I saw Ohio State was ranked 4th coming into their game with Minnesota, but with college football teams only playing a little more than half of the games scheduled last season, I didn’t know what to expect. Who’s for real? Who’s as good as advertised?
Lots of questions. On top of that, you have Ohio State on the road with a young quarterback leading the way.
Ohio State’s ground game was barely talked about this offseason, probably for two reasons; one, every one seemed overly concerned about the quarterback situation, and two, the man responsible for carrying the load was a red-shirt freshman.
We quickly learned about Miyan Williams though, and the rare combination of bulk and speed he possesses. The young running back scored the Buckeye’s first touchdown. It was a 72-yard run around the right end; impressive for the 5’8″ 225 pounder.
CJ Stroud started of well, 5of 7, but his play declined in the second quarter. After throwing an interception, Minnesota punched it in on a third and goal to take the lead 14-10. Ohio State got the ball back with a few minutes left in the third, and suddenly, Stroud was faced with adversity. We knew it wasn’t going to take long, and we knew Minnesota wouldn’t take it easy on him.
The Gophers defense hung tough, and Ohio State went three and out. Minnesota came back from a ten-point deficit. They were losing 10-0, and in what seemed like a blink of an eye, they were leading 14-10 and driving for a third score as time was winding down in the second quarter.
The Buckeye defense held, and the half ended.
Minnesota running back, Mohamed Ibrahim, rushed 114 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries IN THE FIRST HALF!
The second half belonged to Ohio State as they outscored Minnesota 35-17 and won the game 45-21. CJ Stroud’s play picked up also in the second half. He threw his first touchdown of the season on the first drive of the third quarter; a deep cross to WR, Chris Olave.
That’s how you want to come out of the locker room.
The Buckeye defense came up big on several drives including the strip sack that was actually a fumble and then scooped and scored by defensive lineman Haskell Garrett.
Before the night was over, Stroud threw for 294 yards and four touchdowns. WR, Chris Olave, had 4 catches for 117 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Minnesota was competitive as expected, and they hung around, but Ohio State came up with the big plays both offensively and defensively when they needed them the most.