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Ohio State beats Minnesota 45-31 in season opener

MINNEAPOLIS (WCMH) — Ohio State began its 2021 season on the road against Minnesota and the at times dicey showdown ended with the Buckeyes winning 45-31.

C.J. Stroud overcame a rocky first half and ended with nearly 300 yards through the air and four touchdowns while the defense came up with a score of its own on fumble recovery touchdown by Haskell Garrett thanks to a strip sack forced by Zach Harrison.

Ohio State played without 11 players, including starting center Harry Miller, starting cornerback Cam Brown and defensive tackle Jerron Cage who would have rotated in with Antwuan Jackson.

The Buckeyes have seven first-time starters on defense:

Minnesota drives into Ohio State territory on its first drive but the Buckeyes force the Gophers to punt. OSU takes over inside its own 10-yard line. The C.J. Stroud era is about to begin.

Redshirt freshman Miyan Williams breaks away for a 71-yard touchdown on the sixth play of the game. Buckeyes lead Minnesota 7-0 with 7:22 left in the first quarter.

Olentangy Orange and OSU captain Zach Harrison breaks through the Minnesota line and Josh Proctor flies in for the tackle to force another Gophers punt.

Ohio State goes 74 yards on 14 plays and settles for a 45-yard field goal by North Carolina transfer Noah Ruggles. Buckeyes lead Minnesota 10-0 with 12:50 left in the second quarter.

Minnesota is on the board. Mohamed Ibrahim broke loose for a 56-yard run on 4th and 1 from the Gophers own 29-yard line, which set up a 13-yard touchdown pass from Tanner Morgan to Dylan Wright. OSU still leads 10-7 with 9:11 left in the second quarter.

C.J. Stroud is picked off by Terrell Smith and Gophers capitalize going 36 yards on seven plays capped off by a Mohamed Ibrahim touchdown on 3rd and goal from inside the one-yard line. Gophers lead 14-10 with 3:32 left in the second quarter. Ibrahim is now over 100 yards rushing, his 9th-straight game with more than 100 yards on the ground.

Cody Simon gets a sack on third down to keep Minnesota from adding to its lead. The Buckeyes trail 14-10 at halftime.

Ohio State comes out of halftime and scores on its first possession on a 38-yard touchdown from Stroud to Olave. Buckeyes lead 17-14.

Minnesota answers with a five-play, 75-yard drive capped off by Ibrahim’s second touchdown of the game. Josh Proctor picked off Morgan and returned the ball inside the Gophers 25-yard line but the interception didn’t count after Dallas Gant was called for a late hit on Morgan. Minnesota leads 21-17.

Stroud hits Garrett Wilson in stride and the Buckeyes lead Minnesota 24-21 with 5:12 left in the third quarter.

The Buckeyes lead 31-21 after three quarters.

Minnesota tacks on a field goal but the Buckeyes respond with a 70-yard touchdown by true freshman TreVeyon Henderson to give OSU a 38-24 lead. The Gophers made it a seven-point game with just over five minutes left but once again the Buckeyes responded on a 61-yard touchdown to Olave to seal the win.

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