Late rally not enough as Ohio State dumps Gophers

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Minnesota Gophers 14

Ohio State Buckeyes 28

The Gophers shut down Ohio State early but in the end, they couldn't keep up with the defending national champions and lost 28-14 Saturday night in Columbus.

Minnesota forced the Buckeyes to punt on their first four possessions and held them to just 55 yards in the first quarter, the Star Tribune reports.

But Ohio State caught a break on a questionable penalty call that came on a pick-six in the second quarter to score their first touchdown.

Here's what happened:

On third down deep in Minnesota territory, Gopher quarterback Mitch Leidner threw a pass intended for KJ Maye and was hit by linebacker Joshua Perry right after he released the ball. The force of the hit snapped Leidner's head back.

The pass was intercepted by Buckeyes safety Vonn Bell, who ran it 16 yards for a touchdown. But Perry was flagged for targeting, meaning he initiated a helmet-to-helmet hit.

The penalty would have meant the Gophers kept the ball, gained 15 yards, and Perry would have been ejected from the game.

But the referees reversed the penalty call and the Ohio State touchdown stood.

It didn't end up deciding the game, but it change the momentum and the Gophers lost steam after that.

Ohio State scored touchdowns in the second and third quarters to go up 21-0 before Minnesota got on the board in the fourth, according to the Associated Press.

Leidner threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to close the gap to 21-14 with 2:10 left.

But the Gophers' attempt to get the ball back on the onside kick didn't work, and Ohio State scored a final TD to make it 28-14 and shut the door on any thoughts of an upset.

The loss came a week after Minnesota (4-5, 1-4) lost a heartbreaker to Michigan at TCF Bank Stadium, 29-26.

Ohio State (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) has now won 29 consecutive Big Ten regular season games.

Tweet of the night:

Next Up:

The Gophers play another tough road game next Saturday, Nov. 14, at unbeaten Iowa. It's also another night game, with kickoff at 7 p.m.

Next Up