2012 Preview: Ohio State

With just over 40 days until Michigan State kicks off the 2012 season we continue our early preview of each game of the season. In the fifth game of the season the Spartans will host Ohio State to open conference play.

Here is an early look at Michigan State's game five opponent.

Ohio State Buckeyes

GAME #5 – Sat. Sept. 29 – SPARTAN STADIUM – TBA

Head Coach Urban Meyer – 1st Season

2011 Record 6 - 7 overall, 3 - 5 Big Ten

Previous Meetings The Buckeyes and Spartans first played in 1912 but then took a break until 1951 when the teams played three games in the 50s, six games in the 60s, eight games in the 80s, seven games in the 90s and eight games since the 2000 season. The last meeting between the two schools came last season when Michigan State traveled to Columbus leaving with a 10 – 7 victory.

Ohio State's Key Games

Sept. 15 California
Sept. 29 Michigan State
Oct. 6 Nebraska
Nov. 11 Wisconsin
Nov. 24 Michigan

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

OFFENSE: Urban Meyer will bring his much talked about spread attack into Spartan Stadium with sophomore Braxton Miller ready to take the Buckeyes offense from conservative to warp speed. Health at running back could be answered prior to this game if Jordan Hall is back and healthy. The offensive line should have solid play with a first year starter at the right tackle spot in converted tight end Reid Fragel or true freshman Taylor Decker. Miller will need to have found a go-to receiver by this game outside of tight end Jake Stoneburner if the Buckeyes want a solid passing game.

DEFENSE: They Buckeyes should be solid in their defensive front as they will have several players to rotate in and out. But the play of Ryan Shazier and Curtis Grant will be keys for the defense to be one of the best in the country. The secondary should be good enough to play with anyone in the country

OVERALL

By the time the Buckeyes hit East Lansing, we'll have a feeling of what to expect come kickoff. Meyer was not hired to win a Big Ten Championship, he was hired to win National Championships and the 2012 season the Buckeyes will not be placed in a position to do either. Each game in the Big Ten is a championship game as Meyer is sure to push for his team to go undefeated despite the fact they are not eligible to play in the conference championship game.

The home crowd will give the Spartans an early advantage and the defense must do what it did a year ago against the Buckeyes to keep them in check. However, the offensive playbook must be opened wider unlike last season when the Spartans struggled to put points up against the Buckeyes in Columbus.


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