1. Ohio State has a record of 44-7-0 (.863 winning percentage) over Minnesota. Ohio State has won nine games in a row in the series. The Golden Gophers' last win over the Buckeyes came during the 2000 season, by the score of 29-17.
2. Ohio State has outscored Minnesota in the series by 1,568 to 661, or an average score per game of 31 to 13.
3. Minnesota and Ohio State did not play each other between 1950 (Buckeyes won 48-0) and 1965 (Buckeyes won 11-10).
4. It's hard to believe now, but Minnesota used to be one of the giants of college football. From 1900 to 1941, Minnesota compiled an overall record of 248-68-22 for a .766 winning percentage. During that four-decade period Minnesota had the third best record in college football, behind only Notre Dame (.822 winning percentage) and Michigan (.772 winning percentage).
5. From 1942 to 2014, Minnesota hasn't fared quite as well. The Gophers overall record since 1942 is 361-403-16 for a .473 winning percentage, which is 80th among FBS schools.
6. From 1900 to 1941, Minnesota had sixteen Big Ten championships and five national titles (1934, 1935, 1936, 1940, 1941).
7. Minnesota actually won a national championship in 1936 without winning the Big Ten title. That year, the Golden Gophers (7-1-0) lost to the Northwestern Wildcats (7-1-0) by the score of 6 to 0. Despite the facts that the two teams had identical overall records and the Gophers had lost the head-to-head matchup, the AP pollsters (in the initial year of the poll) voted Minnesota #1 and Northwestern #7. However, Northwestern still won the Big Ten title based on its victory over Minnesota.
8. From 1942 to 2014, Minnesota had only two Big Ten championships (1960, 1967) and one national title (1960). Needless to say, Minnesota (4-4 overall, 1-3 in Big Ten) will not win any championships in 2015.
9. Minnesota's 18 Big Ten championships ranks third in the conference, behind Michigan (42) and Ohio State (36).
10. Ohio State leads Big Ten teams with five AP national championships (1942, 1954, 1968, 2002, 2014). Minnesota is second with four AP titles (1936, 1940, 1941, 1960), plus an unofficial AP title in 1934. The only other Big Ten teams to win AP titles are Michigan (1948, 1997) and Michigan State (1952, as a conference member but not playing a full conference slate). Nebraska (1970, 1971, 1994, 1995), Penn State (1982, 1986), and Maryland (1953) all won AP titles prior to joining the Big Ten.
11. One of Ohio State's most interesting games occurred on October 28, 1989, when the Buckeyes travelled to Minnesota to face the Golden Gophers. Minnesota came out firing on all cylinders and enjoyed a 31-0 lead with 4:29 left in the second quarter. Ohio State cut the lead to 31-8 with a touchdown and two-point conversion as the first half expired, but it looked like Minnesota would win in a rout regardless of what happened in the second half. Ohio State scored ten more unanswered points in the third quarter, including a 98-yard touchdown drive, but Minnesota still had a healthy 31-18 lead entering the final period of play. With 5:15 left in the game the Gophers were clinging to a 37-26 lead, but a quick Buckeye drive (68 yards on 8 plays) cut the deficit to 37 to 34. The Buckeyes forced a quick three-and-out and took over with 1:52 on the clock. Another lightning fast drive (73 yards on 5 plays) was capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Greg Frey to Jeff Graham, and the Buckeyes enjoyed their first lead (41-37) with just 51 seconds left in the contest. In a frantic final drive Minnesota marched down to the Ohio State 22-yard line, but the Gophers' final pass attempt fell incomplete in the end zone as time ran out. Buckeye quarterback Greg Frey was awful in the first half (2 for 8 passing, 35 yards, interception, 2 fumbles), but brilliant in the second (18 for 23 passing, 327 yards, 3 TDs passing, TD rushing). The 31-point comeback remains the largest in Ohio State history.
12. On October 1, 1983, Minnesota came to Columbus and experienced one of their worst losses in team history, 69 to 18. The 69 points scored by the Buckeyes is the 14th most in their history, and the 69 points allowed by the Gophers was their 2nd most in their history (the worst defensive effort by the Gophers was surrendering 84 points to Nebraska, which happened just two weeks prior to the Ohio State shellacking). Minnesota kept the game close early, cutting Ohio State's lead to 21-12 after getting a safety with 10:38 left in the second quarter. Then the Buckeyes went on a 48-point run before the Gophers scored a garbage time touchdown (and missed the extra point - it was just one of those games) to make the final score slightly less embarrassing. Ohio State's offensive explosion did not come easy, as the Buckeyes had to overcome 4 fumbles, 11 penalties for 111 yards, 4/12 on third down conversions, and the aforementioned safety. But as sloppy as the Buckeyes were, the Gophers were even worse with seven turnovers (3 fumbles, 4 interceptions) and a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown. Sophomore running back Keith Byars had 10 carries for 87 yards and 3 touchdowns, and freshman running back John Wooldridge had 5 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown. Minnesota's 1983 season didn't get any worse after the Ohio State and Nebraska drubbings, but it didn't get a whole lot better either. In subsequent weeks, Minnesota gave up 50 points to Illinois, 56 points to Wisconsin, 58 points to Michigan, and 61 points to Iowa en route to a 1-10 season (the lone win coming against 1-10 Rice in the season opener by the score of 21 to 17). For the year Minnesota was outscored 518 to 181 (47 to 16 average per game), with three losses being by 50+ points (71 points to Nebraska, 51 points to both Ohio State and Iowa). Predictably, Golden Gopher head coach Joe Salem was fired at the end of the season.
13. In last year's contest, Minnesota came close to upsetting the Buckeyes during a snowstorm in Minneapolis. The Buckeyes took an early lead on J.T. Barrett's 86-yard touchdown run (the 3rd longest in Buckeye history) and a 57-yard pass from Barrett to Jalin Marshall. The Buckeyes were driving for their third touchdown when Barrett threw an ill-advised interception into double coverage. The Gophers stormed back to tie the score at 14 before Buckeye place kicker Sean Nuernberger broke the deadlock with a 22-yard field goal as the first half expired. The Buckeyes once again took a commanding 31-14 lead with a pair of second half touchdowns, but a muffed punt in crunch time allowed the Gophers to sneak back into the game. Ohio State was able to secure a 31-24 victory only after recovering an onside kick from Minnesota with 1:19 left in the game.
14. Ezekiel Elliott has 3,270 yards rushing for his Buckeye career, good for 5th place in Ohio State's record books. Zeke needs just 113 yards to pass Chris "Beanie" Wells (3,382 yards) for 4th place.
15. For the 2015 season Zeke already has 1,130 yards rushing, which is the 26th-best single season in Ohio State history. If Elliott hits his season average of 142 yards per game, then he will move past Braxton Miller (1,271 yards in 2012) for the 15th-best single season.
16. Michael Thomas has 1,367 receiving yards for his Buckeye career, good for 21st place at Ohio State. Thomas needs 53 yards receiving to pass Bobby Olive (1,419 yards) for 20th place, 63 yards to pass Brian Hartline (1,429 yards) for 19th place, and 115 yards to pass John Frank (1,481 yards) for 18th place.
17. Michael Thomas has 92 receptions for his Buckeye career, good for 19th place at Ohio State. Thomas needs 5 receptions to pass Brian Stablein (96 receptions) for 18th place and 8 receptions to pass Jeff Graham (99 receptions) for 17th place.
18. Joey Bosa has 44.5 TFLs for his Buckeye career, which ties him with Ryan Shazier for 6th place in Ohio State history. Bosa needs 1.0 TFL to tie Will Smith (45.5 TFLs) for 5th place, and 5.5 TFL to tie Andy Katzenmoyer (50.0 TFLs) for 4th place. Mike Vrabel leads all Buckeyes with 66.0 career TFLs.
19. Joey Bosa has 24.5 career sacks, which puts him just 0.5 sacks behind Matt Finkes (25.0 sacks) for 3rd place, and 3.0 sacks behind Jason Simmons (27.5 sacks) for 2nd place. Again, Mike Vrabel leads all Buckeyes with 36.0 career sacks.
20. This game features a good offense (Ohio State) against a good defense (Minnesota), and a great defense (Ohio State) against a crappy offense (Minnesota).
21. Minnesota is equally adept (or inept) in both phases of offense, ranking 83rd in passing (209.6 ypg) and 87th in rushing (155.1 ypg).
Team Total Offense NCAA Rank Score Offense NCAA Rank Total Defense NCAA Rank Score Defense NCAA Rank Ohio State 464.6 ypg 30th 38.5 ppg 15th 301.1 ypg 12th 15.1 ppg 5th Minnesota 364.8 ypg 93rd 21.1 ppg 107th 324.6 ypg 25th 23.9 ppg 48th
22. Ohio States boasts one of the top passing defense in the nation (#2 yardage, #4 efficiency, #9 sacks), which doesn't bode well for Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner who ranks 64th in passing yardage (203.4 ypg) and just 98th in passing efficiency (1,627 yards, .578 completion percentage, 8 TDs, 6 INTs).
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