Friday, November 4, 2016

Buckeyes Preview 11.4.16: Nebraska @ Ohio State Buckeyes

By Jason Disantis, @JasonInCLE

#6 Ohio State (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) gave another uninspired performance last week beating the Northwestern Wildcats 24-20.  Tied going into the fourth quarter, the Buckeyes got a touchdown run from Curtis Samuel with 9:43 left in the game to take the lead and held on for their seventh win of the season.
Coming off of a loss at Penn State many thought Northwestern would be a "get-right" game for the Buckeyes.  That wasn't the case.  Rumors of an improved Northwestern defense proved to be true as they held Ohio State under their season average of yards and points per game.

While the defense of Northwestern put up a strong effort the Wildcats offense also proved to be better than thought as Clayton Thorson connected with Austin Carr 8 times for 158 yards.  While the Buckeye defense had been giving less than 300 yards of total offense Northwestern posted over 400 yards on the Silver Bullets.

The Buckeyes challenge only gets greater this weekend as they will play in another battle of top tens when the #10 Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) come to Columbus.

Nebraska will look to rebound after dropping their first game of the year in Wisconsin in overtime.  Traveling to Wisconsin and then Columbus is one of the toughest two game stretches in college football this year and the Cornhuskers will have to beat the Buckeyes to stay in the Big Ten and national championship picture.  Ohio State can count on a focused and angry Cornhuskers team.

"Our team actually will be mad," said Nebraska coach Mike Riley.  "You can be sad or you can be mad, and you can have a chip or your shoulder and know we can be better and we can play hard.  We'll have to play hard and well to win."

Ohio State knows that they haven't been playing as well as they were in the beginning of the season but they are young and growing as individuals and as a team.

"You've got a bunch of young cats going and swinging hard and practicing hard," coach Urban Meyer said.  "So I guess I'm much more positive.  Do I wish that we were (scoring) 56 points and all those kinds of things, sure, but we're a work in progress."

Despite losing to Penn State, Ohio State has gone 2-1 in road night games this year and linebacker Raekwon McMillan sees the positive in that accomplishment for his teammates.

"We'd love to be 3-0 in those situations, but to come out 2-1 is impressive for such a young team," McMillan said.

This Saturday will keep one team on the road to a Big Ten Championship and put the losers season in the hands of the rest of the top teams in the nation.  These two teams match up closely when you look at the numbers.  Both teams have rich football tradition and feel they're ready to take the next step.  Home field may be the difference in this match-up and with they way the Buckeyes have struggled, an extra hundred-thousand behind them can only help.  

What: Ohio State Buckeyes vs Nebraska Cornhuskers
When: Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 8:00 PM ET
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus Ohio
Watch: ABC
Line: OSU -17, O/U 53

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