Ohio State vs. Minnesota Prediction, Game Preview

    Ohio State vs. Minnesota prediction and game preview. The top-ranked Buckeyes look to win their 22nd straight game as they host the Golden Gophers.

    November 3, 2015

    Ohio State (8-0) just keeps rolling along through a mediocre schedule, but it still received a ton of respect in the first CFP rankings, checking in at No. 3. Can Minnesota (4-4) get past the heartbreak of last week’s loss to Michigan in time to shake up the 2015 season? Check out the Minnesota vs. Ohio State game preview and prediction.

    Minnesota vs. Ohio State Game Preview


    Date: Saturday, Nov. 7
    Game Time: 8:00 pm
    Venue: Ohio Stadium, Columbus OH

    Network: ABC

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    Why You Need To Care

    Minnesota had Michigan done. The Gophers were outplayed, but they still had the ball just a half-yard away from a special, all-timer of a win considering the drama of head coach Jerry Kill’s resignation. Stuffed by the Wolverines, now they’re on a rough run having lost three of their last four games, and needing to win two of their final four against Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin to become bowl eligible. But beating Ohio State would mean more than that. A win over the Buckeyes would be remembered far more than any bowl game the Gophers could get into at this point.

    Ohio State seems like it has a ton of drama, but all of it just floats away. There hasn’t been any real threat on the field this season – even though Indiana came up with some interesting moments – and the J.T. Barrett issues came at the absolute perfect time. Now the goal is to come off the bye week sharp, with the team coming off one of its best overall performances of the year in the win over Rutgers. With a road game at Illinois up next before the Michigan State and Michigan epics, this isn’t the time to slip.

    Why Minnesota Will Win

    All of a sudden, Mitch Leidner has become a playmaker. Minnesota buttered its bread over the last few years with a terrific running game, but with that being a bit of a problem, the offense has turned to Leidner to start throwing and keep pushing the ball down the field. While the Gophers lost their last two games, Leidner threw for 301 yards trying to get back in the game against Nebraska, and last week he threw for 317 yards with several big plays down the field. The best comp is Virginia Tech baller Michael Brewer, who was just heating up in the opener when Ohio State’s Adolphus Washington sat on him, knocking him out of the game and for a few weeks. Leidner has to get hot and put the Buckeyes on their heels.

    Why Ohio State Will Win

    Minnesota just doesn’t have the firepower. Even when the big plays come, they don’t always lead to points. When Ohio State swings for the fences, it hits a home run – Minnesota hits a lot of stand-up doubles. The Gophers have only scored more than 27 points once this year, beating Purdue 41-13. The Buckeyes scored 20 points against Northern Illinois, and 34 or more against everyone else – even though the offense has been generally, and unfairly, seen as a disappointment. The Ohio State secondary has been fantastic, and the run defense has been a killer for stretches. This really is a top three team, if not No. 1 – it just doesn’t always look like everyone wants it to.

    Player Who Matters

    All Cardale Jones has done is go 10-0 as a starter with a national title, a 28-point win over Penn State, and 1,266 yards this year with seven touchdown passes. J.T. Barrett might be a better fit for what Urban Meyer wants to do, but still, Cardale has been more than fine. Now he gets his chance again with Barrett suspended this week, and now we get to see what he can do when he’s not looking over his shoulder. He’s not going to get benched for Braxton Miller, and he’s not going to sit in a blowout. This is his game, and if he goes lights-out, suddenly, the quarterback situation is a massive mess again – about 100 other teams should be so lucky.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    Minnesota had its moment last week, but now it’s Ohio State’s time to rise up and dominate. Rested and ready to go, expect the Buckeyes to come out roaring and put on the type of performance it’s been starting to crank out regularly with wins over Penn State and Rutgers. Minnesota isn’t going to be able to move the ball.

    Minnesota vs. Ohio State Prediction

    Final Score: Ohio State 38, Minnesota 13, Line: Ohio State -24, o/u: 53.5

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