Ohio State has had their way with Nebraska the past two years. Will Nebraska actually be able to force a punt this year? Will the Husker offense keep Nebraska within striking distance?
The Buckeyes kicked off to Nebraska. After the touchback, the Husker offense set up shop at the 25 yard line. A nice run by Devine Ozigbo was called back on a (sigh) illegal formation penalty. No matter, Adrian Martinez decided he was perfectly capable of taking it to midfield. The drive looked like it stalled after sack put the Huskers in third and long but Jack Stoll hauled in a beautiful one-handed grab while backpedaling and fighting off a Buckeye defender. Stanley Morgan Jr. was SOOOOO close to breaking one for pay dirt, but managed a first down. A carry by Martinez got Nebraska into the red zone. A Buckeye offsides penalty put the Huskers on the 10 yard line.
Martinez bulled his way to the one yard line setting up first and goal. Ozigbo couldn’t make it in on first down but did on second down. The Huskers strike first. TOUCHDOWN NEBRASKA!!!! This is the first time all season that Ohio State gave up a touchdown on the opponents first drive.
How Yuuuuge was that fourth down conversion?
Nebraska 7 Ohio State 0
Caleb Lightbourn muffed the kickoff; it looked like a failed onside attempt? The Buckeyes had excellent field position (the Husker 35).
The Buckeyes made it clear they wanted to jump start their anemic run game by pounding it at Nebraska. The Blackshirts forced a fourth down and the Buckeyes elected to go for it...AND DID NOT GET IT!! Way to bring your lunch pail to Columbus Mohamed Barry! tOSU goes four-and-out; first down Nebraska.
Maurice Washington went nowhere on two carries and then the Huskers got called for a pick play. The Isaac Armstrong punt was blocked and went through the end zone. Safety Buckeyes.
Nebraska 7 Ohio State 2
After what has been some of the weirdest football I’ve seen in a while, this game just gets curiouser and curiouser.
The free kick was fielded by KJ Hill who was tackled by Jacob Weinmaster. The Buckeye offense started at the 32 yard line.
At first Ohio State seemed determined to run again, but then remembered that Nebraska is bad at pass defense and moved past midfield in short order. A wide open Johnnie Dixon was unimpeded on his way to the end zone. Touchdown Buckeyes.
Ohio State 9 Nebraska 7
Mo Washington returned the kickoff to the 18 yard line.
JD Spielman doing JD Spielman things - making something out of nothing but it was all for naught as the Husker offense notched its second straight three-and-out. Washington looked like he was hurt; hopefully he just needs to catch his breath.
The Armstrong punt was muffed by KJ Hill but it took a Buckeye bounce right back into his arms. Dwayne Haskins and the Buckeyes take over at their 43 yard line. Ohio State was flagged for offensive pass interference; a ticky tacky call that backed them up to the 28.
Luke Gifford nearly picked off a pass, but Dicaprio Bootle was flagged for pass interference - another ticky tacky call. Parris Campbell moved the Buckeyes past midfield on a jet sweep. And then the red zone. And then the end zone. Touchdown Buckeyes.
Ohio State 16 Nebraska 7
Jaron Woodyard was buried at the 15 yard line on the kickoff. The worse news was that Washington was in the locker room with an injury.
Spielman things. Austin Allen all alone on the sideline for 45 yards. (I thought Martinez overthrew him but the 6’8” tight end hauled it in.) Husker offense escorted to the red zone courtesy of Truly Devine. End of first quarter. This is gonna be a long recap if this keeps up.
Bryan Reimers catch to set up first and goal. False start. Sigh.
Poor freshman decision, throwing the ball backwards to Spielman who couldn’t haul it in. Recovered by the Buckeyes.
The Bucks returned the fumble favor but it went out of bounds before the Blackshirts could corral it.
PUNT ALERT! Spielman was buried at the 10 yard line.
Okay. If we’re in for a game where the football gods are off their meds - we can do crazy weird-ass stuff better than anyone, right? Right.
These B1G refs have flags that are burning holes in their pockets as the Buckeye’s leading tackler Jordan Fuller was whistled for targeting on Kurt Rafdal. That is a tough call to make, but there was helmet-to-helmet contact and refs are going to make that call more often than not. The call was upheld on replay and Fuller was ejected.
Stanley Morgan doing Stanley Morgan things. Martinez tackled for loss. Martinez eludes the sack but the pass is incomplete. Armstrong time.
The Bucks nearly got to Armstrong again but he got the kick off. It was downed at the OSU 32 yard line. The Buckeye crowd lobbied for a review of a Bootle hit for targeting. They got the review, but not the call.
Even when the Buckeyes do stuff like drop a snap, there is still a wide open receiver. Sigh.
BUT WAIT - We can haz fumble recoveries too! JoJo Domann forced the Haskins fumble which was recovered by Carlos Davis.
Option pitch to get across midfield. Spielman things. Martinez things. Tackled for loss. Third and six. Mike Williams one foot down. Review. First down. Ozigbo things. More Ozigbo things. First and goal. Offsides. One yard line. Tackled for loss. Two yard line. Martinez keeper. Touchdown!!!!!
Ohio State 16 Nebraska 14
Caleb Lightbourn did not fall down on the kickoff and special teams covered it well. Buckeyes set up shop on their 18 yard line.
Obligatory sideline shot of unhappy Urban Meyer.
Antonio Reed was injured on the play - hopefully he is okay.
Wide open KJ Hill. About to tear hear out. BUT WAIT. FUMBLE. Recovered by Luke Gifford.
Ohio Stadium is eerily quiet.
Ozigbo things. Husker timeout. 2:51 left in the half. Buckeyes get the ball to start the second half. Moar Ozigbo things. Buckeye timeout. Martinez things. Red zone. Spielman option. Husker fans of a certain age shed a tear of joy. Ziggy first down. 21 seconds.
MARTINEZ TOUCHDOWN! Unhappy Urban Meyer sideline shot.
Nebraska 21 Ohio State 16
Lightbourn’s kickoff goes out of bounds. Special teams still can’t get their crap together.
The Buckeyes took a couple of shots then took a knee to end the half. They exited the stadium to boo’s from their fans.
Imagine what this game would look like if Nebraska hadn't had a punt blocked for a safety and also turned first-and-goal at the 5 into a 0 with a fumble.— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) November 3, 2018
- Nebraska opened the game with a 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. It marked the fifth straight time Nebraska has received the opening kickoff and scored a touchdown.
- Stanley Morgan Jr. caught four passes in the first half to increase his career total to 167 receptions. Morgan is now tied for second on the career receptions list with Jordan Westerkamp, and also passed Nate Swift (166) in the first half of the game. He is just 14 receptions from Kenny Bell’s school record of 181 career receptions. Morgan has caught a pass in 35 straight games and at least three passes in 20 of 21 games.
- Sophomore JoJo Domann had a second-quarter sack that caused a fumble, recording his first career sack. It marked the second straight week Domann has forced a fumble.
1H :— 1011Sports (@1011Sports) November 3, 2018
Total Yards➡ OSU: 212 Neb: 256
Passing➡ OSU: 159 Neb: 145
Rushing➡ OSU: 53 Neb: 111
1st Downs➡ OSU: 9 Neb: 17
3rd Downs➡ OSU: 1-4 Neb: 3-7
Penalties➡ OSU: 5-41 Neb: 4-29
Turnovers➡ OSU: 2 Neb: 1
TOP➡ OSU: 10:13 Neb: 19:47#Huskers lead OSU.https://t.co/DOf1nRmM5u
Classy gesture by the Buckeyes
At halftime today the Ohio State University Marching Band will close its performance by honoring the memory of Tyler Butterfield, a member of the @UNLBands who was killed in a car accident last week. #huskers— Matt Coatney (@Coatman1) November 3, 2018
Suggestion for Coach Frost’s halftime speech...
Truth. That is part of what is making this game so exciting. We’re still shooting ourselves in the foot but we are overcoming it.
The funny thing is: Nebraska's often looked like a 2-6 team today, toohttps://t.co/98UHs4FqWB— Jason Kirk (@JasonKirkSBN) November 3, 2018
Touchback. The Buckeye offense will start at their 25 yard line.
Whiffed tackles are not a great way to have your defense open the half. The Buckeyes crossed midfield in short order without throwing a single pass. Once across midfield, they found their pass game, including a screen pass into a blitz that moved them to the red zone.
Welcome back into Husker Nation’s good graces Lamar Jackson! The senior cornerback hauled in an interception in the end zone. It was a terrible decision by Haskins, but I won’t complain. Husker ball at their 20 yard line.
Martinez. Jack Stoll sighting. More Martinez. Bring out the Ziggy hammer. Spielman. Midfield. Fumble. Recovered by Martinez. Whew.
Martinez overthrew JD Spielman slightly (it was still catchable). That could have been 7 points but is instead a fourth down. The punt bounced into the end zone.
Mike Weber improvised on a play that moved the Buckeyes past midfield. On his next carry, he fumbled, but it was recovered by the Buckeyes. Nebraska was flagged for a personal foul (Carlos Davis). The penalty moved the Bucks into the red zone. Then they found the end zone. Touchdown Buckeyes. 5:39 left in the third quarter.
Ohio State 23 Nebraska 21
After the touchback, the Husker offense will start at the 25. Thanks to another drop, they promptly went three-and-out. The Armstrong punt went out of bounds at the 30 yard line. Fortunately, the Buckeyes also went three-and-out.
The Buckeyes couldn’t get the punt off in time and had to use a timeout. It looked like it would be a short punt for good field position for Nebraska, but it bounced inside the five yard line. Two incomplete passes were followed by a great effort by Stanley Morgan that looked just short of the first down. The officials moved the sticks, but they were brought back for a measurement. He was short by about two inches. Frost sent the offense back out onto the field but they were just trying to draw the defense offsides. Frost called a timeout and sent out the punt team. The ball was fair caught on the Nebraska 47 yard line.
Mike Weber shook loose for 38 yards and the Huskers suddenly found themselves with their backs against the wall. First and goal Buckeyes. Parris Campbell took the jet sweep for the Buckeye touchdown.
Ohio State 30 Nebraska 21
Maurice Washington called for a fair catch and the Huskers started at their 25. Ozigbo went down hard after a nine yard carry and had to be looked at by trainers. Mo Washington got JUUUUUUSSSST enough for the first down. End of the third quarter.
The Huskers couldn’t find any room to operate and had to punt. It took a big Buckeye bounce and only netted 30ish yards. The pressure OSU put on Armstrong throughout the game probably paid off there even though they weren’t trying to block it.
The Buckeyes went three and out. A receiver was running open on third and ten, but he never even turned around to look for the pass that hit him in the heels. OSU abandoned the ground game that had gashed the Huskers so badly on their previous position. A curious decision, but great for the Huskers. Spielman fair caught the ball at the 32 yard line.
Ziggy’s back in the game! Martinez’ accuracy has been off a touch all of this half. He is not putting the ball in spots where his receivers and tight ends can haul it in. Punt. Fair catch around the 25.
Buckeyes fumble and it is recovered by Haskins. Antonio Reed laid a lick on Parris Campbell. Three-and-out Buckeyes. The Blackshirts came to play in the fourth.
Now, let’s see if the offense can get something cooking.
ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE!!
Martinez stood in the face of the Buckeye rush and delivered a deep ball to Morgan - 46 yards. A trick play to Wyatt Mazour lost yards but the Buckeyes were offsides. Stanley was running free in the end zone, but the play was such a mess, no one in white had a chance to see it. Mo Washington spun his way to set up first and goal Huskers.
Martinez ran his way to the five. An incomplete pass to Ozigbo set up third and goal at the six. Ozigbo was pulled down at the one. Fourth down. Barret Pickering came out for the 18 yard field goal. There are eight minutes left in the game.
I know a lot of Husker fans were probably screaming for Frost to go for it there, but I’m totally okay with the call to kick. That is a bunny field goal for Pickering and it bring the game a one-score game.
Ohio State 30 Nebraska 24
Special teams covered the kick well and the Buckeyes started at the 17 yard line. Dixon caught one for a first down and then Haskins had all day to find his tight end, Luke Farrell near midfield. JoJo Domann was injured on the play - it looked like cramping. Dicaprio Bootle made a great pass breakup to prevent a probable Buckeye touchdown. Six minutes left in the game.
On third and four, the Blackshirts looked like they had a chance to get off the field, but the Bucks just converted the first down. The play was reviewed and allowed to stand.
It didn’t matter as JK Dobbins galloped 40+ yards to the end zone on the next play. Touchdown OSU. The Buckeyes went for two, but the try failed. 4:52 left in the game.
Ohio State 36 Nebraska 24
Touchback. The Husker offense moved fast and were quickly past midfield. Ziggy moved them into the red zone with 3:13 left in the game. The Huskers have two timeouts.
If you blinked, you missed it. TOUCHDOWN JD SPIELMAN!!!!! 2:57 left in the game.
Ohio State 36 Nebraska 31
Touchback. Predictably, the Buckeyes went to the ground game. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
The Blackshirts did not reward Frost’s faith and allowed enough first downs that the Buckeyes could run out the clock.