If you were wondering if Three Yards and Cloud of Dust is still a thing, let me tell, you it’s definitely dead.
Ohio State scored on plays of 71 yards, 38 yards, 56 yards, 70 yards and 61 yards to officially bury Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust and also bury Minnesota with lightening-strike scores to down the Gophers 45-31 in rainy Minneapolis in the season-opener for both teams.
The fireworks got started early. On OSU’s first possession running back Miyan Williams burst through a hole at right tackle then outraced the entire Minnesota defense down the sideline for a 71-yard scoring play to make it 7-0 Buckeyes.
That was it for big plays in the first half. OSU first-time starting quartercack C.J. Stroud sputtered a little in the first half, missing some open thows. As a result the Buckeyes managed just one more field goal in the half. Minnsota meanwhile rode the strong legs of running back Mohamed Ibrahim to take a 14-10 half time lead over OSU. The Gophers were aided by an interception thrown by Stroud that gave Minnesota the football on the OSU 37-yard line. The Gophers converted that turnover into a touchdown to give themselves the half time lead.
OSU wasted little time setting the tone in the second half. On their first possession Stroud completed a 38-yard pass to Chris Olave for a score to make it 17-14 OSU. Minnesota answered with a scoring drive of their own to regain the lead at 21-17.
OSU answered Minnesota’s TD with a one-play scoring drive when Stroud hit Garrett Wilson with a 56 yard touchodwn pass to put OSU up 24-21. The quick-strike Buckeyes then added another quick score, this time on defense, when defensive end Zach Harrison stripped Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan. The loose ball was picked up by OSU defensive Haskell Garrett who rumbled 38 yard with the scoop to score and make it 31-21 OSU.
Minnesota managed a field goal on their next possession to make it 31-24 but the Buckeyes scored on a three-play drive when freshman running back TreyVeyon Henderson took a short pass from Stroud and eluded the Minnesta defense for a 71 yard scoring pass play. That made the score 38-24. Minnesota continued to fight and scored with 5:31 remaining to make it a one touchdown game at 38-31. It took OSU just two plays to add another TD, this time on 61 yard completion to Wilson from Stroud.
It was a costly loss for the Gophers. Not only did they lose the game, but star tailback Ibrahim was injured late in the fourth quarter. His injury is being reported as a ruptured Achilles tendon which is most like a season-ending injury.
The Buckeye offense managed 495 yards against Minnesota, 294 passing and 201 rushing.
In his collegiate debut Stroud went 13 of 22 for 294 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Minnesota’s Tanner Morgan was 14 of 25 for 205 and one touchdown. Morgan had no interceptions but did have a fumble that was returned by the OSU defense for a touchdown.
Ibrahim led all rushers with 163 yards on 30 carries. OSU was led by Miyan Williams with 125 yards on nine carries.