OSU wins 17-16 after Spartans miss 2-pt. try

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, top, is upended by Michigan State’s Montae Nicholson during the second quarter Saturday in East Lansing. (AP photo)

By NOAH TRISTER

AP Sports Writer

EAST LANSING — Before Ohio State could move on to next weekend’s showdown with Michigan, the Buckeyes had to deal with a different nemesis.

As usual, Michigan State gave Urban Meyer’s team all it could handle.

Mike Weber ran for 111 yards and a touchdown, and No. 2 Ohio State held off Michigan State 17-16 on Saturday after the upset-minded Spartans missed a 2-point conversion with 4:41 remaining.

“Tough day at the office right there,” Meyer said. “We’ll take the win against a team that we know very well and on the road in November.”

Ohio State (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten, No. 2 CFP) can now focus on Michigan, but only after withstanding a spirited challenge from a Michigan State team that derailed the Buckeyes’ national title bids in two of the previous three seasons. The Spartans (3-8, 1-7) were down 17-10 when LJ Scott scored on a 1-yard run with 4:41 to play. Michigan State went for the lead, but Tyler O’Connor’s pass on the 2-point conversion attempt was intercepted in the end zone.

“All week long I’d said that, hey, if we get close at the end of the game, we’re going for 2, and we’re going to take an aggressive approach and play to win the football game rather than to tie,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said.

The Spartans got the ball back one more time at their own 20 with 2:04 remaining. Tyquan Lewis sacked O’Connor on the first play, and then Gareon Conley intercepted him on the second.

Scott ran for 160 yards and also scored on a 64-yard catch-and-run in the first minute of the game, but the Ohio State defense didn’t allow much more after that. J.T. Barrett threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Curtis Samuel in the first quarter, and the game was tied at 10 at halftime.

Weber’s 4-yard TD run in the third gave the Buckeyes the lead for good.