Ohio State Buckeyes (0-0) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (0-0)
September 2, 2021 8:00 pm EDT
The Line: Minnesota Golden Gophers +14 / Ohio State Buckeyes -14; Over/Under: 65
(Click here for latest betting odds)
The Minnesota Golden Gophers meet the Ohio State Buckeyes Thursday in week 1 2021 college football action at TCF Bank Stadium. Ohio State is 33-3 in its last three seasons and hopes to revenge a loss in last years title game. Minnesota went 3-4 last season but its still winning 57.8 percent of its games under coach P.J. Fleck.
The Ohio State Buckeyes averaged 41 points and 519.4 yards per game last season. Ohio State allowed an average of 25.8 points and 401.6 yards per game last season. OSU has to find a replacement for Justin Fields at quarterback, as he was the 11th overall pick in the NFL draft. Master Teague III should get more touches at running back after averaging nearly five yards per carry, while Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson is a receiving duo that combined for 1,400 yards and 13 touchdowns. Defensively, Ohio State lost its top-five tacklers, but Marcus Williamson returns after 27 tackles, Haskell Garrett had two sacks and Marcus Hooker had one interception. Ohio State lost a lot on defense and has a question at quarterback, but there’s obviously still enough here to make a run at a Big Ten title. The Ohio State Buckeyes are still going to be a factor this season, but they could go through early growing pains.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers averaged 27.3 points and 391 yards per game last season. Minnesota allowed an average of 30.1 points and 415.9 yards per game last season. Tanner Morgan returns at quarterback after throwing for 1,300 yards and seven touchdowns. Mohamed Ibrahim is back as a 1,000-yard rusher, while Chris Autman-Bell and Daniel Jackson is a receiving duo that combined for 600 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Mariano Sori-Marin returns after leading Minnesota with 54 tackles, Boye Mafe had 4.5 sacks and DeAngelo Carter had one interception. Minnesota has a ton of returning production and we’ve seen what Fleck can do when he has an experienced roster. The Minnesota Golden Gophers are never the most talented team in the Big Ten, but they play hard and have the ability to surprise people. I wouldn’t sleep on the Gophers.
The Buckeyes are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games. The Golden Gophers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The over is 4-1-2 in Buckeyes last 7 games overall. The under is 4-1 in Golden Gophers last 5 games overall. The Buckeyes are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
Ohio State is the more talented team, but its replacing a lot of key players and it could take some time to get the ball rolling. Minnesota Golden Gophers have quietly become a sneaky good team in the Big Ten, return majority of last years roster and has playmakers on the offensive side. OSU should win, but Minnesota has enough to make this a competitive, close game. Mohamed Ibrahim is an NFL caliber running back who can grind this game out for the Golden Gophers. Give me the points.