COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- With a defense like this, who needs Maurice Clarett?
With Clarett resting his injured shoulder, fourth-ranked Ohio State yielded just 112 total yards and got three touchdowns from Lydell Ross and Maurice Hall in a 34-3 Big Ten Conference rout of Minnesota.
The second true freshman in school history to rush for 1,000 yards, Clarett suffered a stinger and carried just four times in last week's win over Penn State. He sat this one out, but the Buckeyes (10-0, 5-0 Big Ten) did not miss a beat.
"Obviously, our defense dominated the game," Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said. "They only allowed 112 total yards and they were put in some adverse positions with the two punt situations and the turnover, but our defense answered every time and did a great job."
Ross scored twice and rushed for 89 yards on 20 carries. Hall ran for 93 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries for Ohio State, which will supplant Notre Dame in the top four when the BCS standings are released Monday.
"We had to get our run game on track," Tressel said. "We struggled early in the game and Minnesota was loaded up against the run. But the kids came out and played hard, blocked a little harder and they just gave a great effort."
Minnesota (7-2, 3-2) carried a three-game winning streak into Ohio Stadium but never got anything going and lost for the 30th time in the last 32 meetings with the Buckeyes. The Golden Gophers' only road win over Ohio State in the last 53 years came in 2000.
"I was really proud of our defensive effort," Minnesota coach Glen Mason said. "To come into a setting such as Ohio Stadium and face a powerful team like Ohio State and perform the way we did, I think says a lot. The perception that we did not play good because we allowed 34 points, I don't think is true."
Seeking consecutive road wins at Ohio Stadium for the first time ever, the Golden Gophers blocked a punt and grabbed a 3-0 lead on Dan Nystrom's 24-yard field goal just under five minutes into the game.
But they struggled for every yard thereafter as the Buckeyes' defense ran its streak without allowing a touchdown to 10 quarters.
Ahad Abdul-Khaliq was just 10-for-20 for 59 yards and Big Ten rushing leader Terry Jackson II managed just 49 yards on 16 carries.
"I was disappointed in our offense," Mason said. "There are two things in offensive football - consistency and big plays. If you want to be really good, you have both. If you want a chance to win, you need to be consistent or rely on some big plays. Tonight, we had neither."
Ohio State took the lead on Ross' five-yard run with six minutes to go in the second quarter and made it 10-3 just 2 1/2 minutes later on a 37-yard field goal by Mike Nugent.
The Buckeyes dominated the second half, holding Minnesota to seven total yards.
"We came out and had some bad plays," Abdul-Khaliq said. "They took advantage of them and went up. They just kept the momentum flowing their way and it carried with them the whole game."
Ross scored again from nine yards to make it 17-3 and Nugent broke the single-season school record with his 20th field goal, a 33-yarder with 5:25 to go in the third period.
Krenzel connected with Chris Vance for a 30-yard scored four minutes later. Before the game, Vance learned his brother was shot to death Friday night.
"No question about it, the touchdown (Vance) scored was a special thing for him," Tressel said.
Hall capped the scoring with 6 1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter, running four yards at the end of a 77-yard drive.