COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Terrelle Pryor threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead Ohio State (No. 19 BCS, No. 18 AP) to a 38-7 win over Minnesota on Saturday.
A week after a devastating 26-18 loss at two-touchdown underdog Purdue, the Buckeyes (6-2, 4-1 Big Ten) made Minnesota (4-4, 2-3) pay for its bad plays. The Golden Gophers had two major misplays in the secondary and two turnovers inside their own 20.
Pryor said he was a new man after four turnovers in the Purdue defeat. He played better against Minnesota, but it was difficult to tell how much because the Gophers made so many costly mistakes.
Pryor hit on 13 of 25 passes for 239 yards with one interception and also ran for 104 yards on 15 carries.
Minnesota didn't offer much resistance, running its scoreless streak to 136:23 before MarQueis Gray's late 16-yard touchdown pass to Troy Stoudermire.
Trailing just 7-0 through two quarters, the Golden Gophers started making mistakes. They gave Ohio State the ball at the Minnesota 15 after Stoudermire fumbled away a short pooch kick to start the second half. Three plays later, Pryor bolted around right end off a nice play-fake to score on a 15-yard run.
Then Gophers quarterback Adam Weber lost a fumble at his own 22, leading to freshman Jordan Hall, on to replace injured tailback Brandon Saine who left with a concussion, scoring on an 11-yard run.
After a Minnesota punt, a foul-up in coverage led to Pryor's 57-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open DeVier Posey.
The two also had hooked up on a 62-yard score in the second quarter when another gaffe in the secondary left Posey unguarded 10 yards behind the defense.
Minnesota played most of the game without top receiver Eric Decker, who hobbled off the field in the first quarter and didn't return due to a recurring ankle injury. Still, the Gophers had four turnovers, eight penalties and numerous other miscues.
Weber was 10 for 23 for just 112 yards with two interceptions and his fellow quarterback, Gray, was 5 for 6 for 51 yards. They were sacked four times for 21 yards in losses and were harassed most of the day.
Hall finished with 38 yards and his first collegiate touchdown on 10 carries, with fifth-string tailback Jermil Martin rumbling 39 yards for his first career score. He totaled 75 yards on just seven carries.
Neither team played well, continually taking turns making mistakes, in a first half that saw Ohio State lead 7-0 -- thanks to a costly set of errors by Minnesota.
After stopping an Ohio State end-around for a loss on the first play of a series that started at the 25, Minnesota was assessed a late-hit penalty for a Buckeyes first down. On the next play, two Gophers defenders slid to the receiver cutting under coverage -- leaving Posey all alone. He had 10 yards clear of the field to grab Pryor's long spiral to complete the 62-yard touchdown.
Ohio State drove to a first down at the Minnesota 17 late in the half, but in the hurry-up offense Pryor threw a pass up for grabs in the end zone that was picked off by Kyle Theret.
The Buckeyes had a 2-to-1 edge in yards in the opening half, but Aaron Pettrey hooked a 30-yard field goal. They drove into Minnesota territory four times and collected no points.
Ohio State finished with 509 yards of offense, including 270 on the ground.