A look at today's game between Ohio State and Minnesota
TV: ESPN2 with Mark Jones and Bob Davie. Stacey Dales works the sidelines.
Radio: Ohio State Radio Network (WHBC-AM 1480, WKNR-AM 850, WAKR-AM 1590) with Paul Keels, Jim Lachey and Marty Bannister. The game be heard on Sirius Satellite radio (140) as well.
Odds: OSU is a 23 1/2-point favorite.
The series: Ohio State is 39-7 against the Golden Gophers. The Buckeyes won, 44-0, in Columbus last season and 45-31 in the Twin Cities in 2005. The Buckeyes are 19-4 on the road against Minnesota.
They’re from Minnesota: Actress Loni Anderson is a graduate. Bob Dylan attended but dropped out. Nine Gophers played on Herb Brooks’ 1980 U.S. hockey team. Pro wrestler Ric Flair went there on a football scholarship but dropped out. Walter Mondale and Hubert Humphrey both graduated.
The coaches: Head coach Jim Tressel is looking for his 66th win at OSU and 23rd regular-season win in a row. Tressel is 200-71-2 all time. Tim Brewster is in his first year, coming to Minnesota as an NFL assistant coach, most recently with Denver. Brewster is looking for his second win this season, first in the Big Ten.
How it will go: Minnesota made a few changes to its starting lineup, specifically on defense, because the Gophers have the country’s worst ranked defense. Not helping matters is Minnesota has turned the ball over 16 times.
Look for Minnesota to play conservatively early on and try to keep the game within reach. Brewster needs a big play on special teams to keep his crowd into the game. His offense isn’t going to have much luck. Minnesota can’t win a shootout against the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes defense has been overwhelming and, coupled with special teams, has put the offense in position to succeed.
QB Todd Boeckman is looking to further a consistent approach. Boeckman has proven an ability to strike deep. This should open the field for RBs Chris Wells and Maurice Wells. Brandon Saine is nursing an injury, so Boom Herron is the third back. Tressel wants to redshirt Herron but will play him if need be. Minnesota’s defensive backfield is struggling.
Look for WRs Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline to have big games.
Porter’s pick: In four games against Minnesota, Tressel’s offense has not scored fewer than 30 points in a game. The Buckeyes roll early, 38-9.