Talented Buckeyes Outlast Gritty Gophers


Minnesota’s veteran squad put up a stout fight against the younger more talented Buckeyes. The Gophers efforts weren’t enough though. PJ Fleck had the Gophers ready to go. They played to the whistle. In the first half, they kept plugging away through adversity and ended the half with the lead. In the second half, several costly penalties shook the Gophers out of their rhythm, and they never recovered. They will hit the film room tomorrow, learn from this experience and be ready for next week. Hopefully, Mohamed Ibrahim’s injury isn’t too severe, and he is ready to play next week. He is the difference maker for their team. If he is healthy, they will make a bowl game this year.

Minnesota Running Back

The Buckeyes walked away with a win despite their young quarterback’s inexperience. Last night was 19-year-old CJ Stroud’s first college football game and it showed. He didn’t have the answers to multiple read routes. He was ineffective against the rush. He struggled outside the pocket. Stroud’s inconsistent play forced Coach Ryan Day to call a masterful game for his young signal caller. There were a lot of throws to the flats. The few balls that connected down field were due to excellent scheme and play calling. Coach Day was able to get Olave, Wilson and Henderson wide open for easy connections from Stroud. When I say wide open, I mean WIDE open. There were times when Olave caught the ball and there were no defenders within 5 yards of him. He also outran the whole defense on one catch. The bottom line here is, Coach Day along with the Buckeye receivers and backs made CJ Stroud look good. It’s not all bad for Stroud. He has a big accurate arm. He is unflappable. Despite all his struggles in the game, he stayed in the fight and kept working through adversity. CJ Stroud will continue to struggle, but through that struggle he should grow and improve each week. At the end of the game, Stroud showed his humility in the interview. He knows he has much to improve upon and he acknowledged it.


Ohio State has a good squad. Based on last night’s performance, they shouldn’t be ranked #4 in College Football. Minnesota also has a good squad, and they SHOULD be ranked in the top 25. Ohio State clearly had more talent on the field. Their superior talent, coupled with Coach Day’s masterful play calling won the day for the Buckeyes. Anything less, and Minnesota would have won their home opener.

Ohio State’s best units appear to be their wide receiver and running back corps. The offensive line played well. Their run blocking was outstanding. In contrast, the Buckeye defense has taken a step back. There were a couple of big plays for the defense. That was the good. There was a lot of bad. Linebackers and corners struggled in coverage at times. The run defense was extremely inconsistent. They looked fundamentally sound on one possession, and at other times they couldn’t even line up and hit their run fits correctly in other possessions. The Buckeyes have a lot to clean up on defense.

All in all, this was a great entertaining Thursday night football game to watch. The game gave us much to look forward to this season. Ohio State versus Oregon cannot come quick enough. I really think the Ducks have a shot at winning at the Shoe.

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