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Monday, February 3, 2020 8:09:13 AM

The Buckeyes aredominating opponents, showing few weaknesses and share a No. But it's the toughness the Buckeyes have shown that has impressed Day the most, especially in his quarterback, Justin Fields. I think the quarterback is tough. I watched the way he takes shots and stands in there.

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The Buckeyes will be playing host to the biggest game yet for Ryan Day since being named the Buckeyes' permanent coach. Ohio State has won its last four games by at least 40 points each, and quarterback Justin Fields is among the most prolific quarterbacks in the country through five weeks of action.

There is already Heisman Trophy hype surrounding Fields, and many are wondering out loud whether Georgia kept the wrong quarterback this offseason.

Michigan State, on the other hand, has been up-and-down offensively, but it will be its defense that has to step up on Saturday -- as per usual.

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After a confusing home loss to Arizona State, it has scored 71 points combined over its last two games against Northwestern and Indiana.

Both the Buckeyes and the Spartans are off to starts in Big Ten play with the winner of Saturday night's game emerging as the frontrunner in the Big Ten East.

So what will go down Saturday night in Columbus? Keep on reading for breakdown of the game along with a prediction and ATS pick.

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Viewing information Date: Saturday, Oct. The Buckeyes have clinical with their execution and dominance so far this season, and outside of that hot minute when Miami Ohio was up , they have been operating with very little resistance.

Reminder: Ohio State went on to win that game with behind a point second quarter.

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Michigan State, and in particular Michigan State's defense, presents the first real challenge to Fields and the Buckeyes. The Spartans defense is senior-laden and one of the best in the country at stopping the run, so the focus of the "prove it" for Ohio State really comes down to its offensive line and the Buckeyes' ability to establish a consistent ground game.

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Fields has been prolific but mostly comfortable in the offense, and Michigan State is the kind of opponent that could present some of the tense, higher-stakes situations he's yet to face this season. Without context, the results and inconsistency has been puzzling.

A closer look reveals a team that's looking for an offensive identity.

Kenny Willekes and the rest of the defense have pretty consistent from what we have come to expect, but the offense has both put up just one touchdown against Arizona State while also being prolific enough for Brian Lewerke to lead the Big Ten in attempts, completions and yards passing.

There's going to be a point where Michigan State will have to lean on its own run game to win games, and that's coming right now with a stretch of at Ohio State, at Wisconsin and Penn State at home coming up on the schedule.

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Game prediction, picks I'm backing Michigan State because I've seen too many close games between these two programs to think the Buckeyes will roll them like a Nebraska. From , this was the elite rivalry in the Big Ten. They met six times and split it with a five-point average margin of victory.

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