Ohio State has won seven in a row against Minnesota and will look to keep their momentum rolling after a 49-0 beatdown of Purdue last Saturday.
Buckeye Nation will be hoping for a similar outcome in this week's prime-time road matchup against 1-7 Minnesota after the debacle in Wisconsin two weeks ago.
When Ohio State has the ball
The Gophers field the nation's 90th-ranked defense, allowing opponents to average over 400 yards per game. Ohio State should be able to run and pass the ball with success, and I expect coach Jim Tressel to establish the run early against a Gophers defense that surrenders over 190 rushing yards per game.Dan Herron has a legitimate shot to record his first 100-yard rushing game as a Buckeye now that he is the feature back as Brandon Saine is playing more at wideout.
The Gophers give up over 200 yards per game through the air, so look for Terrelle Pryor to put up similar numbers to last week's game against Purdue. He threw for over 270 yards with three touchdowns. Pryor will most likely be looking to stay in the pocket as he is still nursing a bad quad; he ran four times for minus-two yards last week.
Dane Sanzenbacher and DeVier Posey both will have opportunities for big games, but look for true freshman Corey "Philly" Brown to have a breakout game.Brown had two catches for 38 yards with a touchdown and also had one rush for 18 yards on an end around against Purdue last week.
Buckeye coaches are high on Philly; don't be surprised to see the coaches get creative in finding ways to get Brown and his blazing 4.30 speed the ball.
When Minnesota has the ball
Leading the Gopher offense is Adam Weber, a redshirt senior who has thrown for over 1,900 yards and 17 touchdowns this season.
Weber has been the starter for four years, but he is prone to turning the ball over, throwing 49 interceptions in his Gopher career. Expect Weber to force some throws in this one with Cameron Heyward, Nathan Williams, John Simon, and Dexter Denlinger harassing him all game.
The Buckeyes are thin in the secondary due to injuries, but I do not see Weber having enough time in the pocket for it to be of a concern.
Minnesota will have to at least try to run the ball against Ohio State, which may be a daunting task after its dominating performance last week against Purdue (30 yards on 27 attempts).
The Gophers running game consists of Duane Bennett and DeLeon Eskridge, both of whom have over 400 yards on the year. Eskridge is the better of the two and is supposed to start getting the majority of the carries but I don't see either running back having much of an effect on the game.
It is a prime-time road game for the Buckeyes and you never know what could happen in these kinds of games when you're heavily favored, but the Buckeyes are too superior too focused to even let it get close.
Score: Buckeyes 42, Gophers 10