Hayes & Cannon

2018 OSU Opponent Overview: Nebraska Cornhuskers

Demario McCall Ohio State Football vs Nebraska

“At some point in an individual battle, the other guy says, ‘I don’t want to go anymore, I’ve had enough.’ The same thing with a team. At some point that team says, ‘No, wait a minute. That’s too much for us to handle.’ That’s called tapping out. We will never see this here. That’s a culture. That’s a mindset.” — Urban Meyer, 2012

Heading into his seventh season as Ohio State’s head coach, Urban Meyer has successfully implemented the desired culture and mindset in every aspect of the Ohio State football program.

Competition throughout every position group reigns supreme, and the bluest of blue-chip recruits are always on the way in the form of reinforcements.

Throughout the spring and summer, I want to review the upcoming 2018 Ohio State football opponents, using the theme of competition as the baseline. While Ohio State has had more challenging schedules in the past, there are several games on the schedule that could potentially trip the Buckeyes up and end their goal of repeating as B1G champions.

These articles will examine the 2018 opponents, from least concerning to most concerning, based on various factors that I will list in the respective articles.

As always, I encourage interaction, either through the comments section below, or directly @ChipMinnich. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I look forward to writing them.

5.  Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-8 in 2017)

In an effort to get back to the glory years of the Tom Osborne era, Nebraska abandoned the three-year Mike Riley experiment, hiring former Cornhusker quarterback Scott Frost from a successful two-year stint at Central Florida (19-7).

Frost took over a Central Florida program that had gone 0-12 in 2015 and was able to completely reverse the Knights’ losing ways, leading UCF to a 12-0 record in 2017 that included a Peach Bowl win over Auburn.

Frost split time between finishing up at Central Florida and beginning his Nebraska duties, and was still able to land a well-respected recruiting class.  Nebraska’s class ranked fourth within The B1G, and 22nd overall in the national rankings.

Among Frost’s prized recruits was quarterback Adrian Martinez, who enrolled early and participated in Nebraska’s spring practices. If Martinez is not the starter at quarterback when the season begins, it will be surprising. Regardless, odds are that Martinez will emerge as Nebraska’s starting quarterback by the time the Huskers come to Ohio State in November.

Ohio State has been dominant against Nebraska in recent seasons – a 62-3 rout at night in Ohio Stadium in 2016, a 56-14 thrashing in Lincoln in 2017. It is because of these types of beatings that Scott Frost was brought back as Nebraska’s head coach, and it is the fervent belief of the Cornhusker faithful that the glory years of Nebraska will be recaptured under his leadership.

Why did I rank Nebraska as a game of medium concern?

Yes, Ohio State has been walloping Nebraska on the field over the last two years. Yes, Urban Meyer has not lost to Nebraska in his tenure as Ohio State’s head coach. Yes, the game is in Ohio Stadium. Yes, Nebraska was a mess on the defensive side of the ball, and will probably be a major work in progress for Scott Frost and his defensive staff all throughout the 2018 season.

But something about this game makes me uneasy. Both teams will be coming in off a bye week. Could Ohio State be focusing too much on the upcoming trip to East Lansing against Michigan State and be caught unprepared? Will Scott Frost have enough tricks in his coaching arsenal to keep this game close?

Ohio State will be heavily favored and likely to win. Having seen how quickly Scott Frost turned UCF around, perhaps Frost will have Nebraska believing that the Cornhuskers can play with — and upset — Ohio State by the time this game comes to pass in November.

Something about this game makes me believe it will be closer to the 2012 Buckeye win (63-38), versus what OSU has done to Nebraska the last two seasons.

Previous: 12. Oregon State | 11. Rutgers | 10. Tulane | 9. Minnesota | 8. Maryland | 7. Indiana | 6. Purdue |

6 Responses

  1. I’ve talked to a bunch of people who look at Nebraska, yawn and snicker at a comment like, This is a whole different animal at Nebraska with Scott Frost now in charge. Culture is the thing that is most impressive with Frosts ability to teach. Being old school the guy understands toughness. More importantly, he understands old school toughness coming from a Nebraska defense. They didn’t always have the most talented players but they would play as a team and bust opponents in the chops. But it does take more than hype to install a culture like that and I suspect it’s going to take him a couple years to get people to buy into what he wants. His advantage is that he’s won a National Title with that old school Nebraska culture. He turned Oregon was obviously an offensive powerhouse. Yep, he’s known for his ability to put an offense together. Most people are lazy and never pay much attention to assistants but this is a case where they should. Scott Frost played safety in the NFL, and produced good results on Special Teams. All in all his coaching career has been a pretty even split between defense and offense. It may only be an FCS team like Northern Iowa but he made that defense one of the best in their division. When he arrived at UCF he put premium effort into building the bedrock of any title contender. A stout defense. 2 years in and UCF became the REAL National Champions. YEAH YEAH…..Alabama, blah blah blah. UCF would have beaten Alabama and even if their toothless fan base and their midget HC won’t admit it out loud, they KNOW UCF would have won a head to head matchup.

    Frost brings a winning mindset that promotes a hard nosed culture. It’s just my opinion but he has more talent at Nebraska to work with than anywhere else he’s coached, and that includes at Oregon where he molded Mariota into a Heisman winner. He could have done that ONLY after developing a higher level of toughness previously with the Oregon wideouts. He taught them how be more than just receivers. They learned 4-6 A-B which included being good downfield blockers for 4 years. That opened up the Ducks running game AND paved the way for some outstanding results in the passing game.Nebraska isn’t Iowa and Iowa is going to discover they aren’t in Nebraska’s league in 2018 except in Conference and Division affiliation.

    I don’t think he’ll get his team over the top in year 1, but they’ll be a much better team and will produce solid results in the win/loss colume’s. They SHOULDN’T be able to play within 20 points of the Buckeyes, but, we’re going to see a new nasty from their level of play starting this year. Sleep walk into this years game and the Buckeyes could end up with egg on their face and wondering what could have been, just like in 2017.

    1. Thanks for the comments. I believe you said it best with, “This is a whole different animal at Nebraska with Scott Frost now in charge.”. I agree that the change may not be immediate, but it will happen, probably sooner than Ohio State fans may not acknowledge. Hopefully, not in Ohio Stadium in November.

      Thanks again for the comments.

  2. Spot on. This will not be the typical 38-3 half time lead against The Corn Huskers type game. Frost does have talent and the D slips of the Husker D’s of the past will be just that ‘of the past!’ This has classic ‘trap’ game written all over it and OSU may not have this game in the bag until later in the 3rd which will keep OSU fans somewhat uneasy. OSU is at home, still has some shallow scars from The ‘Home Alone’ house of Iowa City, that will not only keep this game close, but may give OSU a 10-17 pt lead. NE is not IA, Iowa knows how to knock off the big boys at home; last second win for PSU. OSU gots it clock cleaned in 2017 and in 2016 MI began its 3/4 game free fall in Iowa City. None the less very good points and by 2020, NE may be the favs. to play in INDY for The B1G title.

    1. Thanks for the comments, especially with the “OSU may not have this game in the bag until later in the 3rd which will keep OSU fans somewhat uneasy.”.

  3. Great quote from Urban to begin article but the “we will never see this here” part must only refer to home games because “I don’t want to go anymore, I’ve had enough” is exactly what Buckeye nation and the whole country saw from 2017 team the night we played Iowa. Please Urban, this season – no more Iowa game like performances from either the players or the coaches… especially against the Cornhuskers.

    1. Thanks for the comments. No Ohio State fan wants to see a game like 2017 Iowa, especially in Ohio Stadium.

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