Buckeyes hit the madden burst against the Gophers late in the fourth to pull out a victory 45-31
Ohio State- The Buckeyes avoids an upset in their opener against the Minnesota Gophers.
The Buckeyes opened their 2021 season against an up and coming Minnesota Golden Gophers team that had a lot to prove this season. It was a packed house for prime time football for the first time since the global pandemic happened.
Ohio State drew first blood at the eight minute mark in the first with a 71-yard speed run by Miyan Williams to go up a touchdown over the Gophers, 7-0. On the Buckeyes second possession, CJ Stroud launched a 40-yard throw to Garrett Wilson, which he could not get to, because the cornerback was holding him. The referee saw the hold and threw his flag. The call was pass interference, which put Ohio ST. close to the rezone. A couple plays later, Ohio St. tacked on a field goal to extend their lead to 10-0 early in the second.
It seemed like all of the momentum was on the Ohio St. side, until missed tackles on a fourth and one, sprung a 56- yard run for the Gophers. Two plays later, Ohio State saw their lead disappear to three, as the Gophers scored a touchdown, 10-7.
Things started to go very sour for the Buckeyes midway in the second. After having their lead cut to three, Stroud threw an interception in double coverage on the ensuing possession, putting Minnesota in great position to put more points on the board. Ohio State had a chance to force the Gophers to kick a field goal after they did not convert on a third and goal, but was called for holding. Three plays later, Minnesota punched the ball in the endzone to go up 14-10 with under four minutes left in the half. Ohio walked into the locker down 14-10 and had a total of 185 yards.
With their backs against the wall and going into the second half down by four, Ohio St.attempted to let Stroud figure it out. Stroud did just that. He threw a 38-yard touchdown strike to Chris Olave to open up the third and the Buckeyes retook the lead 17-14. The lead disappeared just like that. Ohio State shot themselves in the foot with crucial penalties on the defensive side of the ball. They were called for a late hit on the QB after they got a much needed interception, which put the ball in the redzone for the Gophers. A play later, Minnesota found themselves back in the endzone to go back up 21-17.
Midway in the third, Stroud launched a 56-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson to retake the lead 24-21. After that touchdown, the Buckeyes' defense scored on the next series. Zach Harrison forced a strip sack. Haskell Garrett picked up the fumble and rumbled for a 32-yard touchdown to extend Ohio State's lead 31-21.
At the start of the fourth, the Gophers tacked on a field goal to cut Ohio States' lead to a one possession game, 31-24. The Buckeyes potentially iced the game with a 72- madden run burst by Treveyon Henderson to put a little space between them in the Gophers, 38-24 with nine minutes left in regulation.
The Buckeeys closed the door on a Gophers' upset with a late touchdown to nail the coffin 45-31.