People often say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. With that being said, let's preview this week's opponent: the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
The Frost is Coming
Coming to Nebraska after an impressive 14-0 season with Central Florida, Scott Frost’s move to the Big Ten was one of the most discussed storylines around the nation. Despite his great success with the Golden Knights, Frost’s Cornhuskers have stumbled out of the gate with just two wins on the season so far.
Scott Frost played for Nebraska in 1996 and 1997, bringing a share of the national championship in his senior year. Frost earned a record of 24-2 during his tenure as the Cornhuskers’ signal-caller.
The Storied Program has Hit a Rough Patch
Nebraska began its storied history in 1890 as the Old Gold Knights. Since then, the red-and-white accumulated 46 conference championships and five national championships.
The Cornhuskers rank ninth nationally with 895 wins. Between Ohio State and Nebraska, the two teams combine for 1800 games. This matchup will be the first time this combined total has been reached without Michigan.
In recent years, the Buckeyes have dominated the Cornhuskers. Ohio State has dropped at least 56 points in each of their last three meetings.
Nebraska Relies on the Passing Game
Offensively, Nebraska’s West Coast offense revolves around the play of true freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez. The dual-threat signal-caller has already broken Nebraska’s school record for passing yards by a freshman (now at 1,656 yards).
Though the Cornhuskers struggled early in the year, the offense has finally gotten started; the red-and-white have scored 40+ points in each of their past two games. Over the past three games, Nebraska is tied for fifth (with Ohio State) in total offense.
Sophomore J.D. Spielman and senior Stanley Morgan are must-watch players for the Cornhuskers. Spielman torched the Buckeyes last year for 200 yards and has been outperforming his freshman standard this season, currently leading the team with 686 yards and seven touchdowns through eight weeks. On the other side, senior Stanley Morgan has recorded four touchdowns in his last two games. The senior led the team in receiving yards last year.
And like Ohio State, Struggles on Defense
As expected from a 2-6 team that has been up against some of the top teams in the Big Ten, Nebraska’s defense is below average. Allowing almost 37 points (No. 111) and 450 yards (No. 100) per game, the defense has been… less than stellar.
Linebacker Mohamed Barry leads the team in tackles with 65 and is a menacing force for the rebounding program. The third-year linebacker brings a toughness and attitude to the defense that has been missing.
The Cornhuskers are Slowly Turning the Page
Now on a two-game win streak, the Cornhuskers are ready to prove themselves in the chaotic Big Ten West. While they may not be in contention for a conference championship, the team will have plenty to play for as they strive to act as a spoiler for the last month of their season.
Frost has slowly improved in each week of his tenure and will attempt to carry his momentum into Ohio Stadium as the Buckeyes will look to rebound from their first loss of the season.