Gophers defeated by No. 3 Ohio State

The Gophers went into the fourth quarter trailing by six points.

Junior Tyler Johnson runs the ball on Saturday, Sept. 14 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Courtney Deutz

Junior Tyler Johnson runs the ball on Saturday, Sept. 14 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Jack Warrick

At halftime the Gophers were down 17-14, a score not many had expected with the Gophers taking on the No. 3 Buckeyes.

But Ohio State ran out in the second half and did what Ohio State does, using its air attack to take a 30-14 victory over Minnesota (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten) in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday.

“They’re a really good football team. They’re well coached, a tremendous environment, but we just didn’t get it done,” head coach P.J. Fleck told reporters. “We’re going to get better. Halfway through the season, draw a line in the sand.”

Minnesota got into Ohio State territory in the fourth quarter when the score was 23-14. Quarterback Zack Annexstad took a shot at the end zone, but it was intercepted by Ohio State’s Isaiah Pryor at the Ohio State two-yard line. Minnesota kicker Emmit Carpenter missed a 49-yard field goal with 5:46 left in the game.

Ohio State scored a 27-yard receiving touchdown from receiver K.J. Hill with 2:15 left in the fourth quarter to bury the Gophers’ chances. Hill had a highlight-reel touchdown grab at the end of the second quarter for a 36-yard score and a 17-14 lead headed into half time.

“We came in the locker room, we were fired up. We liked where we were at, we liked the way we were playing,” linebacker Blake Cashman told reporters. “This team we believe that it doesn’t matter who the opponent is, it doesn’t matter what the score board is, when we come out in the second half we expect to win.”

Gophers running back Mohamed Ibrahim had two touchdowns in the first half to keep the game close after Ohio State (7-0) scored a field goal on its opening offensive drive after picking off a Annexstad pass deep in Ohio State’s own territory.

Annexstad finished the first half throwing 9-12 for 110 yards and an interception. Ibrahim had 14 carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. The Gophers didn’t score again after going into halftime trailing 17-14.

Minnesota receiver Tyler Johnson tallied 119 receiving yards on eight catches. He fumbled one catch on the day.

The Buckeyes completed 33-44 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns. They had no interceptions or fumbles. The Gophers’ defense held Ohio State to 92 rushing yards.

“if you don’t stop the run the game’s going to be over before it starts,” Fleck told reporters.

Gophers kicker Emmit Carpenter missed two field goals in the loss.

Gophers defensive back Coney Durr was ejected in the second quarter after a late hit on Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins. 

Saturday’s victory marked the 10th victory in a row for Ohio State (7-0) over Minnesota. 

The Gophers will go on to play Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska next week in a search for their first Big Ten victory this season. 

“It’s a lot of growth really,” Johnson told reporters. “As a team I think we realized as well that we’re growing each game, each day in practice. It’s only up from here.”