Date and Time: Saturday, December 7th, 2013, 8:17 pm on FOX
Game Line: Ohio State -5.5 (from JustBet)
Over/Under: 51.5
Saturday NCAA analysis: The #10 Michigan State Spartans will look to spoil #2 Ohio State’s BCS plans as they battle the Buckeyes for the Big Ten championship from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

To say the Buckeyes are lucky to be in the position their in is an understatement. OhioState squeaked pass rival Michigan last Saturday 42-41 as the Wolverines elected to go for a two point conversion and failed. They also jumped to #2 in the BCS rankings with an Alabama loss in the Iron Bowl to Auburn. So now Urban Meyer’s Buckeye squad just needs to take care of business on Saturday night and they’re in the BCS championship. 

OhioState has one of the most explosive offenses in the country ranking 3rd in the nation in points per game with 48.2. They are lead by dual threat quarterback Braxton Miller. Miller has completed 65.7% of his passes for 1759 yards with 21 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Miller has also rushed for 891 yards and 8 touchdowns on the season, averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Running back Carlos Hyde leads the Buckeye backfield with 1290 yards and 14 touchdowns and an impressive 7.8 yards per carry. Deven Smith and Philly Brown lead the receiving corps, combining for 1244 yards and 17 touchdowns. OhioState’s defense has been good overall this season, allowing 355.8 yards per game. They have one of the better run defenses in the country, allowing only 100 yards per game. That run defense was definitely on display against Wisconsin, as they held the potent Badger rushing attack to only 104 yards on the ground. They have however had defensive lapses as of late, giving up 41 points to Michigan, and allowing 35 points against Illinois.

Michigan State at 11-1 has been flying under the radar for most of the season. The only blemish on their record was a 17-13 at South Bend against Notre Dame. The loss was mainly due to a trick play that backfired, and 4 pass interference calls that doomed the Spartans. They have some impressive victories on their resume, against then ranked Michigan 29-6, and road victories at Iowa and Nebraska. The Spartans arguably boast the nation’s best defense, allowing an average of only 237 yards per game. They rank 3rd in scoring defense, allowing 11.8 yards per game. They also have the nation’s best rushing defense, allowing only 64.8 yards per ground per game. The Spartan offense is pedestrian, averaging just 194.0 yards through the air and 186.2 yards on the ground per game. They are your basic smash mouth football team that relies on ball control and defense.
This will without a doubt be the best defense the Buckeyes have faced all year. On the other hand, it will be the best offense that the Spartans will have faced. OhioState gave up an alarming 603 yards to Michigan, which has to be a concern to Urban Meyer as it was their worst defensive effort this year. I would expect the defense to be up extremely focused in this game, and I give the coaching edge to OhioState, as Meyer has more big game experience than MichiganState’s Mark Dantonio. I do think MichiganState’s secondary will pose some problems for OhioState’s wide receivers, but I believe the Buckeyes will be able to move the ball against the Spartans. MichiganState quarterback Connor Cook isn’t the most mobile of quarterbacks, and he’ll be facing a Buckeye defense that has been successful at getting to the quarterback in recent weeks. Sparty will give the Buckeyes all they can handle in the first half, but ultimately I see the Buckeyes pulling away in the second half. MichiganState’s defense will only be able to contain the Buckeyes for so long, and they just don’t have the offensive weapons to keep up.

Ohio State vs. Michigan State Free Picks:  OhioState -5.5 & Under 51.5
Big 10 Championship Game Score Prediction: OhioState 27 MichiganState 14