How about those Silver Bullets?! #GoBucks— Jeff Okudah (@jokudah_) September 29, 2019
I mean, come on. This game was supposed to be close! I talked about it in Fan Takes last week... On the road, night game, raucous environment... It didn't matter.
#VARSITY came out and absolutely steamrolled the Cornhuskers. On a night where Nebraska was supposed to get a barometer of where their program really was in year two under Coach Frost, we instead learned something else: Ohio State is legit.
Gus Johnson voice: "WATCH OUT!"
The Short Story
Ohio State came out from the first drive and dominated. The Buckeyes forced three turnovers in Nebraska's first four drives (all interceptions, two of them by Jeff Okudah) and raced out to a 38-0 halftime lead.
The second half was a lot more relaxed, with the Buckeyes putting in their backups for a majority. Ohio State still outscored the Cornhuskers in the second half, though, and finished with a 48-7 drubbing.
Justin Fields is a good football player. So is J.K. Dobbins. The offensive line, as Kirk Hebrstreit talked about yesterday, has been fantastic. It didn't even matter that Branden Bowen sat out and Joshua Alabi played. The offense was fantastic, like it has been for the first few weeks.
It has been a mix of play-calling and talent so far. That was evident on a 3rd-and-10 yesterday when Ryan Day called a designed bootleg run for Fields who picked up the first down easily.
Fields himself has been great so far, and continued it yesterday. He was 15-21 for 212 yards and three touchdowns through the air (203.4 rating) and added 12 carries for 72 yards and another score.
Dobbins has been a beast so far, as well, and was excellent once again, toting the rock 24 times for 177 yards. Master Teague also scored twice.
K.J. Hill and Austin Mack led the way in the receiving corps, while Chris Olave had a couple nice catches to pick up first downs and Garrett Wilson caught another touchdown on a beautiful throw from Fields.
What a turnaround for the Silver Bullets. I don't know if Jeff Hafley and Greg Mattison are miracle workers or just really good at coaching the football sport, but I'll take it either way.
The secondary was the big story yesterday. The Buckeyes recorded three interceptions: two by Okudah (including one from his backside) and one by Jordan Fuller.
Chase Young was mauling people again, as he had a sack and a forced fumble, while Baron Browning and Malik Harrison looked really good from the linebacker spot. Zach Harrison had 1.5 tackles for loss, while Jashon Cornell also had a sack. It was another collective effort by a group that has looked really dang good so far.
Who Earned a Buckeye Leaf?
It is too hard to single out everybody here. Fields was great. Dobbins. Teague. Mack. Hill. Olave. Wilson. The whole o-line. It was a nice collective effort by the group against a defense that was fired up in Nebraska.
It was good to see Fields keep his poise and calm in a tough road test, while the rest of the upperclassmen did what they needed to do. The offensive line has been great so far. Hat tip to Greg Studrawa.
Defense: Jeff Okudah, Malik Harrison, Baron Browning, Jordan Fuller, Zach Harrison
As mentioned, these guys have been studs. There really isn't much to say except that it will be interesting to see how they do now in the rest of Big Ten play with a lot of rough-and-tumble teams coming on the schedule.
This play by Okudah was incredible. Just, wow.
The offensive line resurgence has been great to see. Thayer Munford has been excellent at left tackle (as he was last year), while Jonah Jackson has been a great veteran presence on a unit that has needed it. Josh Myers looks like Ohio State's next great center. Joshua Alabi slid in for Branden Bowen yesterday with no drop-off.
What a year for Greg Studrawa, so far.
Biggest Question Going Forward
We have to keep saying it until we really know: how good are these teams that Ohio State is playing?
Florida Atlantic, Cincinnati, Indiana, and Miami are what they are. They all looked pretty decent yesterday, as the three Group of Five schools got wins, and Indiana played Michigan State pretty close.
Nebraska was supposed to be a good measuring stick heading into the season, but the Cornhuskers haven't exactly been the top-25 team most were expecting.
That will come next week, when the Spartans invade Columbus under the lights. The Buckeyes will be wearing black. It will be wild. #VARSITY is rolling.