In a game much closer than the two teams' records would suggest, the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes barely hung on to defeat the Michigan State Spartans, 17-16. The win moves Ohio State one step closer to making the college Football Playoff for the second time.

A great game

Michigan State started the game off on the right foot when Tyler O'Connor connecting with running back LJ Scott on a 64-yard touchdown pass just 46 seconds into the game, putting Ohio State in an immediate hole.

Ohio State struck back with a touchdown pass halfway through the quarter, with J.T. Barrett tossing to his own running back, Curtis Samuel. The teams traded field goals in the second quarter to send the game into halftime at a 10-10 tie.

The Buckeyes finally broke through with a running touchdown from Mike Weber in the third quarter to take a 17-10 lead. In the quarter, Weber became the third Ohio State running back to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in their rookie season, joining Maurice Clarett and Robert Smith in school history.

Still, Michigan State remained undeterred and even saw Scott rush in another touchdown late in the fourth quarter to make it a one-point game. With nothing to lose, the Spartans went for two, which failed. The team did manage to get the ball back one more time, but couldn't make anything of the possession, granting the Buckeyes the close victory.

Playoff implications

Ohio State would've likely been out of the playoff race had the lost their second game of the season to a lowly Michigan State squad.

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Right now, they're unaffected in the rankings because, while it was close, they still managed to show enough grit to win.

Still, they're on the outside looking in for the Big Ten title race right now and no team has made the playoff without winning their conference. Ohio State could completely change the perception of their season with a win over Michigan next week (provided the Wolverines win today).

A win their would nearly put them on par with Alabama; a loss would end their playoff hopes completely.

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