LINCOLN, Neb. – In the week leading up to Ohio State’s fifth game of the season at Nebraska, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said the Buckeyes would face their “first real adversity” of the season.
He surely didn’t mind being wrong.
Just as it did in its first four games of the season, Ohio State rolled to a blowout victory on Saturday, defeating the Cornhuskers 48-7 to improve to 5-0 and make its strongest case of the season yet that the scarlet and gray are one of college football’s elite teams this year.
|#5 OHIO STATE||14||24||10||0||48|
Ohio State scored on each of its first six possessions of the game and gained more than 500 yards for the game while its defense intercepted three passes and held Nebraska to just 76 yards before halftime.
The game started going the Buckeyes’ way right off the bat, as Jeff Okudah intercepted an Adrian Martinez pass to end Nebraska’s opening possession at the 50-yard line. Justin Fields took advantage of the short field, capping a five-play drive with a 15-yard touchdown run, his seventh touchdown run of the season and the fourth time in five games he has rushed for the first touchdown of the game.
Ohio State forced a 3-and-out on Nebraska’s second offensive series of the game, and after retaking possession at the 36-yard line, the Buckeyes drove 64 yards in 10 plays – capped by a 2-yard touchdown pass from Fields to Hill – to take a 14-0 lead just 10 minutes and 23 seconds into the game.
Nebraska drove into Ohio State territory on its third possession of the game, but that possession ended with Okudah intercepting Martinez again – Okudah’s third interception in two weeks after intercepting no passes in the first 30 games of his Ohio State career. The Buckeyes drove 90 yards in 13 plays, highlighted by a 38-yard connection from Fields to Austin Mack, before settling for a 23-yard Blake Haubeil field goal.
|580||NET TOTAL YARDS||231|
|6.9||AVERAGE PER RUSH||4.7|
|14.1||AVERAGE PER COMPLETION||5.9|
|20||RUSHING 1st DOWNS||12|
|10||PASSING 1st DOWNS||2|
|1||PENALTY 1st DOWNS||1|
|7.7||YARDS PER PLAY||4.1|
|0 (0)||TURNOVERS (DEF PTS OFF)||3 (21)|
Martinez, who threw just two interceptions in Nebraska’s first four games of the season, threw his third interception of the game on the Cornhuskers’ fourth possession – this time throwing the ball straight to Jordan Fuller on a wildly errant throw – to give the Buckeyes the ball at midfield again. Fields ran for a 41-yard gain on the very next play, and Teague finished a three-play drive with an 8-yard touchdown run.
Teague stayed in the game at running back for Ohio State’s next possession and put together a three-play, 55-yard touchdown drive all by himself with a 28-yard catch-and-run, 26-yard run and 1-yard touchdown run.
Ohio State reached the end zone again on its next possession, a seven-play, 72-yard drive capped by Mack making a contested catch in the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown, to take a 38-0 lead into halftime.
The Buckeyes’ final possession of the first half, which ended with time expiring in the second quarter, was the only one on which they did not score. Ohio State outgained Nebraska by more than 300 yards (378 to 76) in the first half.
On its opening possession of the second half, Ohio State reached the red zone again on a 27-yard pass from Fields to Binjimen Victor, but settled for a 36-yard field goal by Haubeil.
The Buckeyes returned to the end zone on their next possession, an eight-play, 67-yard drive capped by a 6-yard pass from Fields to Garrett Wilson – Fields’ third touchdown pass of the game and Wilson’s third touchdown pass of the season – to extend its lead to 48-0.
Nebraska finally broke through for its first points of the game with 2:07 left to play in the third quarter, when Martinez ran for a 56-yard gain to set up a 9-yard touchdown run for Dedrick Mills.
Ohio State was finally forced to punt for the first time in the game in the fourth quarter, on its ninth possession of the night.
With the Buckeyes up by 41 points, Chris Chugunov checked into the game for Ohio State's final offensive possession.
Ohio State has now won its first five games of the season by at least 24 points each, and has won its last four games by at least 41 points.
The Buckeyes will look to keep their momentum rolling and improve to 6-0 next Saturday at Ohio Stadium against Michigan State, their final game before their first bye week of the year. Kickoff next Saturday at Ohio Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
- 11 true freshmen made Ohio State's travel roster for Saturday's game. Linebacker Cade Stover, safety Bryson Shaw and defensive tackle Jaden McKenzie, who were not on the travel roster for the first road game at Indiana, made the trip to Nebraska.
- Jonathon Cooper made his first start of the season opposite Chase Young at defensive end after missing the first four games of the year with an undisclosed injury.
- Joshua Alabi started at right tackle in place of Branden Bowen, who did not play after being listed as a game-time decision.
- Cooper, Fuller, Hill and Dobbins served as the game captains for the opening coin toss.
- Okudah has now intercepted three passes in two games after intercepting no passes in the first 30 games of his Ohio State career.
- Fields has had at least two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown in all five games this season.
- Dobbins has now rushed for more than 3,000 yards in his Ohio State career, becoming the 11th player in school history to achieve that milestone. By the end of the night, Dobbins rushed for 177 yards to reach 3,110 yards for his career, surpassing Pepe Pearson to move to 10th on Ohio State's all-time rushing list.
- True freshmen Jameson Williams, Craig Young, Wilson, Zach Harrison, Harry Miller and Marcus Crowley all played in their fifth game of the season, officially burning their redshirts.
- Demario McCall started the game at punt returner, but Wilson also got opportunities at punt returner in Saturday's game. Williams had one opportunity to return a kick in the second half, but McCall returned to the game in that role after Williams muffed the kickoff.
- 89,759 was the official attendance at Memorial Stadium for Saturday's game.