#19 Ohio State v Minnesota
Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
The defense can’t win every game and we found out that reality the hard way on Saturday. The Buckeye offense is not improving but instead regressing from even a few weeks ago. Purdue absolutely was the better team on the field and deserved to win. The final score wasn’t even that close. Now another bad Big Ten team is gong to try to kick the Buckeye horse while it’s down. The Minnesota Golden Gophers come to town for what should have been an easy win but now turns out to be a season determining game.
Its official, the offense is bad. The coaching is bad, the line play is bad, the quarterback play is bad, and the running play is bad. Nothing went well for the offense last weekend. Penalties, turnovers and uninspired play seem to be the theme. The Minnesota defense will try to use the same schemes Purdue used to get to Terrelle Pryor. Faith in the OSU offensive line is at an all time low and it's hard to imagine that the Gophers won't have their way with them. Gopher tackles Lee Campbell and Nate Triplett will see a lot of time in the backfield if the Buckeye line play doesn't improve.
The defense, ranked 9th in the country, has been spectacular all year but laid an egg Saturday. Unfortunately the offense was too inept to bail them out. This week the defense better be prepared for the spectacular receiving skills of Gopher star Eric Decker. Decker is averaging 104.4 yards per game and has five touchdowns on the season so far. Quarterback Adam Weber is solid and averages 189.3 yards per game. The Gopher offense is good enough to keep the game close and if the Buckeye offense turns the ball over like they did last week, Minnesota will have every opportunity to win the game.
A loss will certainly erase the Buckeye hopes of winning a fifth consecutive Big Ten title and making a trip to the Rose Bowl in over a decade. The solution to the offensive woes escapes the coaching staff and this reporter. It's hard to believe a team with so many highly recruited athletes is such a complete bust. Even though spirits and faith have hit rock bottom, the Buckeyes will be in the safety of the Horseshoe and will be playing for a homecoming crowd. The Bucks should still be able to stumble their way to a victory.
Prediction: OSU 17 – Minnesota 14
Why OSU will win:
On paper, the Buckeyes are vastly superior in every aspect except wide receiver. With a homecoming crowd behind the OSU, the Bucks should be able to keep their Big Ten title dreams alive.
Why OSU will lose:
The line will let the offense down destroying any kind of running scheme and forcing Pryor to regress even further with poor ball handling and bad decision making.
Bold prediction for the game:
The Buckeyes will turn the ball over more times than the Gophers and still win the game.
Crazy stat of the game:
The Buckeyes have won six straight against the Gophers.
Gopher wide receiver Eric Decker averages 15.6 yards per catch.
Gopher players to watch:
Junior QB #8 Adam Weber
Senior WR #7 Eric Decker
Senior DT #77 Lee Campbell
Senior DT #70 Nate Triplett