TALE OF THE TAPE

College Football Week 5: #14 Ohio State At #20 Michigan State

#14 Ohio State
#20 Michigan State
(photo credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
(photo credit: Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Coaching
Winner The Buckeyes are ineligible for the Big Ten title game, but most believe Urban Meyer has the best team in the Leaders Division. Ohio State is 4-0 but has been inconsistent.
Mark Dantonio’s team is 3-1 but hasn’t looked nearly as good as many expected when they predicted the Spartans to win the Big Ten Legends Division.
Offense
Winner Folks are starting to throw Braxton Miller’s name into the Heisman discussion. He’s got nearly 1,200 yards of offense and 14 total touchdowns. This will be the best defense he’s faced so far this season.
After getting stymied by Notre Dame, Michigan State had all of six points through most of three quarters against Eastern Michigan. The Spartans have no confidence in their passing game so they handed to Le’Veon Bell 36 times last Saturday (he did gain 253 yards).
Defense
The Buckeyes are only allowing 17 points per game and have forced nine turnovers. Meyer’s coaching background is on the offensive side, but his Florida teams always had plenty of talent and speed on the defensive side.
Winner The Spartans field the sixth-best defense in the country as far as yards allowed, though the offenses they have faced aren’t exactly explosive.
Special Teams
The Buckeyes’ special teams have been really bad outside of kicker Drew Basil, who has made his only field goal attempt after a strong 2011.
Winner The Spartans have been solid but not spectacular on special teams. They’ve relied on their punter a bit too much the last two weeks.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Ohio State looks like the more talented team right now and certainly has the edge at the quarterback position. Michigan State did win in Columbus last year but winning on Saturday won’t be easy. The Buckeyes have the slight edge.

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