The Michigan State Spartans (3-6, 1-5 Big Ten) travel to face the No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0, 6-0 Big Ten) on Saturday, November 11 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Live coverage will be part of NBC Sports’ B1G Saturday Night, starting at 7:00 pm ET (kickoff at 7:30 pm ET) on NBC and Peacock. Keep reading for how to watch and key storylines for the game.
It’s been a challenging season for Michigan State after head coach Mel Tucker was fired for cause on September 27 following allegations of sexual harassment, but last week, the Spartans earned their first Big Ten win of the season and first under interim head coach Harlon Barnett. The 20-17 win over Nebraska at home snapped a six-game losing streak, and while things are looking up, the Buckeyes present one of the, if not the, toughest challenges of the season for a team trying to become bowl-eligible. (The Spartans must win all three of their remaining games to make it to the postseason.)
Michigan State’s offense is statistically one of the worst in the country, ranking last in the Big Ten with 18.2 points per game. The unit also ranks outside the top 100 in the FBS in points per game, total yards per game, third down conversion percentage, and turnovers.
The Spartans are still experimenting at quarterback, trying to find the right formula while mixing and matching three different guys. It was redshirt junior Noah Kim to start the first five games, then redshirt freshman Katin Houser the last four. Dual-threat freshman Sam Leavitt has been incorporated in the last three games as well, but it’s unclear if he’ll be an option moving forward since he’s now appeared in four games this season and cannot play any more if he wants to redshirt and not burn a year of eligibility. Leavitt said after the Nebraska game that he is undecided at the moment.
On defense, sophomore safety Jaden Mangham is having a standout season, with 39 total tackles (21 solo), four interceptions, and a fumble recovery. In last year’s game against Ohio State, Mangham had a helmet-to-helmet collision with Buckeye running back TreVeyon Henderson in the first quarter. Mangham was carted off the field attached to a backboard and taken to a local hospital. He would return to the sideline in street clothes later that game and would miss only the following game before returning.
“I definitely wasn’t going to let that stop me from having the season I wanted,” Mangham said. “I felt that situation definitely elevated me to a new level.”
Jaden’s older brother, redshirt senior running back Jaren, transferred to Michigan State from South Florida in January. Both brothers wear the No. 1.
Ohio State is undefeated and tops the College Football Playoff rankings for the second week in a row. The Buckeyes have reached the playoffs in three of head coach Ryan Day’s first four seasons at the helm (2019, ’20, ’22), and are firmly in control of their destiny in the Big Ten and beyond.
The Buckeyes’ defense is the star of the show right now, giving up fewer than 20 points in each of its first nine games. The Buckeyes rank second in the FBS in points allowed per game (10.7) behind only No. 3 Michigan (6.7), who they’ll face to close the regular season.
On offense, wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. is a Heisman contender and junior running back TreVeyon Henderson has tallied over 200 total yards in each of the last two games.
Under center, Kyle McCord might be undefeated as Ohio State’s starting quarterback, but he’s thrown three interceptions in his last two games after not throwing any in the previous six and hasn’t yet lived up to the high expectations set by the Buckeyes’ previous three starters (CJ Stroud, Justin Fields, and the late Dwayne Haskins – all first-round NFL picks). But McCord has been candid about his growing pains and said last week that the offense is “not anywhere close to where we want to be but definitely trending in the right direction.”
“Because we have so many weapons … we don’t need extraordinary play (from our quarterback),” Day said in June. “We need consistent play, we need smart play, need to take care of the football, play well on third down, execute really well in the red zone and lead the team.”
How to watch the Michigan State Spartans vs. the Ohio State Buckeyes
- When: Saturday, November 11
- Where: Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio
- Time: 7:30 pm ET (Pregame coverage begins at 7:00 pm ET)
- Watch: NBC, Peacock
How can I watch Big Ten on Peacock?
The Michigan State Spartans vs. the Ohio State Buckeyes game will broadcast on NBC and stream on Peacock. Sign up for Peacock here.
What devices support Peacock?
You can enjoy Peacock on a variety of devices.
See the full list of supported devices here.