By Jim Baird | AM Football Briefing | Saturday, November 5
IN COMES NEBRASKA: Who is the best one-loss team in the Big 10? We’ll find out tonight under the lights before a national television audience on ABC. Nebraska has Michigan State syndrome this year in that no one is giving them much respect. But have they earned it? While the 7-1 Cornhuskers are ranked No. 10 in the country, they have yet to beat a ranked team — falling to Wisconsin in overtime in Madison last Saturday.
Nebraska’s offense is keyed through senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. (it feels like Armstrong has been starting at quarterback for the Cornhuskers since the Carter administration). Armstrong has racked up 11 touchdowns through the air and another 7 on the ground. The knock on Armstrong is that he’s susceptible to making costly turnovers — and it proved true in Madison, throwing for no touchdowns and two interceptions. Nebraska’s defense has been the team’s strength, holding teams to 18 points a game. They are led by a ball-hawking secondary. Defensive back’s Nathan Gerry and Kieron Williams are tied with OSU’s Malik Hooker for the most interceptions (4) in the Big 10.
PREDICTION: Who is this Ohio State team? The team that blew the doors off Oklahoma in Norman, hasn’t seen the offense click the past couple of weeks. Now the season enters its critical November stretch. Nebraska’s defense will again test the Buckeyes. But this is a test, under the lights in the Shoe, Ohio State passes. A stunting Buckeyes defense forces Armstrong to make mistakes on the big stage, and JT and Curtis Samuel dazzle with big days on the ground and through the air. Ohio State BIG — 49-7.
Happy gameday. I’m reporting from Washington, DC today where the forecast calls for 65 and sunny, with a hint of election hysteria (apparently there is some sort of a vote happening on Tuesday?). Thanks for clicking on The Buckeye Daily — the Ohio State morning football briefing the press, program and fans read, edited by Sporting News college football contributor Jim Baird. Know someone who would appreciate this e-mail? Sign up here or send me a line email@example.com. And join the squad following on Twitter @buckeyedaily.
1) Ohio State vs. Nebraska: Expansion delivers big name, big game, Bill Rabinowitz, Columbus Dispatch – November 5
2) Buckeyes must focus on 1 game at a time, Nicholas Piotrowicz, Toledo Blade – November 5
3) Big Ten steps on own success with bad idea in midst of dream season, Doug Lesmerises, Plain Dealer – November 4
4) Ohio State Punter Cameron Johnston to Present Family of Sam Foltz Buckeye Helmet With 27 Stickers, Tim Shoemaker, Eleven Warriors – November 4