With only an eight-game slate for the Buckeyes every game matters, and Ohio State needs to be aware of one game in particular.
With the Big Ten getting closer to being back in action and the SEC starting play this weekend football feels like it is finally back. Ohio State is a few short weeks from opening their season against Nebraska and starting their defense of the Big Ten Title.
Penn State and Michigan are the two biggest games on the Buckeyes’ schedule and will be circled all season long. But, there is another game that could end up being a trap game for Ohio State.
That game is the second to last game on their schedule, away against Michigan State. Before you laugh and say that the Spartans are way below Ohio State’s talent level (which they are) remember back to Iowa and Purdue for reminders that teams are capable of playing above or below their standard each week.
There are a few things that make this game unique and a potential for a trap. The biggest is obviously losing focus with The Game being played the following week. The week before Michigan always has potential for a trap game if the Buckeyes lose focus and are unable to think about the opponent at hand. Ryan Day will need to keep his team sharp to avoid the upset.
The other reason is that this will be a game that is late in the season. If the Buckeyes play outside in Michigan in December, there is the potential for the weather to become a major factor. December in the mid-west can bring beautiful days or sleet. snow, rain, and anything else Mother Nature can throw around. If there is bad weather this could become a game that matters less about talent and more about the direction of the wind.
If the Buckeyes can keep focusing one week at a time and avoid unfavorable weather, they will win this game and likely win it big. Michigan State is a program in flux, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t potential to slip up.
Anything less than an undefeated season would be considered a disappointment for Ohio State this season and behind Penn State and Michigan, Michigan State presents the biggest chance for a loss.