Ohio State Defeats Nebraska In Season Opener

Ohio State and Illinois will continue the battle for the Illibuck trophy on Saturday. The Buckeyes have won the last nine.

Scott Frost gets his wish as Ohio State defeats Nebraska in the season opener.

Ohio State and Nebraska fought together to get football back.  They got it, and then they got each other in their first week. Ohio State won the battle 52-17, although the game was closer than the score might make it seem.

Nebraska quarterbacks Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey ran the ball more effectively than they threw it. They combined for 165 rushing yards to only 160 passing yards. Their rushing help take pressure off the passing game, as they combined for only five incomplete passes on 20 passing attempts.

Despite finding the chink in Ohio State’s armor, Nebraska still couldn’t hang with the Buckeyes. Down only ten at halftime, the Cornhuskers only mustered three points in the second half.

Ohio State closed the game with a scoop-and-score, a mind-blowing touchdown from Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and a touchdown from true freshman quarterback Jack Miller.

Ohio State has handed Nebraska three defeats in three seasons. Next, the Buckeyes will travel to Penn State for a potentially division-deciding matchup.

Ohio State Defeats Nebraska In Season Opener

Justin Fields

Justin Fields was surgical.

Fields must have seen Graham Mertz from Wisconsin Friday night, and Fields matched him.

The Buckeyes’ junior quarterback completed 20 of his 21 attempts for 271 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson benefited from Fields’ accuracy. They combined for 13 catches, 233 yards, and a touchdown.

Fields took four sacks, which is concerning. But apart from protection, Fields looks like he will be deadly this season.

Run Game

Ohio State lost J.K. Dobbins to the NFL draft, and lost over 2,000 rushing yards with him.

Not only did Fields lead the Buckeyes air attack, but he also had to carry the ground game. Fields was the leading rusher with 15 carries and 51 yards.

In the first half, Trey Sermon and Master Teague struggled to find running room. On 24 first half carries, the two combined for 44 rushing yards.

The most troubling part was watching the Buckeyes fail to run for a first down on two consecutive third-and-one attempts. There was practically no rushing attack outside of Fields.

Steele Chambers had four carries in the second half, and was the most efficient runner for the Buckeyes. Chambers had 32 yards on limited carries.

The second half was kinder to Sermon and Teague. Sermon finished with 4.4 yards per carry, and will probably be the featured back moving forward.

Pass Rush

Larry Johnson’s defensive line his usually the hallmark of the Ohio State defense. This year, they have to replace not only Chase Young, but their two starters on the interior.

The pass rush started off slow, which helped Adrian Martinez find receivers whenever he was forced to pass. Later in the game, the line found their rhythm, but was far below the Buckeye standard.

Haskell Garret was one of the few defensive linemen that was consistent, despite the fact that he spent part of the offseason recovering from a gunshot wound to the face. Jonathon Cooper wearing the “Block O” jersey also found his way into the backfield, but it took some time.

Penalties

Nebraska was called for targeting three times, and two calls were confirmed. There was another play that took Olave out of the game that looked suspect that went uncalled. So much for the two teams being best friends.

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