Now, nearing the end of September and having played their last non-conference game, the Buckeyes are diving into the big games on their Big Ten slate.
Immediately after Ohio State’s 76-5 win over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday the focus shifted to the Buckeyes’ next opponent, Nebraska.
Head coach Ryan Day made his opening statement in the press conference following the game and he listed all of the good things that his team did against Miami (Ohio).
“On offense we got in a pretty good rhythm,” Day said. “But anytime you can create turnovers like we did — we had two strip-sack fumbles by Chase. We had the blocked punt and the interception by Jeff, and you’re playing with a short field, makes all the difference in the world.
“We were opportunistic in those situations. I thought going into the game we had opportunities to get turnovers — in other games that we weren’t quite there, we got them today so that was good.”
But then at the end of his statement, he mentioned that the focus of the team had already shifted.
“But if we’re going to go into Lincoln, a lot of things to clean up if we’re going to go beat those guys next week,” Day said. “Already on to those guys and focused on preparing for them next week.”
The champions of the Miami (Ohio) game will still be recognized in order to make sure that they are rewarded, but then they will quickly move on to watching film and preparing for the Huskers.
Nebraska hasn’t gotten off the the start that was expected of them this season. The Cornhuskers are 3-1 and have wins against South Alabama, Northern Illinois, and Illinois. But they suffered a 34-31 loss at Colorado in overtime.
Despite having a loss on their record early in the season, the way that Ohio State prepares for and looks at Nebraska doesn’t change.
Cornhuskers’ quarterback Adrian Martinez leads the Big Ten in total offense with an average of 321.5 yards per game, and passing yards per game (263.0).
“I haven’t watched them a bunch on film,” Day said in the postgame. “Trying to stick to the mantra of winning this game and focusing on this game. But [Nebraska head coach] Scott [Frost] does a really good job and their defensive staff is really good. They have a really good quarterback.”
Having been to Lincoln once before, Day will be able to draw on his experiences there in 2017, as will his players.
“And that’s a hard place to play,” he said. “It’s a real place to go on the road and try to win. So that’s a big challenge for us. So we’ll start talking about that tomorrow morning — actually kind of talked about it just a little bit in the locker room, and they were all ears. So a big challenge and that starts even tonight.”
Facing Nebraska on the road at night will be sophomore quarterback Justin Fields’ first night road game as a Buckeye. The past two seasons, Ohio State’s only losses came from night-time road games at Iowa and Purdue. But after the teams’ performance on Saturday, Fields said he thinks they are ready for the challenge ahead.
“I think we’ve prepared during the winter and summer, and I think this team is mentally and physically prepared,” he said after the game. “So we’ll get in the film room, see what we can get better at and just get ready for Nebraska.”