Ohio State took a 14-0 lead into halftime over the Gophers.
Both teams punted on their first three possessions. The first quarter was scoreless, with the Gophers outgaining the Buckeyes 56-31.
On their first drive of the second quarter, the Gophers drove from their own 20-yard line to the Ohio State 33. Quarterback Mitch Leidner completed passes to Shannon Brooks, Brandon Lingen and KJ Maye for first downs before the drive stalled.
Ryan Santoso came on for a 50-yard field goal attempt and missed wide left.
The next time the Gophers had the ball, they started from their own 8-yard line. On third down, Mitch Leidner went back to pass and took a big hit from linebacker Joshua Perry right after he released the ball.
Perry had blitzed up the middle and delivered a huge shot, which snapped Leidner’s head back. The referees originally flagged Perry for targeting.
Leidner’s pass, intended for KJ Maye, went right to Buckeyes safety Vonn Bell, who returned it 16 yards for a touchdown.
Ohio State added a touchdown on its next drive, when its offense finally awakened. Cardale Jones hit Jalin Marshall with a 44-yard pass, and then Ezekiel Elliott broke free for a 14-yard touchdown.
Two injury notes: Gophers running back Rodney Smith suffered a right ankle injury early in the game but returned in the second quarter. Cornerback Jalen Myrick also returned from an unspecified injury in the second quarter.