Photos by TJ Foreman and Phil Taylor
Lucas Oil Stadium played host to the Dec. 7, 2013 Big Ten Conference Football Championship, featuring the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Michigan State Spartans.
The scenario was simple. A win would crown Ohio State as the Big Ten Champion, ease most doubts of Ohio State's #2 ranking, and vault them into the VIZIO BCS National Championship Game in January against Florida State.
The Michigan State Spartans had other plans. Not only did their top-ranked defense keep an explosive offense at bay, but their own offense was up to the task, upsetting Ohio State 34-24.
A fairly even stat-line cannot capture the methodical offensive ball movement and clock control of the Spartans. Quarterback Connor Cook threw for 304 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception, with 24 completions spread between 8 different receivers. Running back Jeremy Langford netted 128 yards on 24 carries, with a late 4th quarter touchdown that sealed the win.
The Buckeyes entered the contest averaging 48 points and 530 yards per game, but were held in check. Quarterback Braxton Miller totaled 101 yards and 1 touchdown passing, with 142 rushing yards and 2 scores. Carlos Hyde added 118 yards rushing.
The MSU defense came up big when it counted, notably stopping Braxton short on two 4th down conversion attempts at critical points in the game. Spartan head coach, Mark Dantonio, added "We know the defense is going to do their job. If it's up to us as an offense to score 28 points or more, we feel we can come away with the win."
Michigan State (12-1) will face Stanford (11-2) New Year's Day for their first Rose Bowl game since 1988. Ohio State (12-1) is headed to the Discover Orange Bowl to battle Clemson (10-2) on January 3rd.