Game 9 Recap: Ohio State 26 – Nebraska 17
The Buckeyes rolled into Lincoln with the hopes of rebounding after struggling the previous week against Penn State. They were without their leading wide receiver Garrett Wilson, but still were 15 1/2 point favorites to start the game. Nebraska played as advertised and kept the high powered Buckeye offense in check for most of the game, but still have up almost 500 yards thanks to a big game from CJ Stroud and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. The Buckeyes seemed to have game planned to attack the Cornhuskers with a passing attack with 54 pass attempts to only 30 rushing attempts.
The Buckeyes were held to 0 points their first 3 drives, and then had a field goal, and two touchdowns in consecutive drives to take a 20-10 halftime lead. The Cornhuskers kept pushing though with big plays on their own, and stretched out the Buckeye defense. Adrian Martinez was responsible with the two touchdowns with one passing and one rushing, but it was not enough to mount a comeback. On the last ditch drive to try and close the gap, Steele Chambers picked off Martinez to allow Ohio State to knell down to end the game.
Cj Stroud threw for 405 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions, his first picks in 4 games, but still was able to spread the ball around in not one of his best passing days.
TreVeyon Henderson was quiet this game with 95 rushing yards on 21 carries. He also added 6 receptions for 44 yards. Master Teague and Miyan Willams has a combined 3 carries for 14 yards.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba had a break out game with 15 catches for 240 yards and a touchdown. Chris Olave has 7 catches for 61 yards and a touchdown, which gets him 2 touchdowns away from tying the record.
Ohio State never trailed in this game, but similar to the other top 10 opponents Nebraska faced their year, they kept the Buckeyes close into the 4th quarter. With 1:29 left in the 4th quarter, Noah Ruggles connected on his 4th field goal of the game, and extended the Ohio State lead to 9 points, making it a two score game. Nebraska only allowed the Buckeyes to score 6 points in the second half after leading 20-10 at half time.
Star of the Game
Jaxon Smith-Njigba. The wide receiver became the main target with Garrett Wilson out for the game due to an undisclosed injury. He caught the most passes in a game in Buckeye history with 15, and had 240 yards and a touchdown. Honorable mention is Noah Ruggles, who remains perfect in field goals for the year.
The Buckeyes did not look their best for a second straight week against a team with a stingy defense, but still got a win on the road where November is all about survival. Michigan State lost on the road to Purdue, which means by attrition, the Buckeyes should move up 1 spot, and the teams around them all struggles this week as well in close games. The Buckeyes do not have any margin for error, and now cannot overlook the Boilermakers who have defeated their second top 5 team for the second time this season.
Ohio State (9-1) heads home to host Purdue (6-3).
Nebraska (3-7) will travel to Wisconsin (6-3)
Photo credit: Lincoln Journal Star