckeyes this year are going to need to put together a herculean effort on defense. It’s hard to see any team in the Big Ten being able to do it, and there are very few other teams around the country that might be able to keep pace.
Prior to going on to star in movies like Saving Private Ryan, Natural Born Killers, and Heat, Tom Sizemore spent a little time at Michigan State. On Saturday, Michael Hall Jr. was the one bringing the heat in East Lansing. The Ohio State defensive tackle recorded 2.5 sacks, and now leads the team with 4.5 sacks this season.
What is most impressive about what Hall is doing this year is he is leading the team in sacks despite the Buckeyes having defensive ends that generated a lot more buzz coming to Columbus out of high school than Hall did. Five-star end Jack Sawyer has two sacks this season, while Zach Harrison and J.T. Tuimoloau are both still looking for their first sacks this season.
It’s not that Sawyer, Harrison, and Tuimoloau aren’t making plays for the defense. Hall is just making more of an impact. Usually it’s opposite for the Buckeyes, where the defensive ends get all the spotlight, while the big guys on the interior of the defensive line do the dirty work. Even though Harrison is in his final season in Columbus, it’s going to be great to watch Hall, Sawyer, and Tuimoloau grow even more next year, and possibly beyond that.
Right now, Mel Tucker and the Spartans have to feel like they are in the James Caan horror movie. Michigan State has now lost their last three games to Ohio State by a combined score of 157-39. After giving Tucker a $95 million contract extension last year, Michigan State has to be wondering if they can rip that deal up.
Following wins over Western Michigan and Akron to start the season, the Spartans have now dropped four straight games. Kenneth Walker III is looking like one of the best additions in the short history of the transfer portal, as Michigan State hasn’t been able to do much of anything since Walker moved on to the NFL.
Things aren’t going to get any easier for the Spartans, as they’ll host Wisconsin this week before an open week. Following their week off, Michigan State will make the short trip to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan before going to Illinois. It’s entirely possible by the time Michigan State hosts Rutgers in a month the Spartans could be riding a seven-game losing streak.
Michigan State does have a little bit of history with The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Bob Guiney was on season four of The Bachelor, and the man a bunch of women were vying for on the first season of The Bachelorette, while Ed Swiderski was a contestant and the winner of season five of The Bachelorette.
Right about now, Jim Knowles is looking for any cornerback to step up and accept his rose and become someone he can trust at the position. After producing so many NFL-caliber players at cornerback, right now there isn’t anyone that is living up to the expectations that have been set. Injuries certainly haven’t helped, but there are too many times where Denzel Burke and Cam Brown look lost when opposing quarterbacks target them.
The good news is the Buckeyes haven’t really played anyone good enough to continuously exploit their weakness. Ohio State now heads into their open week, which hopefully will allow the corners to reset and try and get back to basics. The subpar play has been especially frustrating since Burke has shown he has the potential to be a great cornerback, he just isn’t living up to it at the moment.