Johnson set to coach No. 3 Ohio State against Michigan State

No. 3 Ohio State (4-0, 4-0 Big Ten, No. 4 CFP) at Michigan State (2-3, 2-3), Saturday at noon EST (ABC)

Line: Ohio State by 23 1/2.

Series record: Ohio State 33-15

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Ohio State has had two of its last three games canceled, and there is concern that another coronavirus-related cancellation would leave the unbeaten Buckeyes below the necessary games-played threshold to play in the Big Ten title game. If Ohio State does play this weekend, defensive line coach Larry Johnson is set to fill in for coach Ryan Day, who tested positive.

KEY MATCHUP

Michigan State quarterback Rocky Lombardi vs. the Ohio State secondary. There aren’t many weaknesses on this Ohio State team, but the Buckeyes rank last in the Big Ten in pass defense, and the Spartans have some receivers who can do damage.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Ohio State: QB Justin Fields is averaging a league-best 302 yards passing per game and has completed 80% of his attempts.

Michigan State: DB Shakur Brown is tied for the Big Ten lead with five interceptions.

FACTS & FIGURES

Ohio State is averaging 45.3 points per game on the season, nearly a dozen more than the next-best team in the Big Ten. … Michigan State is one of three FBS teams this season with two wins over AP top 15 opponents. The others are Alabama and Georgia. … Ohio State has not trailed since falling behind Nebraska 7-0 early in its season opener. … Michigan State coach Mel Tucker coached defensive backs at Ohio State from 2001-04. … Michigan State’s Jalen Nailor has 16 catches for 379 yards, good for a conference-leading average of 23.7 yards per reception. … The last two games the Spartans played were also against unbeaten opponents. They beat Northwestern last weekend and lost to Indiana on Nov. 14.

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Related Categories:

College Football | Other Sports News | Sports

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up