C.J. Stroud’s 4 TD passes lead No. 4 Ohio State past Minnesota
In his first career start, C.J. Stroud threw for 294 yards and four second-half touchdowns as No. 4 Ohio State rallied to defeat host Minnesota 45-31 on Thursday in the season opener for each team.
Stroud, who had never thrown a collegiate pass, was 13-for-22 with one interception for the Buckeyes, who trailed 14-10 at halftime and 21-17 in the third quarter.
Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim rushed for 163 yards and two TDs, but 14 unanswered points by Ohio State proved the difference.
First, Stroud hit Garrett Wilson for a 56-yard TD. Then Zach Harrison had a strip sack of Tanner Morgan, and nose tackle Haskell Garrett scooped up the ball and went 32 yards for a TD. That gave Ohio State a 31-21 lead with 2:18 left in the third quarter.
A 46-yard field goal by Matthew Trickett early in the fourth pulled Minnesota to within 31-24, but TreVeyon Henderson took a screen pass 70 yards for the Buckeyes to make it 38-24 with 9:43 left.
After the Gophers got a 2-yard TD run from Bryce Williams, Chris Olave scored on a 61-yard catch-and-run to extend the lead to 45-31 with 4:39 left. Olave caught four passes for 117 yards and two TDs.
Minnesota trailed 10-0 before Ibrahim had a 56-yard run on fourth-and-1 from the Minnesota 29. Tanner Morgan (14-for-25, 205 yards, one TD) then threw a 13-yard pass to Dylan Wright to make it 10-7.
Stroud was intercepted by Terrell Smith on Ohio State’s next drive, and Ibrahim capped the 37-yard drive with 1-yard run on third down for a 14-10 lead with 3:32 left before halftime.
Stroud threw a 38-yard TD pass to Olave to open the second half, but the Golden Gophers quickly regained a 21-17 lead.
Morgan had an interception nullified because of a roughing-the-passer penalty and, two plays later, Ibrahim rushed for a 19-yard touchdown.
The Buckeyes’ home opener is Sept. 11 vs. No. 11 Oregon. Minnesota is home the same day against Miami (Ohio).
–Field Level Media