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Breaking down Ohio State’s 38-3 win over Michigan State by the numbers

The Buckeyes were dominant from start to finish on Saturday night in Columbus.

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Ohio State Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday night, Ohio State dominated Michigan State from start to finish, beating the Spartans 38-3. Not only did the Buckeye defense continue to stand their ground, the offense was cooking early and Michigan State had no answers for Kyle McCord, Marvin Harrison Jr., and the rest of the Ohio State offense.

To wrap up the fun night at Ohio Stadium, we are going to dive into some of the important numbers to come out of the game.


Marvin Harrison Jr. finished Saturday night’s with seven receptions for 149 yards, two receiving touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown. With the yardage he racked up against Michigan State, Harrison now has 14 games where he has eclipsed 100 yards receiving, tying David Boston’s school record of 14 games of at least 100 yards receiving. Harrison now will have at least two chances to move past Boston, as the Buckeyes finish up the regular season by hosting Minnesota before heading to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan.

Beyond those two games, it is still up in the air if we see Harrison in the scarlet and gray again if Ohio State doesn’t make the Big Ten Championship Game or the College Football Playoff.


David Boston’s school record for 100-yard receiving games wasn’t the only mark Harrison was able to reach on Saturday night. Last year, Harrison finished with 1,263 yards receiving, and with his 149 yards against the Spartans, the standout wide receiver has 1,063 receiving yards this season. Harrison now has reached 1,000 receiving yards in two different seasons, which is something no other Ohio State receiver has done. The feat is pretty impressive considering the talent the Buckeyes have had at wide receiver over the years.


Ohio State quarterback Kyle McCord was on his game on Saturday night against Michigan State, completing 24-of-31 passes for a career-high 335 yards. Prior to his performance against the Spartans, McCord’s career-best mark came in his first start in 2021 when he threw for 319 yards against Akron. So far this season, McCord has one other game of at least 300 yards passing. Against Western Kentucky, McCord threw for 318 yards in the 63-10 win over Western Kentucky.


Along with the passing yardage he racked up against Michigan State, McCord threw three touchdowns on Saturday night, marking the fifth time this season where he has thrown for three touchdowns in a game. The first-year starter now has back-to-back games with three touchdown passes for the second time this season. Through 10 games this season. McCord has thrown 20 touchdown passes, which puts him third in the Big Ten.

Maryland’s Taulia Tagovailoa is two touchdowns ahead of McCord for the lead in the conference, and Drew Allar of Penn State has one more touchdown pass than the Ohio State quarterback.


After missing the game against Rutgers, tight end Cade Stover returned to the field on Saturday night, tying a career-high with seven receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown. Entering the game against the Spartans, Stover was fifth in school history for receptions by a tight end with 68 catches. With his performance, Stover now sits third in school history, passing Cedric Saunders and Jeff Ellis.

Sitting ahead of Stover on the school’s all-time receptions list among tight ends are John Frank and Billy Anders. Frank has 121 career receptions, while Anders has 108 catches, so it’s unlikely Stover will be able to move ahead of those two tight ends.


With their win on Saturday night, Ohio State now has recorded at least 10 wins in 30 seasons, which is fourth all-time in FBS history. Aside from the 2020 season that was shortened because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the last time the Buckeyes didn’t reach at least 10 wins in a season came back in 2011, when Luke Fickell was the interim head coach for the season after the dismissal of Jim Tressel.


Ohio State’s defense was dominant on Saturday night, only allowing 182 yards to Michigan State. The yardage total was the second-lowest of the season for the Buckeyes, who gave up just 153 yards in the season opener to Indiana. It was also the second time this season that Ohio State didn’t give up a touchdown in a game, as they also accomplished the feat against Indiana.


Head coach Ryan Day is now 38-2 in Big Ten games. The only two losses for Day in conference play came against Michigan the last two seasons, and those losses now look a little suspicious after sign stealing by the Wolverines has been uncovered. The last loss in the Big Ten for Ohio State against a team other than Michigan came back in 2018 during Urban Meyer’s last season as head coach when Purdue dismantled the Buckeyes in West Lafayette.


With their win on Saturday night., Ohio State has now won eight-straight meetings with Michigan State after the Spartans beat the Buckeyes 17-14 in Columbus in 2015. Aside from the 17-16 win by Ohio State in 2016, the Buckeyes have absolutely dominated Michigan State. During the eight-game winning streak, Ohio State has outscored the Spartans 320-77. Of those eight-straight victories, the Buckeyes have held Michigan State to less than 10 points in four of those games.