Buckeye Flashback: Revisiting All Four Ohio State–Nebraska Matchups in History

By Tim Shoemaker on November 3, 2016 at 8:35 am
Ohio Stadium.

Ohio State and Nebraska are two of the most storied programs in college football history.

It’s rather surprising they’ve only met four times on the field.

That all changes, of course, Saturday night when the sixth-ranked Buckeyes host the No. 10 Cornhuskers at 8 p.m. It’s a primetime showdown of two college football powerhouses. It’s the way this sport is supposed to be.

“They're a top-10 team for a reason," Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said this week of Nebraska. 

Ahead of Saturday’s matchup, we look back at the four all-time meetings between the Buckeyes and Huskers. This, of course, tells us nothing about what will transpire inside Ohio Stadium on Saturday night, but it's a fun experience nonetheless.

What follows are brief recaps from each of those games played between these two college football giants.

1955: Ohio State 28, Nebraska 20

The first meeting between the Buckeyes and Cornhuskers came 61 years ago in Columbus, Ohio. And, thanks to 14 unanswered third-quarter points, Ohio State escaped with the 28-20 victory.

Howard “Hopalong” Cassidy — who ended up winning the Heisman Trophy this season — gained for 170 of the Buckeyes’ 321 rushing yards and also scored two touchdowns. Frank Ellwood’s 2-yard touchdown run in the third quarter proved to be the game-winner.

The Cornhuskers were driving late, but the game ended on an interception by Ohio State’s Jim Roseboro. The Buckeyes wound up losing to Stanford the very next week and finished the 1955 season 7-2, a year which included the first victory over Michigan in Ann Arbor since 1937.

1956: Ohio State 34, Nebraska 7

The two teams met one year later, again in Columbus, but the end result wasn’t nearly as close. The Buckeyes cruised to a 34-7 victory in their season-opener.

There was a lot of discussion leading up to the game about how Ohio State would replace Cassidy, but it turns out the Buckeyes didn’t need him in this one. Ten different Ohio State players carried the ball as the offense racked up 478 total yards. Don Clark had touchdown runs of 35 and 38 yards for the Buckeyes.

Tale of the Tape
  Ohio State Nebraska
All-time wins 882 (5th) 887 (4th)
National championships 8 (6th) 5 (9th)
Conference titles 38 (4th) 46 (1st)
Consensus All-Americans 81 (2nd) 54 (8th)
Heisman Trophy winners 7 (1st) 3 (5th)
NFL first-round draft picks 69 (2nd) 34 (15th)
Weeks ranked in AP poll 864 (1st) 723 (7th)

Ohio State finished the 1956 season 6-3 overall and just 4-2 in the Big Ten.

2011: Nebraska 34, Ohio State 27

After a 55-year (!!) break, the series picked back up in 2011, but this is certainly a game — and a season, really — Ohio State fans probably wish they could forget.

The Buckeyes and Cornhuskers played in Lincoln for the first time as Nebraska joined the Big Ten and Ohio State held a 27-6 lead in the third quarter before the Huskers rattled off 28 unanswered points to pull out the 34-27 victory.

Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller suffered an ankle injury during the game and was replaced by Joe Bauserman. From there, the game went about as you'd expect.

Bauserman finished the evening 1-for-10 passing for 13 yards and one interception. Running back Rex Burkhead scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns within a three-minute span to seal the huge comeback for the Huskers.

Luke Fickell was Ohio State’s interim coach that season and the Buckeyes finished a turbulent campaign at 6-7.

2012: Ohio State 63, Nebraska 38

After the stunning collapse the year prior, the Buckeyes and Cornhuskers met again the following season in Columbus. And after Nebraska jumped out to a 17-7 lead, Ohio State dominated and hung 63 points on the Huskers’ defense in a 25-point blowout.

The Buckeyes scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams. Running back Carlos Hyde found the end zone four times on the evening. Miller ran for 186 yards as Ohio State totaled 371 rushing yards for the game. Bradley Roby had a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown and Corey Brown scored on a 76-yard punt return.

The Buckeyes went on to finish the season 12-0 in Meyer’s first year at the helm. A bowl ban kept Ohio State from experiencing postseason play, however.

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