Thursday night’s game between Ohio State and Minnesota No.4 will be a two-team clash starting in 2021 and totally different seasons in 2020. However, the Buckeyes and Gophers both have very big ones. hopes for the 2021 college football season, especially as they will make it the second Big Ten game of the year and a featured attraction on national television. Follow live updates from Ohio State Minnesota.
The state of Ohio entered 2020 with and living up to high expectations. The Buckeyes went 5-0 against a truncated Big Ten schedule and won the conference. They then took out Clemson in the college football playoffs before falling to Alabama in the national championship game. Minnesota had its own high expectations. The Golden Gophers had ended the 2019 season as one of the biggest surprises in the country. They finished 11-2 and ended the season with a win over Auburn in the Outback Bowl. Unfortunately for the Gophers, COVID-19 and injuries took their toll on the squad in 2020, and they limped all the way to the finish line at 3-4.
This season, despite losing key players, Ohio State is set to win the Big Ten again and compete for a playoff berth. On the other hand, no one is quite sure what to expect from Minnesota this season. Maybe Thursday night’s opening will give us a clearer picture.
Ohio State vs Minnesota: what to know
CJ Stroud intervenes: The Ohio State quarterback battle has been one of the most watched in the country this offseason as the Buckeyes sought out Justin Fields replacement. They hope they have found him in Stroud, who will make his first career debut on Thursday night. Stroud was the # 2 pro-style QB in the 2020 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite, and the California native has high expectations. Stroud had to beat other highly rated recruits for the job. His competition included Kyle McCord (five-star, 2021), Jack Miller (four-star, 2020) and Quinn Ewers (five-star, 2021), the latter of whom reclassified to join the Buckeyes this season.
The Buckeyes have the best receiving body in the country: Stroud will be aided by an incredible array of weapons at his disposal. Considering Ohio State’s talent as a wide receiver, you may wonder if former QB Justin Fields has less talent around him in the NFL with the Chicago Bears than he did in the university. Chris Olave finished last season with 729 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in seven games, while Garrett Wilson had 723 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Behind these two are other talented players like Julian Fleming and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. To get a better idea of the level of talent, Jameson Williams – who caught nine passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns last season – moved to Alabama (!) This offseason because he thought there was a way clearer towards a more constant playing time. the.
Mohamed Ibrahim is a workaholic: Ibrahim is the focal point of the Minnesota offensive. He finished last season 11th in the country with 1,076 rushing yards. However, that number is slightly misleading as Ibrahim has played at least three games less than any ranked full-back ahead of him. On a per game basis, Ibrahim’s 153.7 yards per game placed second behind Jaret Patterson of Buffalo. Additionally, no one in the country carried the ball more often, with Ibrahim averaging 28.7 carries per game.
Big boys in the front: The Gophers have two big returns on the offensive line. A major issue Minnesota faced last season was the loss of two pillars in the trenches. Daniel Faalele and Curtis Dunlap missed the season due to COVID-19, but both are back and ready for the 2021 season. It’s a big boost for a team that relies so much on their running game.
How to watch Ohio State vs. Minnesota live
Dated: Thursday September 2 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Site: TCF Bank Stadium – Minneapolis
TV: Fox | Direct: fuboTV (Try for free)
Ohio State vs Minnesota prediction, pick
It’s tough to face the Buckeyes in a Big Ten game. Ohio State won its six Big Ten games averaging 21.5 points last season. Of course, it’s possible that with a new quarterback below center and plenty of new faces in other places, the Buckeyes won’t be as effective in Game 1 of the season. Not to mention this is a road game where Ohio State will play in front of fans for the first time since 2019. Still, I don’t think Minnesota’s offense will be able to keep pace for 60 minutes, so I put the points with Ohio State. Prediction: Ohio State (-14.5)
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