COLLEGE FOOTBALL : After Slow Start, Ohio State Breezes : Big Ten: Buckeyes trail, 14-7, early and lose receiver Terry Glenn before beating Minnesota, 49-21.
Ohio State’s quest for the national championship got a boost on Thursday when No. 2 Florida State lost to Virginia. But the Buckeyes must continue to win convincingly to have a chance.
Well, Ohio State beat Minnesota, 49-21, on Saturday, but for a while, it didn’t look like it would be very convincing.
Ohio State found itself down, 14-7, in the first quarter and then lost record-breaking receiver Terry Glenn, who suffered a slight shoulder separation.
“They were smoking at the beginning, and we had some miscommunication,” said Ohio State nose guard Luke Fickell.
But Bobby Hoying helped keep the Buckeyes undefeated, throwing for 287 yards and two touchdowns and running for a touchdown.
Eddie George rushed for 178 yards in 23 carries and three touchdowns, including an 87-yard run that gave Ohio State a 42-14 lead on the first play of the second half.
It was the longest rushing touchdown of the senior’s career and the third-longest in Buckeye history.
“We just have to keep on winning. That’s our argument there,” George said. “I’m not going to sit here and talk about moving up. All we can do is to do our talking on the field.”
The Buckeyes scored 28 points in the second quarter en route to their first 9-0 start since 1979, when they finished 11-1.
George, who finished with 264 all-purpose yards, also scored from the 11 and the one to bring his touchdown total to 18 this season.
After scoring all its points in the first half last week in a 56-35 victory over Iowa, Ohio State, 5-0 in the Big Ten, managed only one touchdown in the first quarter against the Golden Gophers (3-5, 1-4).
The Gophers suffered after losing quarterback Cory Sauter late in the first quarter because of a sprained left knee.
Sauter went seven for seven for 123 yards before being replaced by Jason Murdock, who struggled the rest of the way.