Ohio State Football, Sports

Ohio State/Minnesota Preview

09.26.07 | Comment?

Minnesota’s RB Pinnix
Minnesota RB Pinnix

This Saturday, September 29nd, the mighty Buckeyes travel to the Metrodome to battle the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Kickoff is scheduled for 8pm EDT and the game will be televised on ESPN2. A detailed technical preview of the game with data, records, statistics, lineups, etc is available at Bucknuts.

This is the first of three night, away games for the Buckeyes (Purdue follows next week and Penn State is later in the season.) If there’s one reason to worry about this game, it’s that it’s at night, away. In the last four night, away games, Ohio State is 2-2, with a two game win streak. If there’s a minor reason to worry about this game, it’s that the Gophers have an offense averaging 487 yards and 35 points per game. They have a strong running game, the strongest the Bucks have seen so far this year. On the flip side, the Ohio State defense is holding opponents to 178 yards and 7 points per game this season, obviously, something has to give.

If there’s a reason for optimism, it’s that Minnesota’s defense has been, shall we say, somewhat porous, allowing 543 yards and 38 points a game. In contrast, the Buckeye offense is averaging 414 yards and 37 points per game…this points to a high probability of the Buckeyes scoring at least 38 points. That is, if there are no turnovers, special teams gaffs, or other mental errors that kill drives and give life to the Gophers. If we subscribe to the notion that Ohio State will score 38, how many will Minnesota score? The numbers would suggest to expect 21 points. Watching this defense thus far this year, would point to fewer points. But, I don’t believe they’ve been tested sufficiently up the gut with a good running game, and we’ll see that from Minnesota this week.

So, what will happen, barring bizarre turnovers and mental errors, I would expect to see 21-28 points from Ohio State in the first half and 14-21 points in the second. From a Minnesota perspective, I would expect 14-21 points in the first half and up to 10 points in the second half. I think Minnesota will score in this game. Wait, I’ve got it: Ohio State 41 Minnesota 24. Given that there is a 23.5 point spread, I don’t think the Bucks cover this week. As always, we’ll check back on Saturday to see just how wrong this prediction was. Go Bucks!

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