The Buckeyes open up the season traveling to Minnesota to face off against Big Ten foe the Golden Gophers. The Buckeyes open up the season ranked as the number 4 team in the country. Some new faces will be in the spotlight for Ohio State as star QB Justin Fields is now a Chicago Bear and RB Trey Sermon is on the Niners. 8 others players on OSU also went pro, including all of their linebackers. Replacing fields is first year starter C.J Stroud. Stroud doesn’t bring quite the explosive ability Fields did, but he doesn’t need to. Ohio State enters this season with who some consider the best receivers in the country with Olave and Garrett Wilson. Master Teague and Miyan Williams will take the bulk of the carries and are also very talented.
Minnesota entered last season with a plethora of momentum as P.J Fleck appeared to have the program on the rise. Last year was a bump in the road as they posted a 3-4 record and 2 games cancelled to COVID. The Golden Gophers return 3 year starter Tanner Morgan under center. Standing next to Morgan will be stud running back Mohammad Ibrahim. Ibrahim rushed for 1000 yards last year in a shortened season. Ibrahim will be running behind a very talented O line led by 400 lb tackle Daniel Faalele. The Gophers receiving corps took a hit as Bateman went pro, but they still have some speed and skill out on the edges that can be dangerous. The Gophers defense will be more mature this season as they return almost everybody.
Ohio State opened as 13.5 point favorites and the line is currently at 14. To little surprise, the public loves the Buckeyes as they are receiving over 80% of bets. The Over/Under opened at 65.5 and is currently sitting at 64.5. The under has received 65% of tickets.
Ohio State Vs Minnesota Pick:
I’m going to fade the public and take the Gophers. I like Tanner Morgan’s veteran presence to control the tempo of the game and protect the ball. More importantly, I think the Gophers will have enough success on the ground against the Buckeyes inexperienced linebackers to keep them in this game. I expect C.J Stroud to start slow in a hostile environment, which will hinder his stud receivers. I don’t think the Gophers will come away with a win, but I think they will do enough to stay within the number.
The pick: Minnesota +14