Minnesota at Ohio State: What to know about Saturday’s game

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Who: Minnesota (5-5, 3-4 Big Ten) at No. 2 Ohio State (10-0, 7-0)

When: 4 p.m., Saturday

Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

TV/Radio: Big Ten Network/1410

Series history: Ohio State leads 47-7 with a 24-3 advantage in Columbus. The Buckeyes have won 12 in a row against the Golden Gophers.

Last meeting: C.J. Stroud threw for 294 yards and four touchdowns as Ohio State beat Minnesota 45-31 in the 2021 season opener. That was Stroud’s first career start, and it served as the college football debut for Marvin Harrison Jr., TreVeyon Henderson, J.T. Tuimoloau, Denzel Burke and several others who are mainstays on the current squad.

Coaches: Ohio State’s Ryan Day is 55-6 in five seasons, including 38–2 in the Big Ten. Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck is 79-54 in 11 seasons overall and 49-32 in seven seasons leading the Golden Gophers.

Ohio State notes: Ohio State is second in the nation in passing yards allowed (149.8 per game), second in points allowed (9.9 per game) and 11th in passes defended (54)… Cade Stover is No. 3 in career receptions for a tight end at Ohio State with 75… Ohio State averaged 165.6 yards rushing in its last three games compared to 138.6 on the season… Ohio State leads the Big Ten in passing yards (290.2 per game) and total offense (428.8)… Kyle McCord leads the Big Ten in yards per completion (14.07)… The Buckeyes are minus-1 in turnovers this season.

Minnesota notes: The Golden Gophers last beat Ohio State in 2000… Dragan Kesich is a Lou Groza Award semifinalist and has made 21 of 25 field goals… Fleck was a graduate assistant at Ohio State in 2006… Minnesota’s roster includes three players from Ohio — freshman OL Phillip Daniels (Cincinnati Princeton), junior kicker Jacob Lewis (Delaware Olentangy Berlin) and sophomore LB Devon Williams (Dublin Coffman).

Quoted: Fleck on his team struggling to meet expectations this season: “I know it’s not where everybody wants it to be, but the year seven piece, that doesn’t make a lot of sense when you’re talking about, ‘It’s year seven (so) should be at X, Y and Z.’ But with the portal and NIL and all those things, we knew we had an experienced team last year, and this team is gonna get a lot younger and a lot more inexperienced really quickly, especially with the way that we run our program, and we showed our team that yesterday. This is a bunch of different teams. They’ve had 10 wins, nine wins, 11 wins — whatever — and then boom. There’s a year they had maybe an injury bug or they had to be able to get a little younger first. And that’s kind of what we showed them. That it happens all over the country to a lot of different teams.”

Next week: The Buckeyes will travel to Ann Arbor to play Michigan for the 119th time at noon next Saturday. Minnesota returns home to play Wisconsin for Paul Bunyan’s Axe.

Prediction: Ohio State 35, Minnesota 10

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