The Ohio State football team meets up with the Michigan State Spartans on November 11th in Columbus. Here is what you need to know about the Spartans.
For our latest Ohio State football schedule prep, the Buckeyes meet up with a familiar foe in Michigan State on November 11th in Ohio Stadium. This will be an NBC night game, something that will be new to Ohio State football fans this season.
The Spartans, led by third-year head coach Mel Tucker, look to rebound following a very disappointing 2022 season. With a 5-7 record, and only three conference wins, Tucker needs to regain his 2021 form when the Spartans were 11-2 and had seven conference wins.
If the Spartans expect to hang with Ohio State, it will have to do so without two of its best offensive players from a season ago in quarterback Payton Thorne and receiver Keon Coleman, both of whom transferred out of East Lansing.
Noah Kim, a senior backup last season is expected to win the starting QB job this summer. He’s relatively unknown, having only 19 career passing attempts. But he apparently pushed Thorne last season for the starting job so that’s a good sign. Actually, most of his career playing time occurred against Ohio State last season when he went 6-10 for 82 yards and a touchdown.
Jalen Berger returns as the Spartans’ leading rusher with 683 yards and six touchdowns from a season ago. Maliq Carr at tight end is probably the best receiving threat for Michigan State. The 6-5, 255-pound Carr has a massive frame as he has 25 career receptions for 359 yards entering his redshirt junior season.
Mel Tucker’s biggest disappointment last season has to come from the defensive side of the ball where he makes his bread and butter. They ranked No. 111 in total defense last season. That has to improve if they want to not only contend with Ohio State but also within the Big Ten.
Defensive end Tunmise Adeleye, a one-time Buckeye commit, transferred in from Texas A&M. The second-year player should start and make an immediate impact for the Spartans. Cal Holiday is a rugged inside linebacker and had 101 tackles a season ago.
Lineback Jacoby Windom is probably the best Spartan defender though. The senior only appeared in eight games last year but registered 49 tackles and 5.5 sacks. He also forced an astonishing six fumbles.
The secondary remains a big question mark for Michigan State as they are very young and inexperienced. Corner Charles Brantley is probably the best player there. He’s not afraid to make a tackle as he had 48 last season. He also has two career interceptions.
Overall, this team, especially on offense, doesn’t stack up with Ohio State. I would expect a score in the neighborhood of last season’s 49-20 beat down in East Lansing. Mel Tucker is going to need a few more recruiting classes to get this program back to its 2021 form.