Gophers spook Ohio State before Buckeyes pull away 30-14
COLUMBUS, Ohio To pull off an upset of massive portions, a football team needs a lot to go its way. Avoiding turnovers, capitalizing on opportunities and getting a proper officials call to go your way are ingredients to that end.
The Gophers, 29andfrac12;-point underdogs entering Saturdays game at Ohio Stadium, threw a big scare into third-ranked Ohio State before the Buckeyes emerged with a 30-14 victory in front of 100,042.
Dwayne Haskins competed 33 of 44 passes for 412 yards and three TDs as the Buckeyes (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) defeated the Gophers (3-3, 0-3) for the 11th consecutive time. Ohio State entered Saturday averaging 49 points per game.
Mohamed Ibrahim rushed 23 times for 157 yards and two touchdowns for the Gophers, while Zack Annexstad completed 13 of 23 passes for 218 yards but threw two interceptions. Tyler Johnson caught eight passes for 119 yards.
Three turnovers (two interceptions thrown by Annexstad and a fumble by Johnson), two missed field-goal attempts by Emmit Carpenter and a highly questionable fourth-down spot in favor of the Buckeyes helped doom the upset bid.
The Gophers opened the game with two big plays to reach the Ohio State 47. Annexstad for hit Johnson for a 13-yard gain and Ibrahim followed with a 15-yard run. But Annexstad overthrew Rashod Bateman, and Buckeyes cornerback Kendall Sheffield intercepted the pass at the OSU 13.
The Buckeyes cashed that in for a 21-yard field goal by Sean Nuernberger for a 3-0 lead. Keying the 12-play, 81-yard drive was Haskins 42-yard pass to K.J. Hill to the Minnesota 9. On third down, Gophers cornerback Coney Durr broke up a pass intended for Austin Mack in the end zone. It was Durrs third pass breakup on the series.
Minnesotas offense got moving on its next series, and the result was a 7-3 Gophers lead.
On third-and-3 from the Gophers 32, Ibrahim ran through a huge hole created by center Jared Weyler for a 25-yard gain to the Ohio State 43. Ibrahim had a 9-yard run to the 34, and Annexstad hit Tyler Johnson for a 2-yard gain and a first down. Annexstad found Bryce Williams for a 14-yard gain to the 18, and Seth Green followed with carries of 8, 7 and 2 yards out of the Wildcat to the OSU 1. Ibrahim finished the 11-play, 75-yard march with a 1-yard TD run with 3:44 left in the first quarter.
Ohio State responded with Haskins 41-yard touchdown pass to Terry McLaurin for a 10-7 lead with 1:07 left in the first quarter. It came one play after Mike Weber was given credit for converting a fourth-and-2 situation with a 3-yard run. Weber received a generous spot on the play he was well short of the line to gain and the play was not reviewed.
The Gophers answered right back for a 14-10 lead on Ibrahims 3-yard TD run that capped a nine-play, 75-yard march. Annexstad hit Johnson for as 29-yard gain to start the drive. A pass interference penalty moved it to the Ohio State 31, and Annexstad found Johnson for 13 to the 18. They hooked up again for a 12-yard gain to the 5 on third-and-9.
On Ohio States next possession, Durr, starting in place of the injured Terell Smith, hit Haskins late after the QB slid and was ejected for targeting. That penalty moved the ball to the Minnesota 49, and the Buckeyes drove to the 17, but Gophers linebacker Blake Cashman stuffed J.K. Dobbins for 1-yard loss on fourth down.
Ibrahim gained 34 yards to the OSU 48 on the next play. Annexstad hit Johnson over the middle, but Johnson fumbled just after making a catch and the Buckeyes recovered at their 24. A video review confirmed the call.
Ohio State scored on that with Haskins 36-yard TD pass to Hill for a 17-14 lead with 3:59 left in the half.
In the third quarter, the Gophers forced Ohio State to punt for the first time with Carter Coughlins second-down sack for a 10-yard loss being the key. The Buckeyes, however, downed the ball at the Minnesota 1.
The Gophers went three-and-out, and Ohio State drove to Minnesotas 30 before settling for Blake Haubells 47-yard field goal for a 20-14 lead with 7:10 left in the third quarter.
Minnesota drove to Ohio States 14 late in the third quarter. Annexstad threw high to Johnson on second down and had his third-down pass batted down by Justin Hilliard. Emmit Carpenter then was wide right on a 32-yard field-goal attempt. On the drive, the Gophers faced first-and-25 after a personal foul penalty. A 17-yard reception by Bateman and a 20-yard run on third down by Ibrahim moved ball to Ohio State 30.
Ohio State stretched the lead to 23-14 on Haubells 27-yard field goal with 10:20 left in the fourth quarter. It capped a 12-play, 71-yard drive and gave the Buckeyes a two-score cushion.
Annexstad hit tight end Bryce Witham for a 41-yard gain to the Ohio State 34 on a reverse flea flicker. On the next play, however, Annexstad overthrew Johnson and Isaiah Pryor intercepted the pass at the 2.
Later in the quarter, the Gophers drove to the OSU 31, but Carpenter missed from 49 yards.
The Buckeyes added Haskins 27-yard TD pass to Hill with 2:15 left.