Ohio State punts its way to win at Michigan State

Published: Saturday, November 10, 2018 @ 1:40 PM

EAST LANSING, MI - NOVEMBER 10: Rocky Lombardi #12 of the Michigan State Spartans lays on the ground as the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrate a fourth quarter fumble recovery for a touchdown at Spartan Stadium on November 10, 2018 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
EAST LANSING, MI - NOVEMBER 10: Rocky Lombardi #12 of the Michigan State Spartans lays on the ground as the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrate a fourth quarter fumble recovery for a touchdown at Spartan Stadium on November 10, 2018 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Ohio State dominated the second half en route to a 26-6 win at Michigan State. 

The eighth-ranked Buckeyes scratched out what they could offensively against a stout Spartans defense, but they didn’t need much thanks to a stellar outing by the special teams and defense. 

Punter Drue Chrisman and his coverage unit pinned the 24th-ranked Spartans inside their 10-yard line on five consecutive possessions in the third quarter. 

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The Michigan State Spartans were buried in their own end most of the second half by Ohio State's punter.

They took what appeared to be an intentional safety after the fourth time, hoping to flip the field. 

That backfield, though, when the ensuing kickoff went out of bounds and gave the Buckeyes the ball at midfield. 

Ohio State didn’t do anything with that possession, but Chrisman again pinned the Spartans, this time at the 2. 

They fumbled the snap on first down, and Dre’Mont Jones recovered in the end zone for an Ohio State touchdown. 

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The Buckeyes later added a field goal and a 2-yard touchdown run by Mike Weber to close out the game. 

Weber finished with 104 yards on 22 carries against what was statistically the No. 1 run defense in the country entering the day. 

Dwayne Haskins completed 23 of 38 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown for Ohio State.  

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**EARLIER**

Ohio State leads Michigan State 7-3 at halftime. 

A sleepy game got a jolt late in the second quarter when Ohio State put together a 55-yard touchdown drive. 

Parris Campbell capped it with a 1-yard touchdown catch on a shovel pass with 1:29 on the clock. 

Dwayne Haskins was 4 for 5 on the drive, including a 17-yard connection with K.J. Hill to convert a key third-and-5. 

Michigan State responded by driving 49 yards to set up a 44-yard field goal by Matt Coghlin. 

Scoring chances were few and far between in the first 28 minutes of the half. 

Ohio State punted four times and missed a field goal while the Spartans had five punts and also missed a field goal.  

Backup quarterback Rocky Lombardi replaced Brian Lewerke for Michigan State on its scoring drive after Lewerke, who has been battling a shoulder injury, was off target on a handful of throws. 

Lombardi completed 3 of 6 passes for 49 yards after Lewerke was 8 for 16 for 84 yards. 

Haskins was 14 for 22 passing for 133 yards for Ohio State, which netted only 14 yards on the ground on 16 attempts. 

Michigan State couldn’t get its running game going, either, as Lewerke was the home team’s leading rusher with seven yards on four carries.