MINNEAPOLIS - There were few tricks and plenty of treats for the Buckeyes on Saturday night during their game with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Terrelle Pryor passed for 222 yards after completing 18-of-22 attempts while Dan Herron ran for the first 100-yard game of his career (17 carries for 114 yards) as the Buckeyes broke the 40-point plateau for a fifth time this season winning en route to a 52-10 win.
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With the win the Buckeyes are now back in the thick of the Big Ten Conference race with Michigan State taking on its first loss of the season after falling at Iowa Saturday.
The Buckeyes remained focused even though the Gophers came into the game 1-7 on the season. The big win comes right before Ohio State's bye week.
"I think the reality of our situation is that we get to head home tomorrow and catch up a little bit academically and get some guys healthy," Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel said. "Then we've got to look and see where we've got to get better."
Minnesota did find early success in the game with quarterback Adam Weber going vertical on the depleted Ohio State secondary but the Gophers were only able to net seven points out of it and also had a missed field goal.
All the while Buckeyes just marched down the field and while they were far from perfect they were able to put up points every quarter and the game was never really much in doubt going into the second quarter.
"I think the offense played great," Pryor said. "We needed the good start from an offensive perspective because we have not played very well on the road. We really needed this game to start early."
While the offense rolled up more than 500 total yards the defense took it up a level as well and even though early in the game there were times that the defensive pressure was coming up just short toward the end the defense really took over with the Buckeyes racking up five sacks and forcing two fumbles.
The Buckeyes were able to score a pair of touchdowns with the defense and special teams. Zach Domicone fell on a blocked punt (Jonathan Newsome) for a score and then John Simon took back a touchdown after Chimdi Chekwa planted Weber to the turf.
"Obviously Ohio State was the dominating team tonight," Minnesota interim head coach Jeff Horton said. "They beat us in all three phases of the football game."
The Buckeyes will travel back to Columbus (Ohio) on Sunday and will be 'off' from practice until Wednesday. But several of the players had fun joking that there really is no time to rest during the Big Ten season and while they might not be on the practice field that there will be plenty of attention paid getting ready to go into the Penn State week in November.
The Buckeyes now have not lost in Minnesota for nearly three decades with the last loss coming in 1981. Due to the unbalanced schedule of the Big Ten and with Minnesota being off of the schedule for the next two years it will be more than 30 years before the Gophers get another crack at the Buckeyes in the Twin Cities.
Game time for Penn State should be announced on Monday of this upcoming week. Ohio State will then go on the road to Iowa before closing out the regular season at home against that team up north.