Ohio State football: Buckeyes rally to beat Minnesota

Ohio State weathered a few storms Thursday night and beat Minnesota 45-31 to open the season.

On a wet night in front of a hostile crowd, both teams scored on their first possession of the second half.

C.J. Stroud found Chris Olave for a 38-yard touchdown for the Buckeyes, but Minnesota answered with a 19-yard run by Mohamed Ibrahim to put the Gophers back on top 21-17.

The Gophers’ drive was kept alive by a personal foul on Dallas Gant for roughing the passer, a flag that negated an interception.

Ohio State went back on top with 5:12 to go in the third quarter when Stroud faked a handoff, dropped back and found Garrett Wilson wide open across the middle. He had left Minnesota’s Calvin Swenson far behind, gathered the ball in and strode into the end zone to give Ohio State a 24-21 advantage.

The Buckeyes extended the lead via the defense on the next drive as Zach Harrison got around the edge and stripped the ball from Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan. It bounced around and found its way into the arms of Haskell Garrett, and the Ohio State defensive tackle returned it 32 yards for a touchdown.

The Gophers made it a one-score game again when Matthew Trickett made a 46-yard field goal with 10:39 left in the fourth quarter, and the home team then had a shot to get the ball back with a chance to tie the game.

However, Ryan Day made the Minnesota defense pay for getting too aggressive on a third-and-5, dialing up a screen to TreVeyon Henderson, who picked up a couple of blocks early then showed why he was the No. 1 running back recruit in the class of 2021 as he accelerated through the secondary for a 70-yard score.

Minnesota wasn’t done, though.

The Gophers answered with a 75-yard touchdown drive. Bryce Williams finished it with a 2-yard touchdown run with 5:31 left, but it was only a one-score game for 52 seconds.

After Miyan Williams gained 14 yards on first down, Ohio State dialed up another play-action pass, and Stroud found Olave open down the field. He looked like he might go out of bounds but cut back and went for a jaunt through the rest of the Minnesota secondary for his second touchdown catch of the night. That one covered 61 yards.


Minnesota overcame a sluggish start to take the lead going into the locker room in the season opener between the Golden Gophers and fourth-ranked Ohio State.

Miyan Williams went 71 yards on a counter play to start the scoring for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State put all of their eligible receivers too the left of the formation and then ran back to the right, out-flanking the Gophers when the end lost contain and the safety wasn’t able to corral the redshirt freshman running back near the line of scrimmage. He got loose and scampered down the sideline untouched from there to cap a 91-yard drive.

After Ohio State forced a punt, the Buckeyes had to start inside their own 10-yard line again.

This time they drove to the Minnesota 17 before stalling and having to settle for a 35-yard field goal from North Carolina transfer Noah Ruggles.

That made it 10-0 with 12:50 to go in the second quarter.

Minnesota answered with an 80-yard scoring drive capped with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Morgan to Dylan Wright, who caught the ball over the coverage of freshman cornerback Lejond Cavazos.

The key play on the drive was a 56-yard run by Mohamed Ibrahim on fourth-and-1 early in the second quarter. Cavazos had a chance to bring down Ibrahim after a short gain but whiffed, and Minnesota dominated the rest of the half.

On the next Ohio State drive, C.J. Stroud threw behind Chris Olave, who was only able to get a hand on the ball and deflect it to a Minnesota defender.

That set the Gophers up at the Buckeyes’ 37, and they cashed in eight plays later when Ibrahim plowed into the end zone from a yard out.

That gave the hosts a 14-10 lead.

They had a chance to add to their advantage late in the half, but Cody Simon sacked Morgan on a third down play to knock the Gophers back onto their side of the field with time running down.

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