No. 1 Ohio State 28, Gophers 14
The recap: After a scoreless first 25 minutes, Ohio State built a 21-0 lead. Mitch Leidner threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, and the Gophers tried an unsuccessful onside kick with 2:05 remaining. Cardale Jones broke loose for a 38-yard touchdown run, sealing the win.
What was learned: The Gophers were 24-point underdogs and managed just 110 yards through three quarters. But their defense played well, making Ohio State look out of sync without suspended QB J.T. Barrett. Leidner passed for 195 yards in the fourth quarter.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
• Ohio State held the Gophers to 33 rushing yards, their lowest total since they rushed for 30 against Iowa in 2013.
• The Gophers had nine tackles for a loss on defense, including 2 ½ from linebacker Jack Lynn. They sacked Jones four times. Ohio State came in leading the Big Ten in scoring offense (38.5 points per game). It was the Buckeyes’ lowest scoring output since their 20-13 win over Northern Illinois on Sept. 19.
• KJ Maye had 10 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown. Of the senior’s 49 catches this season, 31 have resulted in a first down or a touchdown.
• The officials overturned a targeting penalty against Ohio State linebacker Joshua Perry that would have nullified Vonn Bell’s interception return for a touchdown. The Gophers also felt wronged by a passing interference call on tight end Nate Wozniak, away from the ball, which negated a pass from Leidner to Maye for a first down.
UP NEXT: at No. 8 Iowa
7 p.m. Saturday, Kinnick Stadium
TV: BTN • Radio: 100.3-FM
Records: Gophers 4-5, 1-4 Big Ten; Iowa 9-0, 5-0
The skinny: The Hawkeyes look like a completely different team than the one the Gophers crushed 51-14 last year at TCF Bank Stadium. Jake Rudock, Iowa’s starting quarterback that day, transferred to Michigan, where he’s found success. But his replacement, C.J. Beathard, has spearheaded Iowa’s resurgence. Beathard is playing through an unspecified injury to his hip/groin area, and he is 10-0 as a starter. He passed for 233 yards, ran for 38 more and notched two touchdowns in Saturday’s 35-27 win at Indiana. The Hawkeyes, who were 9-0 in 2009, have matched their best nine-game start in school history. An undefeated regular season looks possible. After this game, they finish with Purdue (home) and Nebraska (road).