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Ranking Ohio State’s 2021 opponents by difficulty: No. 9 – Michigan State

An early look at each upcoming adversary on the Buckeyes’ 2021 schedule, and an attempt at putting them in order from least to most challenging for Ohio State.

RELATED: Ranking Ohio State’s 2021 opponents by difficulty: No. 12 – Akron

RELATED: Ranking Ohio State’s 2021 opponents by difficulty: No. 11 – Tulsa

RELATED: Ranking Ohio State’s 2021 opponents by difficulty: No. 10 – Rutgers

2021 Ohio State Football Schedule

Sept. 2 – at Minnesota

Sept. 11 – Oregon

Sept. 18 – Tulsa

Sept. 25 – Akron

Oct. 2 – at Rutgers

Oct. 9 – Maryland

Oct. 23 – at Indiana

Oct. 30 – Penn State

Nov. 6 – at Nebraska

Nov. 13 – Purdue

Nov. 20 – Michigan State

Nov. 27 – at Michigan

The Buckeyes blew past Michigan State 52-12 in its own backyard last season.
The Buckeyes blew past Michigan State 52-12 in its own backyard last season. (© Joshua A. Bickel/Columbus Dispatch via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

The Ohio State program has been going one way in recent years, and Michigan State has been going the other. That divide has never been more evident than in this past year’s matchup, in which Mel Tucker’s Spartans couldn’t come closer than a 40-point margin by game’s end.

Tucker’s first year at the helm was not one to remember, as Michigan State won just two of its seven contests in 2020 and possessed the Big Ten’s worst offense in both average yardage and scoring.

In fact, with both of the Spartans’ wins being relatively impressive last season, coupled with the program’s reputation, Michigan State might have snuck up a couple spots higher on this list if not for the offensive ineptitude put on display.

If teams can’t apply pressure on a potentially suspect Buckeye pass defense in 2021, they won’t find it easy to get a jump on the Scarlet and Gray.

Oh, and did I mention that the Spartan defense also gave up the most points on average in the entire conference as well?

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