Ohio State avoided a trap game last night. They waxed the struggling Minnesota Golden Gophers, 52-10, in Minneapolis. The Buckeyes now get a week off to heal and prepare for the last three games of the regular season, against Penn State, Iowa, and Michigan.
The Buckeyes played well. They racked up more than 500 yards of total offense, and both the passing game and the running game were hitting on all cylinders (although Terrelle Pryor, who otherwise has an excellent game, no doubt wishes he could take back an ill-advised pass that was intercepted at the Minnesota goal line). Defensively the Buckeyes gave up a few long passes down the middle but otherwise held a pretty good Minnesota offense in check. The Buckeyes blew the game open by scoring 17 unanswered points in the second quarter, then added a special teams score and a defensive touchdown in the second half.
It’s hard to know what to make of last night’s game, because Minnesota clearly is not a very good team right now. The Buckeyes should be satisfied with their win and will look forward to a bye week to rest up and get ready for the final push. Currently Ohio State is one of four one-loss teams atop the Big Ten — Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Iowa are the others — and the tough, bad-weather games on tap for November will tell the tale in the battle for the conference championship.