The Big Ten Championship started out like a heavyweight prize-fight. In the scarlet trunks, The champion (Ohio State) with the pedigree, the winning track record and a long list of fallen opponents. In the green trunks, the contender (Michigan State) hungry and tough. An unknown with nothing to lose.
That is how Michigan State came out, like a contender trying to send a message to the champion. They swing hard and connected with punches; stunning the champion and catching him off guard.
That is how Ohio State played in the first quarter.
Michigan State scored with a field goal on the first drive. Then the Spartan defense came at Braxton Miller hard and fast. Making first contact with the Buckeyes in backfield and holding Ohio State to minimal yards in the first quarter. The pressure was something the Buckyes weren’t used too dealing with and it showed.
After a big play, courtesy of a 72 yard touchdown pass from Connor Cook to Keith Mumphrey, the Spartans had a 17-0 point lead midway through the 2nd quarter.
Then the champ settled himself and landed a few punches of his own.
The Buckeyes moved the ball at will in the later part of the 2nd quarter and scored 10 unanswered points to capture the momentum going into the locker room at halftime.
The scoring continued as Ohio State came out with a sense of urgency to start the 2nd half and Braxton Miller took over.
The Buckeyes scored 14 points to start the 2nd half taking a 24-17 lead. By the end of the 3rd quarter, the combination of Miller and Hyde had 248 yards rushing presenting the biggest challenge for the nations #1 ranked defense.
The Spartans then answered with a field goal and touchdown of their own to retake the lead 27-24.
Now with the lead the Spartans defense stepped up and shut down the Buckeyes running game holding them to just 13 yards in the 4th quarter.
The Spartan running game took over in the final quarter. Following their motto pound green pound, Jeremy Langford pushed his 100 yard game streak to 8 and scored a touchdown on his way to securing a Big Ten Championship for the Spartans.
After an epic battle when the final bell rang the contender emerged as champion. The Spartans defeated the Buckeyes 34-24.
With the win the Spartans earn their first trip to the rose bowl in 25 years. They will face Stanford on New Years day in Pasadena. The Spartan win also snaps the Buckeyes 23 game win streak and robs them of a chance to play for the National Championship.