Coach Conley's Six Points: Minnesota Recap

Former OSU assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Bill Conley analyzes what went right for the Buckeyes in the Metrodome Saturday night with his Six Points To Victory recap.

Ohio State ends its victorious reign in the Metrodome. The Golden Canaries, I mean Gophers, were no match for a Buckeye team with much better talent. Even though the Ohio State victory wasn't exactly overpowering, it was very solid and definitely good enough to move the undefeated Buckeyes into the top five of the country in the national polls.

Here is a recap of My Six Points To Victory:

1. Run at the Linebackers

OSU tailbacks Beanie and Mo Wells accounted for 172 of the 250 yards the offense tallied rushing the ball Saturday night. The offensive coaching staff ran the isolation and power play right at the heart of the Gopher defense. Beanie was especially impressive running through and over the Minnesota defenders.

2. Attack Middle Zone

Todd Boeckman again hit nine different in Buckeyes in Ohio State's aerial assault. The Buckeye signal-caller not only hit the middle zone with slant passes and read routes. He hit Brian Robiskie with a 52-yard deep middle post pattern. Robo made a great acrobatic catch that brought back memories of the great Cris Carter.

3. Stop the Outside Run

Except for a couple of option plays, the Golden Gopher running attack was practically non-existent. Minnesota totaled only 70 rushing yards. The Gopher tailbacks only ran for 46 of that 70. Once again, the mighty Buckeye front seven were all over the field and the Ohio State linebackers were especially productive and very physical.

4. Bring Outside Pressure

The Ohio State defense had trouble getting to Minnesota quarterback Adam Weber because of his shotgun alignment and quick release of the football. The Buckeyes only got to Weber once but he didn't have a great night throwing the football. He only completed two passes over 20 yards and threw two interceptions.

5. Watch for First Down Screen

Minnesota threw a lot of screens as they have all year long. They had limited success and never broke a long one. The inside-out pursuit of the Ohio State linebackers held the Gophers' screen game to a minimum in terms of production.

6. Pressure Gopher Specialists

I thought there was good push up front on Minnesota's first field goal attempt. The Buckeyes never really pressured the Gopher punter. It was exciting, however, to see the A.J. Trapasso fake punt. Not only was it successful, it gives our future opponents something to worry about in their game preparation.


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