Ohio State Football 2010: Minnesota Game Is Practice for Younger Buckeye Players

Kelsey GivensAnalyst IIOctober 29, 2010

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 23:  Jordan Hall #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs with the ball against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ohio Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Tomorrow night, the Ohio State Buckeyes will take on the Minnesota Gophers in Minnesota at 8 p.m.

This game should be an easy win for the Buckeyes, as long as they play up to their potential. But more important than an easy win, this game could prove to be a great training event for the younger members of the OSU team.

So far this season the Buckeyes have only played two away games, one of which was a devastating loss against Wisconsin that knocked them out of the No. 1 spot two weeks ago.

While this game too will be an away game, it should be much easier this time around for OSU since the team has a history of dominating the Minnesota Gophers, and Minnesota hasn’t proven itself to be a big threat so far this season.

What OSU really needs to use this game for is style points and experience.

Fans and critics alike will be only be pleased with the Buckeyes this weekend if they come out of the Minnesota game like they did the Purdue game: with a huge score and a shutout.

In order for the Buckeyes to keep their spot in the polls, or to even advance in the polls, they will need to have another performance like last weekend. OSU will need to rack up the points early and keep the Gophers to either no points or only a few points during this game.

What would be really great to see on the field this weekend, though, aside from a shutout, would be to see the younger players getting an opportunity to get out on the field and get some more playing experience in.

The freshmen, sophomores and juniors are the future of this team...obviously. So far, from the time the younger freshmen and sophomore players have spent on the field this season, they have shown a lot of potential.

Defensively, these players seem to be right where they need to be.

During the Indiana, Purdue and Eastern Michigan games, the younger players came in and were able to hold off the offense. There were several great examples of this during the Indiana game and the Eastern Michigan game, where the offense got close to the end zone, but this young defense was able to hold them back and keep them from scoring.

Offensively, however, these younger players need some work.

During the Eastern Michigan game, the freshmen and sophomore players were put in towards the end of the first half. They were successful defensively, but they weren’t able to score anything offensively for quite some time.

The Minnesota game will be an excellent opportunity to give these future leaders of the team more playing time and experience. These are the players who take over when the likes of Terrelle Pryor, Cameron Heyward, Boom Herron, Dane Sanzenbacher and DeVier Posey graduate and leave the team.

If these young players get to play tomorrow night, it will be a great experience for them and a further introduction of these players to the public and to the fans.