While the defense struggled, the offense moved the ball effectively for much of the game and accumulated 536 total yards.
”I think there were some great performances out there,’ coach Mark Dantonio said in his weekly teleconference Sunday night. “I thought Jeremy Langford played a great game. I thought we ran the ball effectively, I thought we protected the quarterback. (Connor) Cook threw for over 300 yards. …
”We had (Keith) Mumphery making plays and MacGarrett Kings making plays. … We did some good things offensively, but not enough well across the board from a total team standpoint and we had opportunities.”
Perhaps the most impressive performance came up front, though, as the Spartans’ offensive line paved the way for 178 yards rushing – 137 from Langford. Even more so, Michigan State contained a good pass rush from Ohio State, allowing just one sack and four quarterback hurries.
Dantonio said it was a great game for left tackle Jack Conklin, whom he said played a high level.
”Very high level,” Dantonio said. “Played extremely well, think he can become a dominant offensive lineman.”
Cox at corner
In the first quarter Saturday, cornerback Trae Waynes went out after his helmet came off – per an NCAA rule. He sat out the next few plays as well and sophomore Demetrious Cox stepped in to play cornerback.
”He played some corner out there when Trae went down for a short time,” Dantonio said. “I thought he played well. He’s been playing some corner for us.
”He’s very balanced, he’s strong.”
The sophomore has spent much of his career working as a safety and has been the starting nickleback for Michigan State this season. He had a 14-yard sack of Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett on Saturday.
”He is coming as a player,” Dantonio said. “Expect to see more of him as we go.”