Game time: Noon ET, Sept. 11, 2021
Venue: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Where to watch: ESPN U
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Minnesota -20.5; O/U NA; Minnesota -1375, Miami (OH) +800
Caesars: Minnesota -20.5; O/U 56.5; Minnesota -1400, Miami (OH) +800
Miami (OH): 0-1
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Miami (OH) - Minnesota preview and analysis
Miami (OH): lost 49-14 to No. 8 Cincinnati on Sept. 4
Minnesota: lost 45-31 to No. 4 Ohio State on Sept. 2
We’re not sure if TCF Bank Stadium would be standing this week had the Minnesota Golden Gophers held on for just a bit longer.
But like Thanos, the Ohio State Buckeyes are inevitable. The Golden Gophers lost 45-31 on opening night to Ohio State, in what was a mere 20 minutes away from being the upset of the weekend. They rowed the hell out of that boat until they couldn’t go any further.
Minnesota suffered two losses on Thursday night; losing the game, but also losing top running back Mohamed Ibrahim to a lower leg injury in which the extent is still unknown.
Good news for the Gophers is they don’t need Ibrahim for Saturday when the Gophers host the Miami (OH) RedHawks to Minneapolis.
Here’s the weird thing about the Gophers: The numbers will tell you Thursday was an outlier. Teams that nearly double opponents in time of possession with over 400 total yards of total offense should win most games. Ohio State is not just any random team, however. The Buckeyes’ big-play ability took over once Minnesota took a 24-21 lead in the third.
Tanner Morgan threw for 205 yards and a touchdown but wasn’t enough of a difference-maker throwing the ball to complement Ibrahim’s downhill running. Ibrahim ran for 163 yards and two touchdowns, including a 56-yard score that gave Minnesota that aforementioned lead.
The Gophers defense just gave up too many big plays. Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud threw 56-, 70-, and 61-yard touchdown passes within a gametime span of 15:33. Stroud finished with 294 yards and four touchdowns on only 13 completions, while the Ohio State running game averaged 7.7 yards on 26 carries, led by Miyan Williams’ 125 on nine touches.
After a night like that, facing a team like Miami-Ohio is what’s needed. The RedHawks lost 49-14 to No. 8 Cincinnati on Saturday. Nevermind the fact Desmond Ridder began the Heisman Trophy push for himself. Miami quarterback AJ Mayer went for an abysmal 9-of-28 for 109 yards.
The result was so lopsided that Miami did not even turn the ball over once. It just got whooped by a College Football Playoff contender that turned it over three times and still nearly doubled them in total yards (542-278).
This one shouldn’t be thought of too much. The Gophers want to avenge themselves after an overall great showing against Ohio State. With one more game before heading to Colorado, the Gophers need to get in the win column before traveling west. Gophers win 52-14.
The RedHawks are 6-8 in their last 14 straight up as road underdogs.
Minnesota is 10-4 against the spread after playing a conference game and is 5-3 in its last eight as a favorite.
Players to watch
RedHawks: Keyon Mozee was the only bright spot of the Miami offense. The running back carried it 15 times for 80 yards.
Minnesota: If Ibrahim can’t go, Treyson Potts might get the bulk of the carries for Minnesota. He had 10 carries for 34 yards against Ohio State.
Passing: AJ Mayer -- 109 yards
Rushing: Keyon Mozee -- 80 yards
Receiving: Mac Hippenhammer -- 64 yards
Defense: Ja’don Rucker- Furlow -- 8 tackles
Passing: Tanner Morgan -- 205 yards, 1 TD
Rushing: Mohamed Ibrahim -- 163 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Daniel Jackson -- 58 yards
Defense: Mariano Sori-Marin -- 6 tackles
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