Ohio State's Defensive Line Proved Too Quick and Too Deep for Nebraska

By Chris Lauderback on November 6, 2016 at 1:20 am
Michael Hill could've been busted for loitering in Nebraska's backfield.

On a night when Ohio State's wide receivers finally gave J.T. Barrett some help, the secondary dominated Nebraska's wideouts and Curtis Samuel got loose, it would be easy – but a mistake – to forget to give the Buckeye defensive line its due. 

Facing the league's 4th-best rushing attack (averaging 204 ypg), Larry Johnson's group dominated the line of scrimmage holding the Huskers to just 78 rushing yards on a meager 3.3 yards per carry. 

In the first half the front was especially dirty holding Nebraska to 40 yards on 18 carries, or 2.2 per tote. 

The Husker passing attack was also shut down as the defensive line aided what is already a stellar Buckeye secondary. Before leaving the game due to a nasty fall following a Malik Hooker hit, Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. connected on just 4 of 15 passes for 74 yards including a pick six and his backup, Ryker Fyfe, was just as bad hitting on 5 of 18 throws for 52 yards and a pick. Combined, the duo completed only nine of 33 throws for 126 yards and two picks, or 99 yards below their season average. 

Overall, with the line of scrimmage in hand, Ohio State held the Huskers to just 204 total yards of offense, or 225 yards below their season average of 429. 

With Johnson rotating his linemen at will, no guy put up huge numbers but their collective impact was huge. Michael Hill looked to play one of his better games as he consistently hung out in the Husker backfield posting 1.5 TFL and Sam Hubbard was on fire off the edge posting five stops and 1.5 TFL of his own. 

Dre'mont Jones was active once again and Jalyn Holmes posted a hurry and half a TFL. 

Opposite Hubbard, Tyquan Lewis had a huge hurry on a 4th and 1 play from the Buckeye 15 yard line to kill a chance for the Huskers to get back into the game after Dontre Wilson muffed a punt giving Nebraska the ball at the OSU 38 late in the 2nd quarter. Nebraska already trailed 24-3 at the time so Tyquan's play not only killed the drive but also any chance the Huskers would have to get back into the game. 

Overall, the defensive line finished with 4.0 TFL and three quarterback hurries which don't seem like monster numbers but the group was flat out dominant in the 1st half helping Ohio State to a commanding 31-3 lead at the break. 

Winning the line of scrimmage might not be the sexiest aspect of a game to watch but more often than not who wins the battle up front wins the game and tonight the defensive line left no doubt Ohio State would cruise to victory. 

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