Ohio State Buckeyes (8-1) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-2)
|Date & Time||Saturday November 15, 2014, 12:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Minnesota Golden Gophers +12 -- Over/Under:
The Ohio State Buckeyes and Minnesota Golden Gophers play an important Big Ten matchup Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.
The Ohio State Buckeyes have won seven straight, which includes a dominant win over Michigan State last week. Ohio State’s offense is led by J.T. Barrett, who is completing 64.4 percent of his passes for 26 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Barrett has seven total touchdowns and zero picks in his last two games, as Ohio State has 24 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Devin Smith and Michael Thomas lead the way with just over 1,100 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, while Jeff Heuerman has six of his 11 receptions in his last three games. Ohio State’s ground game is averaging 5.4 yards per carry, and Ezekiel Elliott and Barrett have produced a combined 15 rushing touchdowns and more than 1,400 rushing yards. Ohio State has won seven straight games when rushing for 200-plus yards. Defensively, the Ohio State Buckeyes are allowing 21.8 points, 326.2 yards, and they’ve forced 20 turnovers and 25 sacks. Joshua Perry leads OSU with 79 tackles and Joey Bosa has 14.5 tackles for loss.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have won five of their last six games and control their destiny in the Big Ten West. Minnesota relies on its defense that’s allowing 21.3 points, 335.3 yards, and has forced 22 turnovers and 18 sacks. The Minnesota Golden Gophers have won nine of their last 11 regular season games when allowing 24 or less points. Damien Wilson leads Minnesota with 88 tackles and Cameron Botticelli has three sacks. Offensively, Minnesota turns to its ground game that’s averaging 4.8 yards per carry. David Cobb has rushed for 1,205 yards and eight touchdowns, and Minnesota is 9-2 SU when he tops 100 rushing yards. Mitch Leidner is completing 53.3 percent of his passes for 10 touchdowns and six interceptions, and he’s also rushed for six scores. Maxx Williams and Donovahn Jones have combined for more than 500 receiving yards and nine of the Golden Gophers 11 receiving touchdowns. Minnesota has 18 passing plays of 25 or more yards.
The Buckeyes are 35-15-1 ATS in their last 51 road games and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Golden Gophers are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 conference games and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games. The Buckeyes are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings in Minnesota and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 meetings overall.
This line is probably going to go up throughout the week, so I'd wait before hitting it. However, Minnesota is a team that I really like. The Golden Gophers aren't the flashiest team in the world and sometimes struggle to score, but they grind games out and find a way to compete. Look for Cobb to get a ton of carries and for Minnesota to play keep away. This is also a trap game for Ohio State after coming off a monster win. Minnesota will keep this closer than expected.