Ohio State has won the last 10 meetings between these two schools, with Minnesota’s last win occurring in 2000, which just happened to take place in Columbus.
It also happened to be the year that John Cooper was fired.
I’m not saying Urban Meyer’s job is on the line this week, but I’m also not saying it isn’t.
The Buckeyes are 29.5-point favorites, but only 6-4 against the spread in the last 10 games against the Gophers.
So how do we see things going for Ohio State this weekend?
Probably pretty well.
Minnesota’s starting quarterback, Zack Annexstad, is a walk-on true freshman. That seems like a rather important thing to mention up front.
Three of their key receivers, Rashod Bateman, Demetrius Douglas, and Chris Autman-Bell are true, redshirt, and redshirt freshmen, respectively.
They will start true freshman Daniel Faalele at tackle. Faalele, as you may have heard, has nice size at 6-foot-9 and 400 lbs. Right guard Blaise Andreis is a redshirt freshman.
The two co-starters at running back, Mohamad Ibrahim and Bryce Williams, are redshirt and true freshmen, respectively as well.
An offense loaded with freshmen on the road is a recipe for a terrible, terrible day. That’s even more true when that offense is ranked 111th in S&P+ like Minnesota’s is.
If the OSU defense gives up a bunch of big plays again this week, it’s probably time to think about pushing the panic button.
Ohio State 42, Minnesota 13
The Golden Gophers have a young quarterback, a true freshman who is a walk-on. I don’t think he’s ready to face a team like Ohio State. I think even with the injuries on the defensive side of the ball, Ohio State’s defense is going to look better than they did last week.
This Minnesota team is good defensively, 21st nationally, but I really don’t think that is going to matter.
As much as I could analyze this game and the personnel, I am not going to do that. Ohio State is going to win this game, by a lot. Ohio State is too good in the passing game for Minnesota’s defense to be able to stop them from moving the ball and scoring.
I hope to see more of the run game from the Buckeyes, but I don’t know if that will happen this week. Either way, it’s all Buckeyes in this game.
Ohio State 42, Minnesota 13
Minnesota started off well with their non-conference schedule, going 3-0, but have found B1G conference opponents to be more difficult, losing their last two games. Ohio State will make it three in a row.
Urban Meyer is concerned about Minnesota defensive end Carter Coughlin impacting the game, so that will bear watching throughout the contest. The OSU offensive line has struggled with pass protection, so I want to see how the Buckeyes handle Coughlin.
Even with a good player like Coughlin, Minnesota does not have the depth to stay with Ohio State for four quarters. This game seems likely to mimic the earlier Oregon State/Rutgers/Tulane contests of this season, with the Buckeyes being able to rest starters in the second half.
Ohio State 56, Minnesota 14
This is the week where the Buckeye dominance has to really show up on the defensive side of the ball. No more excuses. No more whatever you want to throw out there to make everything okay. Minnesota has a freshman quarterback who will he handing off to a duo of freshmen tailbacks or throwing to two freshmen wide receivers. All while being blocked by two freshmen offensive linemen on the right side of the line. Ohio State must come out this game and dominate defensively. Elite players must start making elite plays.
On the offensive side of the ball, it will be much like we have seen all year. Ohio State will score as many points as they want to. With three of the four DBs for Minnesota being underclassmen (2 Fr./1 So.), expect Haskins to further his assault on the record books easily passing the 300-yard mark.
Ohio State 63, Minnesota 10
Row, row, row your boats
Right into The Shoe.
The freshman won’t survive our rush,
He’ll throw a pick or two.
Throw, throw, throw the ball
To Campbell, Hill and Mack.
Then smash the run, it’s always fun,
When our running backs attack.
Whether ground, air or defensive flair,
Buckeye efforts will be gallant.
I’d give the Gophers a fighting chance,
But they’re miles behind on talent.
My apologies, everyone. I’m still at home on paternity leave, so when a coach talks about rowing the boat my brain hears a children’s rhyme.
In short, OSU is far more talented in this matchup and it will show. The athletes along the defensive line force the Gophers’ freshman QB into making several errors and our offense moves the ball well against a decent Minnesota D.
Ohio State 52 – Minnesota 17
Anybody home? Hello, Mr. Gopher? Yeah, it’s me, Mr. Squirrel. Yeah, hi. I’m just a harmless squirrel, not a Chase Young or anything. Nothing to be worried about. I’m just here to make your last hours on earth as peaceful as possible. Yes, don’t mind this Dre’Mont Jones. This is just doctor’s orders and so forth.
Hey, you don’t mind if I just pop in there for a few laughs, huh? Yeah, that’s right. Well in the words of Jean-Paul Sartre, “au revoir, gopher.”
Ohio State 52, Minnesota 17
Minnesota’s record is deceiving. They come into Columbus with a winning record, but all three wins are against Group of Five competition. In B1G play, they’ve given up 45 points/game, and have only scored 22 points/game. That doesn’t bode well consider they’ve not faced an offense like Ohio State.
The Buckeyes will be able to do as they please on both sides of the ball. I’d love to see the rushing attack average north of 5 yards/carry, but I fear that’s wishful thinking. Instead, I expect Dwayne Haskins to further push his Heisman Campaign to new heights by having a big stat game and 4-5 TDs.
This is a game where the starters won’t need to play a lot more than they have, and anyone battling a injury needs to take it easy. It’s time to rest up and prepare for November.
Ohio State 52, Minnesota 20
The Gophers are so young that most of the team can’t even buy beer.
Fortunately, college football programs have staffers for that.
Dwayne Haskins is going to have another big game because Minnesota hasn’t seen anything like Ohio State’s passing game. Iowa threw for 314 yards last week. Carter Coughlin is the only Gopher defensive end with a sack this season, so you’d like to think the Buckeyes can provide adequate protection for their quarterback.
On the other side of the ball, Minnesota’s offense really shouldn’t have anything to test the Buckeyes. There is some talent at receiver, but if this Ohio State defense gives up more than one big play in the passing game, that would be very disappointing.
Ohio State 63, Minnesota 10