Buckeyes Keep Scoreboard Busy with 63-38 Shootout Win
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Where there's a will, there's a way, and on Saturday night the Buckeyes scored at will in a variety of ways.
In front of an Ohio Stadium record crowd of 106,102 fans, Ohio State scored on offense, defense and special teams in a 63-38 come-from-behind shootout blowout win.
Six offensive touchdowns by three different players, an interception return by cornerback Bradley Roby, and a punt return touchdown by receiver Corey Brown provided answers every time the Cornhuskers started to raise questions.
"They fed off each other," Urban Meyer said of his offense and defense. "And this team is buying in and they're doing a good job."
In fact, it was the Ohio State (6-0) defense that got the scoring started when Roby jumped a pass route and returned a Taylor Martinez interception for a 41-yard touchdown.
"I saw it on film," Roby explained.
"When they line up in certain formations, they run certain routes. So when I saw them running that route, I just jumped it."
Earlier in the week, Roby told reporters that he saw a few routes that he planned to jump on in this game, but he proved even more prophetic with his latest revelation.
"I dreamed about that," he said of the interception return.
"My dad texted me this morning and was like, 'I had a dream that you got a pick six today.' I'm like, 'Dad, I'm gonna get it. I had the same dream.'"
The dream didn't last long for the Buckeyes as the Huskers would score the game's next 17 points. The Ohio State offense, meanwhile, mustered a whopping 17 yards of total offense in the first quarter.
But with the change in quarters came a change in momentum. On Ohio State's first play from scrimmage in the second quarter, Braxton Miller went 72 yards on a quarterback keeper to get the ball down to the Nebraska three-yard line. Two plays later, Carlos Hyde punched it in for the touchdown.
The game wasn't completely turned for the Buckeyes, however, as Nebraska (4-2) took a 24-21 lead in the middle of the second quarter on a four-play, 75-yard drive that lasted all of 1:59.
But from that point on, the Buckeyes never failed to answer another Husker score. Ohio State scored touchdowns on their final four drives of the half, including a 31-yard touchdown run by Miller with just 23 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
"We have a quarterback, obviously, that is kind of ridiculous running the ball," Meyer said.
Miller rushed for a career-high 186 yards on 16 carries, with 137 of those yards coming in the first half.
Nebraska opened the second half with yet another touchdown drive, which was then answered by a touchdown drive from the Buckeyes to make it 42-31.
The Huskers went three and out on their next possession, which led to a Brett Maher punt that was returned by receiver Corey Brown for a 76-yard touchdown, making it 49-31 Buckeyes.
"Overall it was just good blocking," Brown explained.
"When we watch the film tomorrow, that’s what we’ll see, those guys making good blocks. Making those perfect blocks made it easy for me. The blocking was honestly so good I didn’t even see anyone in front of me, just the punter. I knew I just had to make one person miss."
The Huskers' next possession ended in an Orhian Johnson interception at the Ohio State ten-yard line. It was yet another example of the intermittent disruptiveness of the Buckeye defense.
Despite giving up 437 yards of total offense to Nebraska, the Buckeyes sacked Martinez four times and chased him countless others. Defensive end John Simon finished with two sacks and five tackles for loss.
Ohio State added an eighth touchdown when tailback Rod Smith took a handoff down the right side and shrugged off would-be tacklers for a 33-yard touchdown run.
The Buckeyes capped the scoring with Carlos Hyde's fourth touchdown run of the game, a 16-yarder to the right side in the game's waning seconds. Hyde finished with a career-high 140 yards on 28 carries. The carries and touchdowns were also career highs.
"I have to give all the credit to the offensive line," Hyde said.
"If they didn’t do their job, we wouldn’t have been able to run for 300-plus yards. They were great tonight. I watched the UCLA game and their running back had 200-plus yards against them, so I knew there would be opportunities."
The Buckeyes rushed for 371 yards averaging 7.7 yards per carry. The passing game (Braxton Miller 7-14 for 127 yards and a touchdown) took a backseat to a dominating rushing attack, and nobody on the Ohio State sideline seemed to mind.
"We're kind of a pound-ya offense right now," Meyer said. "I don't mind that. I've not had a lot of those.
"It didn't feel that way in the first 15 minutes of the game. It was terrible. And I didn't feel like we were blocking them. They were kind of defeating us at the line of scrimmage. But that changed.
"Our offensive line eventually took over that game."
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