Preview and Prediction: B1G Ten Title Game

I wasn't what the doctor ordered, but MSU head coach Mark Dantonio found a way to get his team bowl eligible. (AP PHOTO)

The roses are blooming in East Lansing!

With the ever-nearing possibility that the Spartans will make it to their first Rose Bowl since 1988, this game counts!  Not just for the Spartans, but also for the Buckeyes.

This Saturday in Indianapolis, Indiana, the #2 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes will face the #10 ranked Michigan State Spartans in the B1G Ten title game.

If the Spartans leave with a victory, they’re headed to Pasadena for the Rose bowl. On the contrary, if the Buckeyes come out on top, they’re one step closer to the BCS championship.

ESPN College Game Day has chosen to follow the Spartans and Buckeyes in the B1G Ten title game this weekend.  That should tell everyone the significance of these two teams battling for the title.

After the Auburn and Alabama surprise last weekend, everyone is on the edge of their seats for more crazy football.  Expect nothing less with this game.

The Ohio State offense is ranked 3rd in the nation, while the Michigan State defense is ranked 1st. Both teams have completely different strengths, but both have found a way to grind to the top.  Patience on both ends of the field is necessary.

This is the first time since 1943 that two B1G Ten teams finished with perfect 8-0 conference records.

Both teams are willing to do what it takes to keep their streaks alive.  With Michigan State finishing with a perfect conference game record since 1966, and the Buckeyes’ 24-game winning streak, the longest in Buckeye history and the fourth longest in B1G Ten history.

What will these teams focus on this weekend? Winning, of course. But how will they make that happen?

Well, for Michigan State’s dominant defense and improving offense, Connor Cook will be a key player. (Connor Cooks leg’s will be key)

Knowing Ohio State will jump on the ball in an attempt to keep Cook from finding an opening, quick decisions need to be made from the MSU offense.  Cook will need to think and adjust quickly to create openings.

The Buckeyes know the power of MSU’s defense, so they will target their offensive weakness.

As for this renowned defense?  Urban Meyer, Ohio State head coach, said it himself, “It’s as good a defense as there is in America.  Great players, great scheme. Obviously, statistically, I think they are No. 1 in America. The film I’ve watched, it’s as good of a defense as I’ve seen.”

If the Spartans can challenge Braxton Miller’s ability to create openings, they will be in good standing.  By challenge ability, I mean be as aggressive on the ball as they were against Michigan and Devin Gardner.

Dantonio said, “Their quarterback is a game-breaker, he can throw it, he can run it, the thing he can do is create.  He can take a bad play and make it a good one. Those are the things that make it so difficult to defend him. He’s going to be able to create numerous times in a football game.”

Dantonio continues, “I think the key to our success will be being able to contain the quarterback in those type of situations. We have to be fundamentally sound, but we have to control him in those broken situations.”

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They will continue to do what they do, and that’s play football.

Is Michigan States defense good enough to shut down Ohio States renowned offense and upset their 24-game winning streak?

With these two teams, it is anyone’s game.

After all, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio was the defensive coordinator for the 2002 Ohio State national championship team.

Michigan State 27, Ohio State 24

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