No. 2 Ohio State easily takes care of Minnesota

TreVeyon Henderson ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns in less than three quarters when the No. 2 Buckeyes defeated Minnesota 37-3 in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday.

Next for the Buckeyes (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten) is a trip to Ann Arbor on Nov. 25 to play No. 3 Michigan with a spot in the conference title game at stake as well as implications for the CFP.

Michigan did its part by defeating Maryland 31-24 on Saturday.

Henderson broke open a close game with a career-long 75-yard TD on the first play of the third quarter to make it 20-0.

After a Minnesota (5-6, 3-5 Big Ten) turnover, Marvin Harrison Jr. had a 4-yard TD catch for scores 55 seconds apart to make it 27-0.

Harrison, a Heisman Trophy contender, had three receptions for 30 yards and one score before being rested midway through the third quarter.

Kyle McCord was 20 of 30 for 212 yards and two TDs for the Buckeyes.

Minnesota’s Athan Kaliakmanis completed 11 of 19 for 89 yards, an interception and a lost fumble.

The Golden Gophers avoided a shutout when Dragan Kesich kicked a 54-yard field goal with 6:54 to play.

Ohio State got off to a strong start when it went ahead 7-0 on its first series but the Buckeyes managed only Jayden Fielding field goals from 47 and 26 yards for the 13-0 halftime lead.

A big reason was Minnesota punter Mark Crawford, who forced the Buckeyes to start from the 15, 3, 13, 11 and 3 in their five first-half drives.

The Buckeyes took the quick lead on Henderson’s 9-yard run to cap an eight-play drive of 85 yards that included five plays of 10 yards or more.

Minnesota must defeat visiting Wisconsin on Nov. 25 for a sixth win to be bowl eligible. The Golden Gophers will have their fewest (non-COVID season) wins since going 7-6 in coach P.J. Fleck’s second season in 2018.