Ohio State is still trying to make up for their rough loss to Virginia Tech earlier in the season. They came into today's contest having won their last 7 games in a row and ranked 8th overall in the College Football Playoff rankings, just placing them a few spots behind the 4 main coveted positions. It is important for the Buckeyes to keep winning so that they have a chance to make the playoff in it's inaugural season.
Both teams would start out slow though, with them both going 3 and out on their initial possession, but it's always difficult going against an Urban Meyer offense because they hit home runs on so many plays. The first of those plays came on Ohio State's second possession of the game when possession. Barrett would burst down the field for an 86 yard touchdown run. Then the Buckeye defense would force another 3 and out from Minnesota and would score from far away again. This time J.T. Barrett would use his arm to find Jalin Marshall for a 57 yard touchdown reception. The Buckeyes were up 14-0 and the game was still in the first quarter, it looked like another game where the Buckeyes just blow their opponent out of the water.
But Jerry Kill's squad was not done yet. The momentum started to change when J.T. Barrett threw an interception to Briean Boddy-Calhoun, a Junior defensive back for the Golden Gophers. David Cobb would rush on 5 straight plays to get 39 rushing yards and a touchdown to make the game closer. After another couple of three and outs the Buckeyes moved the ball 94 yards down the field, but that is where Briean Boddy-Calhoun would force a fumble, keeping the Buckeyes just 2 yards out of the end zone, and the Golden Gophers would recover. The Gophers would drive down the field and then find a stroke of luck when David Cobb would rush it in for another score, this time from 30 yards out on 3rd and 15. That would tie the game at 14 each but the Buckeyes would drive down a majority of the field and Sean Nuernberger nailed a 22 yard field goal to give the Buckeyes a 3 point lead before the half.
The Gophers had the ball to start the second half, but they would end up missing a 52 yard field goal attempt by Ryan Santoso. The Buckeyes then had the ball at the 42 yard line and were able to quickly move down the field to extend their lead when J.T. Barrett would throw for another touchdown as Michael Thomas would score from 30 yards out this time. The Buckeyes defense would rise to the occasion as well, with them intercepting Mitch Leidner on the next two Gopher possessions. The second interception would give the Buckeyes possession for their final scoring drive, with J.T. Barrett throwing his third touchdown of the contest to Evan Spencer from 22 yards out.
Minnesota would have a little bit of life left in them as they were trying to come back. With just under 8 minutes left in the game, Ohio State would muff a punt and Minnesota got the ball right in the red zone. David Cobb got another rushing touchdown to get them Gophers within 10 points. Minnesota would score on a 34 yard Ryan Santoso field goal with just over a minute left, but the game would end when they couldn't recover their onside kick.
Next up on the schedule for the Ohio State Buckeyes (9-1, 6-0) is a home contest against the Indiana Hoosiers. In two weeks they have the critical rivalry game against That Team Up North. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-3, 4-2) have two critical Big 10 West games left as they go to Lincoln, Nebraska to face the Cornhuskers next week, and then to Camp Randall Stadium to face the Wisconsin Badgers to conclude the season.