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Scarlet Saturday: Ohio State vs Minnesota Preview



Broadcast Info:

  • Ohio State (10-0) vs Minnesota (5-5)

  • Saturday, November 18th, 4 PM EST Kickoff

  • Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

  • Big Ten Network

 

Current Countdown Clock as of November 16th vs The Cheaters Up North


9 Days
 

What's at Stake?


The Buckeyes play host to the Minnesota Golden Gophers for senior night this Scarlet Saturday at the Shoe. As the regular season for college football winds down, everything the Buckeyes play for is still alive which is to beat the team up north, win a Big Ten title, and compete for a national title. To do so, the Buckeyes have to be playing their best football in November and take care of business on Saturday. Kyle McCord played one of his most complete and best games of the season last week against Michigan State and Marvin Harrison Jr continued to prove why he is the best player in college football. The Golden Gophers who are led by head coach PJ Fleck will try to present a challenge with their defense for the Buckeyes and play their style of physical football. Fleck's squad offensively struggles, so this could be another game where the Buckeyes try to hold their opponent to a scoreless game heading into Ann Arbor. The Golden Gophers though are still alive to potentially play in a post-season bowl game if they are able to get that sixth win of the season. They have two games left to do so, this Saturday against the Buckeyes and then next week when they play Wisconsin. With all this being said, the Buckeyes will continue to feed Marvin Harrison Jr and play mistake-free football with all focus on that game on November 25th.



 

McCord Time


Kyle McCord enters this game second in the Big Ten in passing yards and third currently in passing touchdowns. I think many Buckeye fans after the start of the season like seeing this out of McCord after the early season struggles. I think it is safe to say McCord is becoming more comfortable in 'the pocket' and trusting his weapons around him. The offensive line too is finding their consistency upfront in pass protection to give McCord the time needed to complete passes and stand in the pocket. One thing is for sure, Minnesota will bring pressure and try to disrupt the passing attack that the Buckeyes have been able to present over the last couple of weeks. If there is one thing teams like to do who knows they are outmatched is they will try to take away one thing and one thing only and make the better team beat them in one style of play. Minnesota could try to do this by taking away Marvin Harrison and McCord's connection and making Ohio State beat them by running the football. Ohio State though is a lot more athletic and overall the dominant team so no matter what Minnesota tries to do, the Buckeyes should still be the more dominant team and still beat them through the air.

 

Can receivers outside of Marvin Harrison get involved?


This may be one area where Buckeye fans did not think they would be discussing, the receiver room. Injuries happen and are a major reason why someone like Emeka Egbuka is having a not-so-good season thus far but there is a lot of football left to be played eventually. The talk of the week was how Marvin Harrison became the first Buckeye receiver to have back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Emeka Egbuka was also on track to break that same record due to his big season last year where he caught over 1,000 yards receiving as well. I would like to think that had he been healthy all year to this point he would have been on pace to do so. Emeka needs to have an Emeka-type breakout game that we saw in big games last season and this year against Notre Dame for Ohio State to get to where they want to be. It will be hard to beat the team up north if Emeka is unable to deliver or be healthy and all the attention is on Marvin Harrison. Emeka is a force to be reckoned with and when healthy is a top receiver in college football and a first-round prospect. Let's see him find his mojo this Saturday!



 

Who to Watch For?


Healthy Ohio State Defense- not so much who to watch for here but the entire Ohio State defense is going through the late injury bug. Can Ohio State put guys in this week who have been injured/beat up at this point of the season and get them out of this weekend healthy? Guys like Josh Proctor, Tommy Echinberg, Mike Hall, and Denzel Burke. The unfortunate news of the week is Lanthom Ransom will not be back this season but has the potential to return if the Buckeyes are in the College Football Playoff. Ohio State though needs Josh Proctor healthy for that back end of the defense if they want to beat the team up north. Not only that, a healthy captain in the middle in Tommy Echinberg and Mike Hall is huge as well to stop the run next Saturday. Denzel Burke returned to full form last week but as noted he has suffered some injuries this year and to see him return for a full game is key here as well.

 

Dawgs Best Bets


The current spread for the Buckeyes stands at -28 and the over/under is 48.5. Look for the Buckeyes to capitalize on both, score a lot of points in this game, and cover the spread & the over/under.


Final Prediction - Scarlet Saturday


Ohio State- 44 Minnesota- 6

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