Football Hayes & Cannon

Opponent Watch: 3 Things to Watch For From Nebraska

Tackling Nebraska

“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins…” ~ Ulysses S. Grant

A proud son of Ohio, hailing from Point Pleasant, former Civil War general and the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant would be a strong advocate for as much advanced scouting of the enemy as possible before a battle was engaged.

While I have the utmost confidence in Urban Meyer and his strong staff of assistants, below are three areas I will be keeping an eye on when Ohio State travels to Lincoln, Nebraska to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the first time since the 2011 season.

A quick glance of Nebraska’s roster shows only two Ohioans listed, in redshirt freshman DB Tony Butler and freshman OL Matt Sichterman. Neither were offered by Ohio State.

Among the players on Nebraska’s roster who were extended scholarship offers by Ohio State are WR Zack Darlington (offered as a QB and was recruited by Tom Herman in 2013) and WR Tyjon Lindsey, who backed out of his verbal commitment shortly before signing day in 2017.

A familiar name to Ohio State fans is WR J.D. Spielman, the nephew of legendary Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman.

Nebraska Will Test Ohio State’s Secondary
Even though Nebraska’s quarterback Tanner Lee has thrown ten interceptions this season, four of which have been returned for touchdowns, Nebraska’s offensive strength is to throw the ball. Considering how Ohio State was tested at Indiana and against Oklahoma, this game will mark the first true test that the improving Buckeye secondary has faced in well over a month. Look for Denzel Ward to be matched up against Nebraska’s Stanley Morgan, Jr., while the other cornerback (Kendall Sheffield? Jeffrey Okudah?) will possibly be tasked with slowing down Nebraska’s De’Mornay Pierson-El.

Nebraska Has The Ability To Take A Kickoff The Distance
The aforementioned JD Spielman is averaging 34 yards a kickoff, and had a 99 yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the season opener against Arkansas State. If ever there was a time for the special teams coverage units to play at their best, Saturday night in Lincoln is the place.

Look For Nebraska To Pull Out All The Stops
Nebraska is 3-3 this season, Mike Riley’s job is on the line, and the natives are restless. If Nebraska has any trick plays, unusual formations, or any fake punts to run, this game would certainly be a perfect time to use any and all of them, especially in front of a primetime national television audience. Nebraska fans certainly remember being bludgeoned 62-3 last season in Columbus and would relish the opportunity to pull off the improbable upset in the Buckeyes’ first trip to Lincoln since 2011.

2 Responses

  1. What do I look for from Nebraska? INconsistency. The Huskers are NOT a very good, disciplined OR tough opponent. This game should be a massive mauling in favor of the Buckeyes. The team needs to revel in popping pimples because as soon as the game is over the season finally gets underway.

    I look for Coach Meyer to release the baying hounds of hell and light Nebraska up in the most complete game of football the Buckeyes will have played since……….well since they last mauled Nebraska. By the start of the 4th quarter only family and VERY close friends of Husker players will be left in the stands. ESPN, Fox Sports, and the BTN will announce the death of Nebraska football without even a eulogy over the carcass.

    1. Mostly agree. I think that UNL still has a couple of ‘teeth’ to be pulled but mostly in the case of special teams and the occasional lightning-out-of-the-bottle on a pass and I’m not convinced the secondary can manage a full game against receivers with a pulse.
      Buckeyes 63
      ‘Huskers 17

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