Entering Thursday night’s contest against No. 4 Ohio State, Minnesota fans were just hoping the Gophers would keep the game close.
Well, for much of the third quarter, the Gophers kept the game close and even had a 21-17 lead at one point. Unfortunately, the Gophers suffered a massive loss when star running back Mohamed Ibrahim left with an injury.
After that, it was all Ohio State. The Buckeyes took over in the fourth quarter en route to a 45-31 win over the Gophers.
However, not everyone is sold on the Buckeyes just yet. ESPN’s Desmond Howard thinks Ohio State didn’t look like the No. 4 team in the country last night and the team’s defensive struggles are a problem.
Here’s what he said, via 247Sports:
“I thought they did not look like the No. 4 team in the country last night,” Howard said. “Of course, CJ Stroud — the redshirt freshman quarterback — he struggled early. Made some big throws late and they had to rely on the big play to win the game. But they could not put an unranked Minnesota away.
“And then defensively, a very porous defense … They’re secondary, especially the cornerbacks, were very handsy. I don’t know if these officials had those yellow flags stitched into their hands last night, but they would not throw PI on those DBs.”
While Howard had plenty of negative things to say about Ohio State’s performance last night, he praised head coach Ryan Day.
“But credit Ryan Day. He’s a brilliant play-caller,” Howard said this morning.
Ohio State faces a much tougher test next weekend against No. 12 Oregon.