Ohio State Buckeyes
(7-1, 6-2 ATS)
Minnesota Golden Gophers
(1-7, 3-5 ATS)
The Ohio State Buckeyes have covered all six of their NCAA football spreads on the season at home. However, they have still yet to beat a number on the road and have been picked off once as well. Will this issue continue on Saturday? If the Minnesota Golden Gophers have anything to say about it, the answer to that question will be a firm, yes.
QB Terrelle Pryor has fallen into the pits of despair in the Heisman Trophy race, as he has had a few bad performances that have taken him down from the point that he was the favorite. Still, it’s hard to argue with anything that Pryor has done this year when you look at his entire body of work, as he has 1,775 passing yards, 408 rushing yards, a total of 21 TD, and just six interceptions. Defensively, the Buckeyes are for real, and they finally had their biggest game of the season last week in a 49-0 shutout of the Purdue Boilermakers. Ohio State nailed down the Boilers for just 118 yards of offense and forced three turnovers, holding them to just nine first downs as well. Needless to say, it was the best looking performance for a team that has had a slew of them this year, some of which have been spoiled by iffy play on special teams. It was a perfect answer for a ‘D’ that was blown to bits at times by the Wisconsin Badgers back on October 16th for 31 points in a two score defeat. Aside from that though, only one other opponent has scored more than one offensive touchdown in a game against this unit.
The Golden Gophers are still sort of floating around in Big Ten purgatory right now, particularly without a head coach with an interim tag. A seventh straight game was lost last week with a 33-21 drop at home to the Penn State Nittany Lions. Minnesota has only covered one college football spread this year at home, that coming back on October 2nd against the Northwestern Wildcats in a wild 29-28 defeat as 4.5 point underdogs. This home crowd really has had nothing to rant and rave about of late, as the Gophers haven’t won a game in front of their own fans since beating South Dakota State 16-13 in a very questionable showing last year on November 14th. QB Adam Weber, a four year starter for the Gophers at quarterback, will be playing in his second to last game at home. Weber has thrown for 1,961 yards this year, which brought him to 10,207 for his illustrious career. Weber has thrown 17 scores this year and needs seven to tie a career high set when he was a freshman. His next passing touchdown will be his 70th in his career.
The Buckeyes just have to roll in this game. They are coming off of one of the best performances of their season against Purdue and would love to make things a lot more interesting in the BCS Championship race, especially if some teams around them start to lose and come back to the pack. This is not a Minnesota team that can be overlooked, and Ohio State will come out with guns blazing on Saturday.
NCAA Football Free Pick: Ohio State Buckeyes -25.5