Ohio State-Minnesota: 5 fun facts about the series between the Buckeyes and Gophers

Credit: Jeff Gross

Credit: Jeff Gross

Ohio State is set to host Minnesota on Saturday.

Before the first meeting between the teams in three years, here is a look at the all-time series.

1. Ohio State leads 44-7*. 

The Buckeyes won the first meeting 27-0 in Columbus in 1921.

The Golden Gophers won the next meeting 9-0 in Minneapolis the next season, then the series went dormant for nine seasons before Ohio State traveled north again and lost 19-7 in 1932.

(*That includes a 52-10 win in 2010 that was vacated because of NCAA sanctions.)

2. Series gaps have been common. 

Despite both being members of the Big Ten, Ohio State and Minnesota only played five times between 1920 and 1941.

That was unfortunate because while the Buckeye program was growing into what has become one of the winningest of all time, the Gophers were a national power in the ‘30s and ‘40s.

They won three Associated Press national championships (1936, ’40 and ’41) but only played Ohio State once in those campaigns, a 13-7 Minnesota win in 1940.

And did they play in ’42 when coach Paul Brown’s Buckeyes won their first AP crown? Nope.

The teams also did not meet from ’51 to ’64.

Since 2003, the Buckeyes and Golden Gophers have only played eight times. They are not scheduled to play in 2019 or ’20.

3. Minnesotans in Scarlet and Gray have been rare. 

James Laurinaitis made history even before he suited up for Ohio State from 2005-08.

When the Wayzata High School graduate signed, he became the first Buckeye on scholarship for football since Sid Gillman in the 1930s.

Since then, Eden Prairie defensive end Willie Mobley is the only other Ohio State signee from Minnesota.

Laurinaitis and Gillman are both members of the Ohio State Varsity O Athletics Hall of Fame.

Gillman is also a member of the college and pro football halls of fame, and he is known as the father of the modern passing game.

4. Ohio State is 37-2 against the Gophers since 1969. 

The teams did play every year in the ‘70s, and it did not go well for Minnesota, a which went 0-for-the-decade.

The Gophers snapped a 12-game losing streak to Ohio State in 1981 then lost another 16 in a row before a 29-17 upset at Ohio Stadium in 2000.

Ohio State has won all 10 meetings since, most recently a 28-14 victory at Ohio Stadium in 2015.

5. Minnesota likes to recruit Ohio. 

This is not unique among Big Ten teams, of course, but it is still notable.

The 2018 Minnesota depth chart lists starting center Jared Weyler, a fifth-year senior from Centerville, reserve guard Austin Beier, a freshman from Toledo St. John’s and linebacker Thomas Rush, a freshman from Marysville.

The roster also includes freshman defensive end Alex Reigelsperger (Wayne), freshman receiver Jomell Manns (Mansfield Senior) and redshirt freshman Malcolm Robinson (Massillon Washington).

Current Springfield senior Michael Brown-Stephens is verbally committed to Minnesota for the class of 2018.

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