Ohio State vs. Nebraska prediction and game preview. The Buckeyes look to deal the Cornhuskers a second straight loss Saturday night in Columbus in a top-10 showdown.
Ohio State vs. Nebraska Game Preview
When: Saturday, Nov. 5 – 8 p.m. ET
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus.
TV Broadcast: ABC
Urban Meyer will be the first to admit Ohio State hasn’t been playing its best lately. After losing to Penn State, the Buckeyes barely escaped with a 24-20 win over Northwestern after the Wildcats entered The Horseshoe as a 26-point underdog. They’re no doubt losing some points with the College Football Playoff committee during this stretch, but a victory over Nebraska could change all that.
The Cornhuskers lost their undefeated season last week, falling 23-17 at Wisconsin in overtime in a game it rallied to tie after falling behind by 10 in the third quarter. The defeat trimmed their lead in the Big Ten West to one game, and a loss in Columbus could put their chances of going to the Big Ten title game at risk with the Badgers now having the advantage in a potential tiebreaker scenario.
What To Know About Ohio State
The Buckeyes are going to be out to make a statement by running over a top-10 foe. Northwestern finished with 406 total yards and converted half of its 16 third-down situations while also going 2-for-2 on fourth down. That certainly isn’t going to make Meyer happy, and Ohio State is going to try and make an example of Nebraska, which finished with a season-low 305 yards last week at Wisconsin.
The Buckeyes have some things to be pleased about offensively, though. J.T. Barrett, a Maxwell Award semifinalist, completed 65.6 percent of his passes without an interception, and Mike Weber ran for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Curtis Samuel continued showing his versatility, finishing with 99 total yards.
What To Know About Nebraska
The Huskers had been living dangerously for weeks before finally suffering their first loss, winning close games amid struggles against the likes of Illinois, Indiana and Purdue. Tommy Armstrong, who still might not be 100 percent health-wise, will need to be better after going 12 of 31 for 153 yards and two interceptions. He did rush for a touchdown, but the Buckeyes’ three rushing touchdowns allowed are tied for the fewest in the nation.
Nebraska was good defensively, though, forcing two turnovers for the third straight game. Nathan Gerry accounted for both of them with interceptions to go along with his team-high seven tackles. Barrett is prone to throwing picks, and the Huskers will need at least a couple takeaways to have a chance in this one.
Offense: Ohio State – The Big Ten’s top unit is averaging 492.9 yards per game with all that talent.
Defense: Ohio State – The Buckeyes are allowing nearly a yard fewer per play than the Huskers.
Special Teams: Nebraska – De’Mornay Pierson-El is second in the conference in average yards per punt return behind Jabrill Peppers.
Coaching: Ohio State – Mike Riley has Nebraska nationally relevant again, but he hasn’t exceeded what Meyer has done with the Buckeyes.
Intangibles: Even – This is the first meeting since 2012, when the Buckeyes evened the series in Big Ten play at one game apiece.
Matchup To Watch
Armstrong vs. Ohio State’s secondary
Malik Hooker and Marshon Lattimore are going to be following Armstrong’s every move. It’s no secret that Armstrong has had trouble throwing the ball, and the Buckeyes are ready to pounce on even his slightest mistakes.
Spread: Ohio State -17
Ohio State vs. Nebraska Prediction
The Buckeyes respond in a big way, getting two touchdowns apiece from Samuel and Weber and shutting down Armstrong in an easy victory.
Ohio State vs. Nebraska final score prediction: Ohio State 41, Nebraska 20