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After Further Review: #4 Ohio State 45 Minnesota 31

Ohio State Explosive Plays Allow Them To Take Over The Game

Ohio State entered this game as double-digit favorites on the road (13.5) with an 18 game Big Ten win streak on the line; the Golden Gophers had Ohio State on the ropes a few times, but they could not keep pace with Ohio States Explosive offense. The Buckeye's first explosive play occurred in the first QTR when RB Myran Williams housed a run 71 yards putting his Buckeyes ahead 7-0. Ohio State would have a tough time sustaining drives in the first half, but sustaining drives would not be needed as Ohio State hit on explosive passing plays in the 2nd half of 38, 61, and 70 yards, all for TD's.

The Story of Two Halves

Minnesota was able to control the clock on offense throughout the game; the Gophers possessed the football for 18 minutes in the first half and 20 mins in the second half. The Gophers sustained long drives and bested Ohio State on third down, going 7-14, vs. Ohio State, who went 3-6 on the game. The Gopher game plan to sustain long drives and keep the talented Ohio State offense off the field worked until it didn't because Ohio State's talent would eventually take over. The Gophers ran 72 offensive plays to Ohio State's 42 total plays.

The Call Of The Game: Minnesota 4th and 1 From Their Own 29 In The 2nd QTR

Minnesota needed to find a way to flip momentum around the 10-minute mark of the 2nd QTR down ten points, P.J. Fleck made a bold decision that is the furthest from his Tresell ball background, going for it on 4th and one from his teams own 29-yard line. The gophers would convert with a run of 56 yards from their bowling ball RB Mohamed Ibrahim. Two plays later in the RedZone, Tanner Morgan would throw a beautiful fade to WR Dylan Wright to the left side of the endzone for a TD. Minnesota would seize momentum from here, eventually taking a 14-10 lead over Ohio State at halftime.

The Story Of The Night Was All About C.J. Stroud and How He Would Look

The main narrative leading into the game for Ohio State was how C.J. Stroud looks in his first game as a starting QB. He did okay, but he struggled at times with accuracy in the intermediate areas. He missed a few deep throws with guys open, but the athletes took over when he connected on the deep throws. The Tandem of Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson would not disappoint as both combined for 9 catches, 197 yards, and 3 TD's. Add in star RB Treveon Henderson who added a 70 yard TD reception on a throw behind the line of scrimmage, and that is three players accounting for 91% of CJ strouds 294 total yards of offense.

Offensive Player of The Game

Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud

13-22 (59%), 294 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT, 3 rush att, 13 rush yds

Even with his struggles, he overcame the adversity throwing for 4 TD's and leading Ohio State to a win on the road in a challenging environment.

Defensive Player Of The Game

Ohio State Edge Zach Harrison

3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 forced fumble (strip-sack)

Harrison made a massive play in the third QTR that shifted the momentum back into Ohio State's favor when he came free off the edge to strip-sack, Tanner Morgan, leading to a Haskel Garrett scoop and score.

Other Notable Performance

RB Mohamed Ibrahim

30 rush att, 164 rush yds, 5.4 yds per att, 2 rush TD's

Ibrahim was the game's unsung hero, leading Minnesota's rush attack between the tackles before being injured in the third QTR. His injury is still unconfirmed at this point. But a tweet from Pro Football Doc last night indicated it might be an achilles injury which could be a season-ender.

In summary

Ohio State has some things to work on, and as they say, you make the most significant jump in terms of improvement from week one to week 2. Ohio State does not have much time to waste with the Oregon Ducks coming to Columbus next week. The talent can help Ohio State take over in games where they struggle against lesser opponents, and they might not be as fortunate down the line when they face teams with equal or close to equal talent. Oregon is not as talented, but they might be the most talented opponent they will face the rest of the year.


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