2021 Game Preview: Ohio State vs Nebraska
The Buckeyes rank 5th in the first edition of this years College Football Playoff ranking, behind Georgia, Alabama, Michigan State, and Oregon. Their win against Penn State might not have been enough to move them into the top 4, but they have a chance to climb their way in as long as they win out, and this week will be another challenge. Nebraska might be better than their record suggests with a 3-6 record, but all 6 loses have come within 8 points, and 3 of those to top 10 teams. The spread is steady at 15 points in favor of the Buckeyes, but the recent meetings between these two teams has not been that close.
Big Noon Kickoff crew will be in Lincoln for this game, and will be an 11am CT kickoff for the local crowd. One thing you can give credit to Nebraska for is having nice fans and one of the more impressive records of consecutive sell outs. This will be the Buckeyes 2nd trip to Lincoln in 3 years, where Justin Fields led Ohio State to a 48-7 win. The questions will be how long with the Nebraska fans have to hold onto their red balloons, which is released after their first score.
Head Coach: Scott Frost (4th season)
2021 Record: 3-6
Location: Lincoln, NE
Conference: Big 10
Ohio State Preview: Ryan Day is making sure his team is focused at the task at hand, and this season truly becomes a season of 1 game at a time at this point, and can be compared to March Madness. For the past few years, Ohio State has had success in the month of November, and will look to stay perfect as their Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff hopes remain very much alive.
CJ Stroud has passed for 2270 yards this season with 22 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, which his last pick was thrown against Tulsa in week 3. His 91 QBR is best in the nation, ahead of Heisman favorite Bryce Young of Alabama.
TreVeyon Henderson had a heavy workload last game, and it will be interesting to see what the running back He hads 107 carries for 845 yards on the season with 12 rushing touchdowns. He has 9 catches for 175 yards and 3 touchdowns. Miyan Williams is the second leading rusher with 314 yards on 43 carries.
The trio of Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba are arguably the best in the country, and have a chance to all hit 1000 yards this season. Wilson leads with 43 catches for 687 yards and 6 touchdowns. Smith-Njigba is second on the team with 648 yards and 3 touchdowns. Chris Olave leads all-receivers with 9 touchdowns on 35 catches for 562 yards.
Nebraska Preview: The Scott Frost Era might be coming to an end in Nebraska, as the Cornhuskers have improved, but have not gotten over the hump in being in the conversation for conference or national contention. To their credit, that have played 3 top 10 teams already, and one more this week, so they were not dealt an easy schedule. They have played every one of those loses close, and keeping within 8 points. They held Oklahoma to their lowest scoring output, and forced overtime with Michigan State. Their three wins were against Fordham, Buffalo, and Northwestern.
Adrian Martinez remains the starter for the Cornhuskers, and has thrown for 2264 yards on the season with 12 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He also leads the team in rush attempts and yards with 451 yards on 106 carries, and 11 touchdowns.
Behind Martinez, the leading running back is Rahmir Johnson, who has 96 carries for 433 yards and 4 touchdowns. Johnson also has 14 catches on the year for 187 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jaquez Yant is the next lead running back with 250 yards on 34 carries.
At receiver, Samori Toure has 29 catches for 568 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tight End Austin Allen is the second leading receiver with 27 catches for 371 yards and 2 touchdowns. Omar Manning is next with 305 yards on 21 catches and 2 touchdowns.
Buckeye Spotlight: CJ Stroud. Stroud has an opportunity to help boost his numbers for a potential Heisman run with this weeks match up against a team who is better than their record, and has played every team tough.
Cornhusker Spotlight: Adrian Martinez. 20th year junior (kidding) Adrian Martinez is the Nebraska offense. If the Buckeyes can slow him down and force him to make mistakes, this game could get ugly in a hurry.
Water Cooler Stat of the Game: 26. In the three games Nebraska has played against teams currently ranking in the top 10, they have only given up 78 total points, or 26 a game to Oklahoma, Michigan State and Michigan. This will be there 4th match up against a top 10 team this year.
Prediction: Nebraska has played every opponent tough this year, and the Buckeyes cannot take this team lightly. They were able to score points against the Buckeyes last year, so the defense will need to be ready to try and stop Adrian Martinez. The game last week against Penn State should have opened up some opportunity spots for the offense on how to attack, because Nebraska is going to come in with the same philosophies. The talent though on the offense is too much for the Cornhuskers to contain, and the Buckeyes will pull away towards the end of the second and third quarter.
Ohio State 52 – Nebraska 10
Photo Credit to Nebraska Today