It isn’t often in the Big Ten that an offense can put up 400+ yards and still loose but that’s exactly what happened as Nebraska fell to Ohio State. The Ohio State offense got off to a terrible start going three and out on their first four possessions but by the time the second quarter rolled around the steam was pumping in the Ohio State freight train as they added 242 yards and 28 points to the scoreboard in the second quarter.
Although Miller set a new Ohio State record rushing for 186 yards, he didn’t do it all alone. Carlos Hyde set a personal best 140 yards scoring four touchdowns and Rod Smith added another 38 yards and a touchdown on two carries.
While the Buckeyes were making the most of an explosive running game, the receivers provided just enough of a threat to keep the Nebraska defense in check as Miller completed 7-14 to four different receivers with one touchdown.
Defensively the Buckeyes looked great except for when they didn’t. After controlling Nebraska on their first two possessions, the second of which ended in a 41 yard pick six by Bradley Roby, the Corn Huskers added 17 unanswered points to the scoreboard. As the game went on the Ohio State defense adjusted and found them self in the backfield putting some serious pressure on quarterback Taylor Martinez. Nebraska seemed to find themselves in third and seriously long on a number of occasions.
The Buckeyes had trouble stopping Nebraska’s Rex Burkhead who is nothing short of a beast. Burkhead had 119 yards before going out in the third quarter with an injured knee. He’s also got a serious stiff that not only pushed defenders out of the way but drew face-mask penalties.
The secondary proved themselves though. Going into this game Martinez had only thrown one interception. By the time the Buckeyes got through with him he’d tripled that number including Roby’s interception for a touchdown. Fumbles have also been a problem for Nebraska and that trend continued as the Corn Huskers gave up a fourth turnover by fumble.
Add in Corey “Philly” Brown’s 76 yard punt return for a touchdown and the Buckeyes went from needing improvement on offense, defense and special teams a few weeks ago to production on all fronts.
This Buckeye team has come a long way since last spring and they continue to step up for the big games. With the biggest hurdles out of the way, they need to keep up their intensity for the next few weeks before wrapping the season against Wisconsin and Michigan.