Fields and No. 4 Ohio State overwhelm Michigan State
Justin Fields, playing behind a makeshift line, accounted for 303 total yards and four touchdowns as No. 4 Ohio State rolled to a 52-12 win over Michigan State in Big Ten action Saturday in East Lansing, Mich.
Five Buckeyes starters — three on the offensive line, a linebacker and a safety — were among 23 players out due to COVID-19, illness or injury.
Fields completed 17 of 24 passes for 199 yards and two scores and rushed 13 times for 104 yards and two TDs. Trey Sermon added 112 rushing yards and a touchdown for Ohio State (5-0, 5-0 Big Ten).
Fields led the Buckeyes to a 28-0 halftime lead with a TD pass of 28 yards to Garrett Wilson and runs of 2 and 1 yards, completing 11 of 15 passes for 117 yards and adding 75 more yards on the ground against the Spartans (2-4, 2-4).
The Buckeyes also got a pick-six from Haskell Garrett late in the first half when he tipped a pass from the end zone by Rocky Lombardi to himself.
Lombardi was 5 for 11 for 33 yards before being replaced by Payton Thorne.
After Sermon ran 64 yards to extend the score to 35-0 early in third, Thorne had a 20-yard TD run to put the Spartans on the board.
Thorne was 16 for 25 for 147 yards and an interception.
Fields tossed a 41-yard TD to Chris Olave midway through the fourth quarter for a 45-10 lead on the last snap for each player. Olave had 10 catches for 139 yards.
The Buckeyes canceled their game at Illinois on Nov. 28 because of a COVID-19 outbreak that included head coach Ryan Day, who quarantined at home during the game.
Associate head coach/defensive line coach Larry Johnson was the acting head coach, becoming the first Black coach to hold that spot for the program.
The regular season ends Dec. 12 with Michigan State at Penn State. Ohio State is scheduled to host Michigan, but the Wolverines canceled their game vs. Maryland on Saturday because of COVID-19 concerns.
–Field Level Media