Ohio State football: Once C.J. Stroud settled in, Minnesota was done

Ohio State football (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Ohio State football (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

How could you not smirk when Fox broadcasters did their darnedest to hype a possible with Minnesota leading the Ohio State football team by four points at halftime?

“Ryan Day has never been behind to a Big Team team at halftime!” someone on the broadcast declared.

It’s right about the time I tuned in, due to my kids’ soccer game, and while surprised, I didn’t think it necessary to start breathing out of a brown paper sack.

The Buckeyes were playing in their first game–a primetime tilt that was nationally televised. I know a lot of Buckeye twitter can’t handle when Ryan Day can’t mirror Madden and score within 60 seconds of taking of the ball, alas, things worked out pretty well for the Scarlet and Gray with Ohio State winning, 45-31.

There’s no preseason for the Bucks. Heck, there wasn’t even a creampuff like Akron or Buffalo to help get quarterback C.J. Stroud get comfortable in his first collegiate start. Rather, Ryan Day’s squad had to play Minnesota program that was very good pre-pandemic.

The weather wasn’t optimal and the fan base was frenzied, especially with the Gophers making things competitive.

The offense got it together after putting up 10 points in the first half, hanging up 35 on the Gophers in the final two stanzas.

Ohio State football: Stroud first serious action

1. Stroud finished strong. Remember, he had never attempted a pass in a college game until Thursday night. He was 13 of 22 for 294 yards and four touchdowns, against one interception.

2. The Buckeyes are loaded with talent, but again, with Stroud, we’re talking about a kid who never threw a pass in college. His lone play from scrimmage a season ago was a one-carry, 48-yard run.

3. Stroud threw for touchdowns of 70, 61, 56 and 38 yards. A lot of that was due to Yards After Catch, but the young quarterback was just doing what Day asked of him.

4. Get used to the name Miyan Williams. The running back is poised to become a household name around the Buckeye state, especially after the ripped off that 71-yard, first-quarter touchdown.

5. Having the experienced Chris Olave should go along way in helping a new quarterback like Stroud. The senior had four catches for 117 yards and a touchdown.

6. Just two sacks for the Buckeyes’ defense Thursday night, but one was spectacular, as Zach Harrison came up with a blind-side strip-sack of Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan. The ball landed right into Haskell Garrett’s gut, and the big man was able to rumble 30 yards for the touchdown.

7. The defense is also a work in progress, as there were some ugly plays in the secondary, while Gophers running back Mohammed Ibrahim really stood out before he got hurt. He had 30 carries for 163 yards and two touchdowns.

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8. The Buckeyes entered the contest ranked No. 4 in the country and they did enough tho hold their spot.