3 takeaways from Ohio State's tune-up win over Minnesota
Ohio State entered Week 12 with an undefeated record and sights set on a huge game in Week 13. However, that did not deter the Buckeyes in Saturday’s game against Minnesota.
Though Ryan Day’s squad might have started a bit slow during the first half, TreVeyon Henderson scored early and a huge third quarter paved the way to another big win for the Buckeyes. When it was all said and done, the starters were pulled in the fourth quarter with things firmly in hand.
Here are the key takeaways from Ohio State’s 37-3 win with attention turning to The Game:
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Jack Sawyer posts coming out party
Jack Sawyer came to Ohio State with all the expectations that accompany a 5-star recruit out of Ohio. Overall, Sawyer’s stats have not matched those high expectations, but he had a game-wrecking performance Saturday night.
Facing the Gophers, Sawyer delivered a career-high with 3.5 TFL. He entered the game with 2.5 TFL on the season and 12 TFL for his career.
To open the second half, Sawyer also delivered a strip sack to flip field position:
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 18, 2023
When it was all said and done, Sawyer led the Buckeyes with 6 total tackles and 3.5 TFL, contributed 3 solo stops and his strip sack. JT Tuimoloau is a player teams must account for, and Sawyer rounding into form on the opposite side of the line will create a nightmare in the final games of the season.
Emeka Egbuka looks healthy in time for The Game
Speaking of dynamic duos, Marvin Harrison Jr. played 3 games in the middle of the season without Emeka Egbuka in the lineup. While Egbuka has been in the lineup the past few weeks, he did not look like himself until the first half of Week 12.
Though he did not produce a catch after halftime, Egbuka went for 5 catches and 83 yards in the first half against Minnesota. He also displayed his usual burst and ability to get open time and time again.
Ohio State WR Emeka Egbuka is having his best game since his ankle injury last month vs. Maryland.
First Egbuka moves the chains on a pop pass on 3rd-and-2 and then, shortly after, picks up 23 more yards on a PA pass to the boundary.
Egbuka so far: 4 receptions, 62 yards. pic.twitter.com/acaICTAXQN
— Andy Backstrom (@andybackstrom) November 18, 2023
The offense has been dangerous without Egbuka at full strength. With him fully healthy, Ohio State has the full table of weapons at the disposal of QB Kyle McCord for The Game and beyond.
TreVeyon Henderson is ready for The Game
During his true freshman season, Henderson delivered 128 yards of offense against Michigan and impacted the game multiple ways with a rushing and receiving touchdown. He was not available during last season’s loss, and the absence was notable.
This time around, Henderson stands to be available and healthy for the Wolverines. Facing Minnesota, Henderson went for 146 yards on 15 carries with 2 touchdowns, including a career-long run from 75 yards.
— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) November 18, 2023
Since returning to the field against Wisconsin, Henderson has produced at least 100 rushing yards in 3 out of 4 games played. The one game Henderson did not reach 100 yards was in the lopsided performance against Michigan State where he had 77 yards of offense and a touchdown.
Now, Henderson will get his chance to leave his mark in The Game when the Buckeyes travel to Ann Arbor.