The Ohio State Buckeyes will take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers this Saturday night in arguably the most intriguing Big 10 matchup of the week. The Buckeyes remain undefeated at 5-0 after a victory last week over the Michigan State Spartans. The Cornhuskers sit at 4-1 after a comeback win last Saturday at home against the Wisconsin Badgers. Both teams are in the top 25 and are the two highest ranked teams in the Conference.
Ohio State will be looking to avenge a crushing loss from last October against Nebraska. The Buckeyes led by 21 early in the third quarter of that contest, but the Cornhuskers put up 28 straight points to win the game 34-27. Quarterback Braxton Miller was forced to leave that game in third quarter due to an ankle injury and he didn’t return. The Buckeyes fell apart from there.
The key to this one could be the ground game for both sides. Buckeye junior running back Carlos Hyde ran for just 49 yards last week against the Spartans, but he amassed 104 last year against Nebraska. He had missed the previous two games with a knee injury before he made his return against Michigan State. The Cornhuskers also have to worry about Miller picking up yardage on the ground, both by scrambling and by design. In three of the Buckeyes five games this season he has rushed for over 100 yards, and is averaging 115 yards a game.
The Buckeyes will have to key on Cornhuskers running back Rex Burkhead if they hope to come away with a win. Burkhead torched Ohio State last year by rushing for 119 yards while recording two touchdowns. He also had 59 receiving yards in that contest as well. Ohio State, however, is not the same team it was last year, so if Nebraska falls behind again, they may not be able to recover this time around.
Both coaches are quite familiar with each other, so the winner of the game will earn some extra bragging rights. Bo Pelini of the Cornhuskers played for the Buckeyes from 1986-90 and Urban Meyer was a graduate assistant for the first two of those seasons.
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