The college football offseason always tends to feel like it’s taking forever, so here’s some good news: the Ohio State 2021 schedule will now start two days earlier than expected.
Ohio State will open their 2021 season at Minnesota on Thursday, September 2. That game was originally scheduled for Saturday, September 4. The Gophers’ athletic department confirmed the news to TheOzone.
That’s good news for another reason as well. The weather should be significantly more welcoming than it was the last time OSU traveled to Minneapolis.
Back in 2014, J.T. Barrett led the Bucks to a 31-24 win on a mid-November day when the temperature at kickoff was just 15 degrees. That was the coldest OSU game in more than 50 years.
The Gophers have turned a Thursday evening home opener into something of a tradition recently.
They will open 2020 on a Thursday against Florida Atlantic, and have started every season since 2013 with a home game on a Thursday evening.
Weeknight games are a little more of a rarity for the Buckeyes.
They last played a regular season weeknight game at Northwestern in October 2019, a 52-3 Buckeye win on a Friday night.
Their last weeknight season opener was in the 2017 at Indiana, when true freshman J.K. Dobbins debuted with 29 carries for 181 yards in a 49-21 victory.
They opened the season on a Monday night in 2015 at Virginia Tech, a 42-24 win on Labor Day. That was the “Braxton Miller spin move” game.
The last time the Buckeyes played a regular season game at home on a weeknight was the 2010 season opener, a Thursday night game against Marshall. OSU won that game, 45-7.
Before that, you have to go all the way back to the 1997 season opener against Wyoming to find another midweek home game. That was a 24-10 Buckeye win.
They last played a regular season game on a Sunday in the 1999 Kickoff Classic in New Jersey against Miami. The Buckeyes lost that game, 23-12.
They played another Sunday season opener in the 1995 Kickoff Classic, a 38-6 win over Boston College.
The 1994 season opener against Fresno State was on a Monday night in the Pigskin Classic in California.
Those are the only non-Saturday regular season games the Buckeyes have played in since 1990.