Nebraska Preview: #5 Ohio State at Cornhuskers
After spending most of the night trying to get out of their own way before pulling out a late win on the road last week, the Nebraska Cornhuskers are back home this week with what is likely to be the toughest test on their 2019 schedule.
The Buckeyes (4-0) have dominated on both sides of the football so far this season, winning games by a combined score of 214-36.
Defensively they're led by all-conference end Chase Young who is tied for the FBS lead with seven quarterback sacks.
I talked with the 'Voice of the Huskers', Greg Sharpe, about the OSU defense, a unit that for the first time since 1996 has held each of their first four opponents to under 300 yards of total offense.
Greg says this is a major upgrade from the team that allowed 31 points against Nebraska last year:
Offensively for the Buckeyes, they've got two of the biggest threats in the Big Ten.
Quarterback Justin Fields, a transfer from Georgia, is leading the conference with 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions while completing 70 percent of his passes. He's also averaging nearly five yards a carry.
When Fields hands the ball off, nobody has been better in the Big Ten through the first month than running back JK Dobbins, who is averaging 120 yards per game and a whopping seven yards per carry.
Greg says this offense is about as good as any that have come through Columbus:
Kickoff in Lincoln is 6:30 PM, Saturday. You can listen to the game live on ESPN 99.1.
Ohio State is 6-1 all-time against Nebraska. The Huskers only win in the series came in Lincoln in 2011.
Last week (September 21), the Huskers overcame an abundance of adversity in a 42-38 win at Illinois in the Big Ten opener when Nebraska turned the ball over four times, three of which led to Illini touchdowns, and committed 11 penalties for nearly 120 yards.
Greg says it's amazing the Huskers were able to escape Champaign with the victory:
Another thing the Nebraska offense struggled with at times was the physical play of the Illini defense. Greg says the intensity of the hitting seemed to catch the Huskers off guard:
That physical defense sent running backs Maurice Washington and Dedrick Mills to the sidelines, leaving the Husker offense with third-string back Wan'Dale Robinson and the freshman responded with 89 yards and a touchdown on the ground with another 79 yards and two scores on eight catches.
Greg says it was quite the performance:
Defensively, Nebraska held Illinois to just 1-of-12 on third down and to less than 100 yards through the air on a night where Greg says the score didn't tell the whole story: