Game 9 Recap: Ohio State 36 – Nebraska 31
The attempted Black Out for the game is a good metaphor for the game itself. It wasn’t 100%, there were some empty spaces, but it was enough to come out as a successful attempt. Ohio State wore their all black uniforms for the second time, but the new look didn’t cover up the same issues fans have noticed about this years version of the team. The offense, although seemingly found their running game again, had some issues with taking care of the ball, and some bad passes from Haskins and drops from Hill kept it from being a complete offensive game. The defense still allowed 450 yards, but limited some of the big plays.
Dwayne Haskins did not look as sharp this game as he has all year. Urban Meyer mentioned in his Monday press conference that that may have been a result of the team focusing on the run game. He still was able to throw for 252 yards and 2 touchdown, but had a costly interception in the redzone in the first possession of the second half. He also broke a school record for completions in a season, breaking JT Barrett’s record. He has 3053 yards for the year now, and 32 passing touchdowns.
JK Dobbins was the star of the game, in large part of long runs in the second half of the game, but he dash for 163 yards and 3 touchdowns, including the last touchdown which was a 42 yard run. Mike Weber was not far behind with 91 yards on 9 carries, He hopes to bounce back this week against one of the top rushing defenses in the country,
The wide receivers had a relatively quite day. Johnnie Dixon lead Zone6 with 96 yards and a touchdown on 5 receptions. KJ Hill dropped a lot of balls this game, as well as a fumble after a long scamper. Parris Campbell was the other receiver who scored this game with a shuttle-pass in the red zon for 9 yards. He finished the day with 31 yards on 4 receptions.
Adrian Martinez was as advertised, and capitalized on a few plays against Ohio State’s defense. He was able to throw for 266 yards and a touchdown, as well as 72 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. He could be the next Trace McSorley for the Big Ten. Stanley Morgan and JD Spielman had 7 and 6 receptions respectively, and lead the team for 148 yards between them.
Nebraska should bounce back after the loss and look to get it’s third win of the season as they host Illinois. Scott Frost has the staff and building the players to turn the team around to compete for Big Ten Championships.
As has been the narrative the past few games, Ohio State never really took control of the game until late in the 4th. They regained the lead on their second series of the second half, which was a short 3 yard touchdown run by Dobbins. After a few traded scores, and a 30-24 lead, JK Dobbins broke out a 42 yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter that gave Ohio State a more comfortable 2 score margin. Nebraska would respond on their next drive, but it was too little too late for the Cornhuskers, and Ohio State took the win.
Star of the Game
JK Dobbins looked like the JK Dobbins Ohio State fans witnessed in last years Indiana game. He scored 3 touchdowns on 23 carries and 163 yards. Not far behind was Weber who was just shy of the century mark. Dobbins had a slow start, but you could tell the game plan was to get the run game going, and with the extra blockers in the redzone, there might be a solution for the running game moving forward.
With the win, Ohio State still is control of it’s destiny, and with two teams above them losing (LSU and Kentucky) Ohio State should climb a little closer in the playoff ranking. They need to root for Alabama to go undefeated, because even if Ohio State were to run the table, and 1 loss Alabama (in a potential loss in the SEC Championship game) could still get in based on the eye test. Ohio State obviously still needs to win out, and the November 24th showdown looms even larger. They just needs to take care of business the next two weeks, and the leaders will need to step up to keep the team focused.
Ohio State (8-1) travels to East Lansing to play Michigan State (6-3) at noon.
Nebraska (2-7) hosts Illinois (4-5) at noon.
Photo credit to Lettermen Row