As much as we all hate to admit it around here, Brandon Zimmerman was the closest to the pin last week with a predicted score of 65-9 over the Miami RedHawks.
This week, the rest of us have banded together and vowed to keep Zimmerman out of the winner’s circle.
How do we do that? I have no idea, but if we fail, I still hold the power to edit everything that gets written below.
The Buckeyes come into this game as prohibitive favorites. They have dominated every opponent they’ve seen to this point, but they have yet to see a team like Nebraska.
Will this be the week that somebody here crosses the line and picks against the Buckeyes? Let’s find out.
This game will be the true test for Ohio State. They are facing a very talented Nebraska team on the road in a prime-time, College GameDay-game. This will be Justin Fields’ first night game and only his second road game as a Buckeye. This is a new routine with a lot of firsts for Ohio State, all the while preparing for a night game in one of the best environments in college football. The Buckeye starters also haven’t had to compete for a whole game yet, but I think they will need a full 60 minute effort from the starters in this game.
Justin Fields, J.K. Dobbins, and Ohio State’s rotation of wideouts will have to keep up the dominant performance on offense. Nebraska has a very talented offense led by Adrian Martinez and his weapons J.D. Spielman and Wan’Dale Robinson. So defensively, this game will be more of a challenge for Ohio State. But I think the Buckeyes are prepared to continue flying to the ball, tackling, playing tough, and striving for those strip-sacks. Based on what happened the past two years at Iowa and Purdue, I think the Buckeyes know it is important to not overlook this game in any way.
This will be a fourth-quarter game or a back-and-forth game, but I think the Buckeyes are the better team overall and will pull away. But they will have to make the plays when needed in a hostile environment, make adjustments, and handle adversity because it will be thrown their way.
Ohio State 38, Nebraska 21
Sure, Caroline is the weekly favorite and Tony/Tom (are they even different people?) get the inside scoops…but it doesn’t matter. Three straight wins comes from the yahoo living in Hawaii. Those 6am start times have my mind on some next-level stuff right now. You don’t know excitement until you are celebrating a Jameson Williams TD against Miami of not-Florida with a piping hot cup of coffee in your hand. Folgers had it all wrong, the best part of waking up is Ohio State whooping that ass!
That will continue on Saturday afternoon (you schmucks and your night games) as the Buckeyes are going to roll in Lincoln and treat them like they are…Michigan of the West. I’m not positive the Nebraska defense will slow the Buckeyes down. Look for 200 yards on the ground from JK Dobbins and 350+ yards of total offense from Justin Fields.
On defense, the Buckeye defense will have to keep Adrian Martinez between the tackles where Jashon Cornell and crew can clean up. I’m predicting a huge day from Malik Harrison on Saturday. Additionally, this is the type of game where I think Jeff Okudah’s quickness on the edge will prevent quite a few scrambles.
Ohio State 52, Nebraska 13
Night games on the road are never easy. A full day of tailgating for the Corn fans will mean Memorial Stadium will be jumping. Nebraska is a quickly improving team that will challenge for B1G championships sooner than later.
On offense, Ohio State should handle the Blackshirts. Talent wise, the Buckeyes are simply better. But the Huskers are developing well under head coach Scott Frost. I expect JK to get to 3,000 career yards in the first half. I also expect a more conservative game plan to start the game so OSU can take control of the stadium. At the end of the day though, expect big numbers from Dobbins and Fields.
On defense, this will be the real challenge for the new Silver Bullets. Husker QB Adrian Martinez is as good as you’ve all been told. He can and will hurt the Buckeyes all by himself. He’s also got a great bunch of wideouts who will challenge the new defensive philosophy Ohio State brought in this season. Expect Frost to have his offense ready to attack. He played when the zone defense was still relevant and can beat it.
It’ll be the closest game of the season. But in the end, talent will win out here.
Ohio State 35, Nebraska 24
This was the game that I was most concerned about heading into the 2019 season. Yes, even more than going up to Ann Arbor at the end of November. Now that I have seen Ohio State play four games, and have seen the struggles Nebraska has had, even in victories, those dreadful feelings and worries have subsided.
The mobility of Adrian Martinez will have to be addressed, and I nominate Malik Harrison to spy on him throughout the game. I implore Drue Chrisman not to punt the ball to the ever-so-dangerous JD Spielman. Punt it out of bounds, or try to bring the rain with high punts that seem to take forever to descend from the sky. Even though J.K. Dobbins has had a strong start to his 2019 season, I look for him to put on a show in front of a national television audience.
Ohio State will truly be tested in this one, but I see the Buckeyes firmly taking control about midway through the third quarter. And then putting the Cornhuskers away for good in the fourth.
Ohio State 49, Nebraska 24
Ohio State is going to win this game because they are substantially better along both lines than Nebraska is. Let’s just get that out of the way up front.
That being said, this should present a really interesting challenge for the new-and-improved Buckeye defense. Scott Frost is a smart enough offensive mind to find some workarounds for issues with his offensive line. Nebraska is going to move the ball more than any team has yet this year against the Bucks.
This should be at least competitive through the first half.
But Nebraska is also 92nd in the nation in sacks allowed, and they haven’t faced anyone remotely close to Chase Young’s talent level.
Add in the overall talent gap between the programs, and it’s more than enough for the Bucks to pull away for a comfortable win.
Ohio State 42, Nebraska 24
This is a difficult game to gauge. I want to believe Ohio State’s offense and defense are both awesome, and maybe they are, but I’m not sure the competition level so far on the season is a good barometer of just where the Buckeyes are at this point. Obviously the atmosphere will add to the degree of difficulty. The Cornhuskers will make some plays on offense. I think we can pretty much count on that. Will the defense be able to be disruptive enough to keep the Huskers off schedule? That’s the key to this game for me. I don’t think it’s a good idea to consistently give Adrian Martinez third-and-short situations.
Ohio State will probably show a bit more in the quarterback run game this week and we might finally see K.J. Hill and Austin Mack catching passes across the middle. If those are in the offense, one would expect them to finally come out this week unless Justin Fields just isn’t there yet in terms of understanding all the nuances, keys, reads, etc. I think it’ll be a tight game and maybe the Buckeyes don’t grab the insurance touchdown until late.
Ohio State 38, Nebraska 24
Once upon a time, let’s say a month ago, an amateur blogger and OSU alumnus picked Nebraska to upset Ohio State. He cited a mobile QB and a rowdy (but super polite and respectful) Lincoln crowd being deciding factors.
That person is sorry. He was wrong.
Ohio State will not lose to the Cornhuskers on Saturday. The defense is light years ahead of where I expected it to be. The offensive leader is somehow playing at, if not above, the level of play that got the previous OSU quarterback drafted in the first round of the NFL draft.
Nebraska has a dangerous, explosive offense and will test the Buckeyes, but Ohio State still wins by three scores.
OSU 45, Nebraska 24
Having watched most of the Nebraska-Illinois game from last week, I was struck by just how much Adrian Martinez was struck.
The Husker offensive line protects him about as well as a band-aid protects arm hair. The Illini were in the backfield constantly, and so it is very easy for me to project the Ohio State defense doing the same. Can the OSU back end then hold up their end of the bargain? I think so.
The Ohio State offense should be able to run and throw when needed. It won’t always be easy, but it will look like it at times. The rain could neutralize the effectiveness of both teams, but Ohio State is better equipped to handle a defense that knows what’s coming more than Nebraska is.
I don’t feel great about going with 28 points. I think there will be two legitimate drives, one big play for another score, and then something late when the game is essentially over.
Ohio State 45 – Nebraska 28