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Kill, Gophers readying for Big 10 showdown with Ohio State

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Not even his favorite ice cream was enough to help Gophers coach Jerry Kill rest easy following his team's 51-14 victory over Iowa last weekend.

Kill recapped his Saturday night for reporters, which included eating a bowl of ice cream and watching the Ohio State-Michigan State game. Seeing what the Buckeyes' offense did to the Spartans' highly touted defense in their 49-37 victory left Kill feeling a little unnerved.

"Then you don't sleep the rest of the night, you don't get a chance to enjoy the win and now all you do is worry about what you are going to do against Ohio State," said Kill on Tuesday.

History would show there's good reason for Kill to be concerned. The Gophers (7-2, 4-1) host Ohio State (8-1, 5-0) at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday – a team they have not had a lot of success against.

The Buckeyes are 43-7 all time against Minnesota, and have won the last eight meetings between the two clubs. You would have to go back to 2000 to find the last time Minnesota beat Ohio State, and you'd have to go back even further to find the last time they beat them in Minneapolis (1981).

Kill said he knows the Buckeyes will be a big test on Saturday; their offense is built for speed.

"They are a double-edged sword. You take the run game, they are going to hit you over the top," said Kill. "They are different to defend, because their receivers and skill people are as good as anyone in the country."

The Buckeyes' offense starts with quarterback J.T. Barrett, who not only has thrown for 2,164 yards and 26 touchdowns, but has run for another 582 yards and a team-high eight touchdowns.

"You can't give them the big play, and find a way to keep their quarterback under control," said Kill.

Kill knows his offense's ability to hold on to the ball and keep the Buckeyes' offense off the field could also be a big key on Saturday.

"It's essential," said Kill. "When we don't turn it over and we are able to run the ball...we've been pretty successful."

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