Created on Thursday, 05 December 2013 Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
No. 10 Michigan St. (11-1, 8-0) vs. No. 2 Ohio St. (12-0, 8-0) at Indianapolis, Big Ten championship, 8 p.m. (Fox)
Line: Ohio St. by 6½.
Series record: Ohio St. leads 28-13.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The winner earns a trip to Pasadena, Calif., as the Big Ten champ. If the Buckeyes win, they could be headed to Pasadena for a more meaningful game than the 100th Rose Bowl — the BCS title game. The Buckeyes, the Leaders Division champs, have won 24 straight since Urban Meyer became coach and No. 25 would almost guarantee Meyer a shot at his third national title. Legends Division champ Michigan State is looking for its first Rose Bowl bid since 1988. The Spartans might get to the Rose Bowl even with a loss if Ohio State plays for the national title.
Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller faces the nation's No. 1 ranked defense. Sure, TB Carlos Hyde has been putting up the big numbers lately, but Miller is the guy who makes the Buckeyes go. And his versatility will be a strong test against the stingy Spartans, who are allowing 11.8 points per game this season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Michigan State: QB Connor Cook. When the season began, there was little doubt the defense would hold up in the rugged Big Ten. The question was whether the Spartans could keep up in the scoring column, and the sophomore from Ohio has provided that spark.
Ohio State: RB Carlos Hyde is coming off a record-setting performance against Michigan and is the first 1,000-yard runner Meyer has coached. If he continues to run roughshod this weekend, the Buckeyes should be headed to the national championship game.
FACTS & FIGURES
While the Buckeyes have the nation's longest active winning streak, and a school record, the Spartans are looking to win their ninth in a row. That hasn't happened since the Spartans opened the 1966 season at 9-0. ... Hyde and Miller have combined to rush for 1,070 yards and 13 touchdowns in the Buckeyes' last three games (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan). ... The Spartans have allowed only 19 rushes of 10 or more yards this season, the fewest in the nation. ... Hyde needs 33 yards rushing to reach 3,000 in his career, while Miller needs 133. Only six other Buckeyes have reached the 3,000-yard mark. ... Michigan State leads the Big Ten with most wins since 2010 (40) and most conference wins since 2008 (35).