Friday, November 14, 2014

On The Mark 11.14.14: #Buckeyes vs. #Minnesota Preview

By @MarkW2112

The 8th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes face off against the 25th ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers in another Big 10 showdown that the Buckeyes must win in order to maintain any hope of getting in to the 4 man playoff.

The Buckeyes proved themselves more than worthy of that playoff spot after defeating the Michigan State Spartans 49-37 with an impressive display of offensive firepower.  As On The Mark has pointed out many times the past few weeks, J.T. Barrett has improved week after week and his calm and cool demener against a very tough Spartan defense was extraordinarily impressive.  Ezekiel Elliot also showed why he might be one of the best rushers in the Big 10.  While the Spartans offense was able to  keep Joey Bosa from doing too much damage, Michael Bennett was a beast and the defense as a whole was able to keep the Spartans at bay when needed.

The Golden Gophers, coming off a huge 51-14 win against Iowa, are 7-2.  David Cobb is their biggest offensive weapon, rushing for an average of 133 yards per game.  But the Golden Gophers haven't played an opponent as strong and as fast as the Buckeyes.  It will be very cold in Minneapolis so that might be a factor that helps the Golden Gophers but not much since Ohio State players should be used to the snow and cold also.

My take:  While it won't be a cake walk, the Buckeyes have the big advantage here.  No game is easy and there are always what ifs but at this point J.T. Barrett has the offense working on all cylinders.  If he can't throw the ball due to snowy conditions, Ezekiel Elliot and Barrett should be able to run the ball with ease.  The defense will look to shut down Cobb and let quarterback Mitch Leidner beat them.

Prediction: The Buckeyes, 14 point favorites on the road, will beat the Golden Gophers, scoring over 50 points once again

What: Ohio State Buckeyes at Minnesota Golden Gophers
Where: TFC Bank Stadium, Minnesota, MN
Time: 12:00 EST

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