Any question as to how good Ohio State’s defense is was answered Saturday.

Any question as to how good Ohio State’s defense is was answered Saturday.

The Buckeyes went through another home game without giving up an offensive touchdown in their 24-17 win over Michigan State. The defense held one of the Big Ten’s best rushing teams to a season-low 59 yards on the ground.

The Spartans’ Javon Ringer, the league’s second-leading rusher, was held to 49 yards.

“We have 11 guys who can make plays,” Ohio State defensive tackle Dexter Larimore said. “I think we showed that today.”

The Spartans averaged just a little more than 2 yards on 28 carries against the nation’s top-ranked defense. Ringer, who was averaging 133 yards a game, needed 18 carries to get his 49.

“I was surprised we couldn’t run the ball better than we did against them, but then again, that is a great defense,” Michigan State Head Coach Mark Dantonio said. “It’s as good a team we’ve played all season.”

Still not good enough

The offense committing two turnovers that resulted in Michigan State touchdowns did not sit well with Buckeyes offensive tackle Kirk Barton.

“It’s hard to go out there with your family after a game like this when you’re outclassing a team, and all of a sudden they come back because you give them easy bunnies,” the Perry High School graduate said. “Our defense has been lights out as they have been in every game, and our offense was doing a couple stupid things. It’s hard to be calm and not throw a hissy fit right now, but I’m not happy.”

Remembering Ron

The Buckeyes wore “23” decals on their helmets to honor former Ohio State running back Ron Springs.

Springs, who wore No. 23 from 1976-78, slipped into a coma after he underwent surgery to remove a cyst from his elbow.


The Buckeyes set a school record by winning their 18th straight Big Ten game. They are just one victory shy of tying the all-time record for consecutive league wins set by Michigan from 1990-92. ... Quarterback Todd Boeckman tied a record with 12 straight completions dating back to last week’s game against Kent State. He completed his first 10 passes Saturday. ... The Buckeyes extended their school-record regular season winning streak to 26. ... Ohio State improved to 65-9-1 when ranked No. 1 in the country.

Up next

Ohio State plays 8 p.m. Saturday at Penn State (ABC). Penn State was the site of the Buckeyes’ last regular season loss in 2005. Michigan State goes to Iowa.

Reach Repository sports writer Mike Popovich at (330) 580-8341 or e-mail: