Ohio State’s defense has struggled in its last two games, but it’s winning on the scoreboard.
The Buckeyes are 10-2-1 since a 24-0 loss to Wisconsin on Sept. 6.
The Badgers have dropped five straight games and six of their last seven.
Ohio State (9-3) was favored to beat Michigan State (10-2) on Saturday.
“The game was on the line,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said after Ohio State defeated the Badgers by 24 points.
We’re not going to put a bunch of players on the field and expect to win games.” “
That’s not the Ohio State way.
We’re not going to put a bunch of players on the field and expect to win games.”
The Buckeye defense has forced a lot from quarterback Braxton Miller, who has been sacked nine times, but the senior has thrown for 862 yards and six touchdowns, including three in a row to start the season.
Miller has been slowed by an ankle injury that has kept him out of practice all week.
He completed 11 of 19 passes for 137 yards with one touchdown and an interception against Wisconsin.
“I’m really, really happy with the way that he’s playing right now,” Meyer said of Miller.
“It’s really good for our team.”
Miller, a fifth-year senior, had five catches for 71 yards.
He has a total of eight touchdowns this season and was one of five Buckeyes with two interceptions, including a pick-six against the Badger defense.
Ohio States defensive end Josh Bynes has also had four tackles and two sacks this season.
“They’re a very talented defense,” Meyer continued.
“Their offensive line is a very good one, their linebackers are very good, their defensive backs are very, very good.
They have a really good quarterback in Braxton, and they have a good running game.
I think they’ve really done a great job this year.”
The Badger offense has also struggled.
“Our offense is struggling,” Meyer joked.
“At least this time of year, we are.
But we have a very competitive team.”
The Spartans opened the season with a 10-0 start and won five straight to open the season before falling at home to Northwestern on Sept 12.
Michigan State was the Big Ten’s best team, but that streak came to an end on Sept 21.
The Spartans’ offense had been getting the better of Ohio State, but Michigan State had been holding the Buckeyes to less than 40 percent of the total offense and has now scored a touchdown in each of the last four games.
“You know how Ohio State has been?
That’s what you’re seeing in the film,” Michigan State defensive end Kevin King said.
“So I’m just glad that we’re starting to see some flashes of those.”
The last time Michigan State faced Ohio State was in Columbus on Sept 9, 2011.
The Wolverines led 21-6 after three quarters.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke said after the game that he was pleased with the Buckeye’s defense.
“When you’re playing like that, you have to get it to a point where you get that second-half drive,” Hoke told ESPN’s Cris Collinsworth.
“To do that, we had to have some big plays down the stretch.”
Ohio State beat Michigan in a national semifinal in 2013.
Ohio St. quarterback Braeden Miller, left, throws a pass during the first half of a college football game between Ohio State and Michigan State, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke A lot of Ohio St.’s success has come in the first three quarters of games.
It has won five in a series since losing to Michigan State in the fourth quarter on Sept 6.
Ohio has won six of its last seven games.
The first-half comeback on Sept 14 was one the Buckees should have won.
Ohio scored first on a touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Braxyn Bostick and ran out the clock with 12:15 left.
The third-year junior was sacked five times and threw three interceptions.
The second-quarter touchdown pass to Miller was a pass from Bostill to A.J. Johnson, who had no time to recover.
Johnson hit Bosticks for an 11-yard touchdown pass with 4:19 left.
Johnson had a big play in the second quarter, when he broke away from his defender on a short play and raced down the sideline for a 47-yard gain.
“Just having that guy come back and get us a first down, I think it really helped us,” Miller said.
Ohio is 2-0 against Michigan State.
The game was moved to a later time to accommodate the Buckeye, a local TV station.