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Game Data: Nebraska at Ohio State

Nebraska at Ohio State

* Date, Time: Sat., Oct. 6, 8 p.m. (Eastern)

* Location: Ohio Stadium

* TV: ABC (national telecast; announcers: Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe)

* 2012 Records: Ohio State, 5-0 overall, 1-0 Big Ten; Nebraska, 4-1 overall, 1-0 Big Ten.

* 2012 Rankings: Ohio State, 12th in Associated Press poll; Nebraska, 21st in AP poll and 20th in USA Today coaches poll.

* Coaches: Ohio State, Urban Meyer (first year at OSU, 5-0; 11th year overall, 109-23; vs. Nebraska, first meeting); Nebraska, Bo Pelini (fifth year at Nebraska, 43-17; vs. OSU, 1-0).

* Series History: This will be the fourth all-time meeting between Ohio State and Nebraska. OSU is 2-1 against Nebraska with wins in 1955 (28-20) and 1956 (34-7) and a loss at Lincoln last year (34-27).

Last year, Ohio State got out to a 27-6 third-quarter lead before QB Braxton Miller left the game with an ankle injury. Nebraska scored the game’s last four touchdowns to win it. The 21-point comeback was a school record for both schools as Nebraska’s biggest comeback to win and OSU’s largest blown lead to lose.

Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead had 119 yards and a TD on 26 carries and also caught a TD pass. QB Taylor Martinez had 17 carries for 102 yards and a TD and was also 16 of 22 passing for 191 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. For OSU, Miller had 10 carries for 91 yards and hit Jake Stoneburner for a 32-yard TD. RB Carlos Hyde had 13 carries for 104 yards and 2 TDs (63 and 1 yards).

* Nebraska Schedule: Sept. 1, Southern Miss, W 49-20; Sept. 8, at UCLA, L 36-30; Sept. 15, Arkansas State, W 42-13; Sept. 22, Idaho State, W 73-7; Sept. 29, Wisconsin, W 30-27; Oct. 6, at Ohio State; Oct. 20, at Northwestern; Oct. 27, Michigan; Nov. 3, at Michigan State; Nov. 10, Penn State; Nov. 17, Minnesota; Nov. 23, at Iowa.

* Nebraska Key Players (2012 Stats): QB Taylor Martinez (82 of 121 passing, 1,059 yards, 11 TDs, 1 INT; 50 carries, 298 yards, 3 TDs), RB Rex Burkhead (29 carries, 273 yards, 3 TDs), RB Ameer Abdullah (79 carries, 486 yards, 5 TDs), WR Kenny Bell (15 catches, 330 yards, 4 TDs), WR Quincy Enunwa (16 catches, 173 yards, 1 TD), MLB Will Compton (44 tackles, 3 sacks, 6 TFLs), S Daimion Stafford (32 tackles, 1 sack), S P.J. Smith (26 tackles, 1-1/2 sacks, 5 TFLs, 1 INT), DE Eric Martin (11 tackles, 3-1/2 sacks, 6 TFLs).

* Nebraska Fast Facts: Location: Lincoln, Neb.; Enrollment, 24,593; Conference: Big Ten; Nickname, Huskers; Scarlet and Cream; Stadium, Memorial Stadium (surface, FieldTurf; capacity, 81,091).

* Ohio State Schedule: Sept. 1, Miami (Ohio), W 56-10; Sept. 8, Central Florida, W 31-16; Sept. 15, California, W 35-28; Sept. 22, UAB, W 29-15; Sept. 29, at Michigan State, W 17-16; Oct. 6, Nebraska; Oct. 13, at Indiana; Oct. 20, Purdue; Oct. 27, at Penn State; Nov. 3, Illinois; Nov. 17, at Wisconsin; Nov. 24, Michigan.

* Ohio State Key Players (2012 Stats): QB Braxton Miller (76 of 121 passing, 933 yards, 8 TDs, 3 INTs; 90 carries, 577 yards, 7 TDs), RB Carlos Hyde (35 carries, 158 yards, 2 TDs), RB Jordan Hall (40 carries, 218 yards, 1 TD), RB Rod Smith (12 carries, 50 yards, 1 TD), TE Jake Stoneburner (7 catches, 92 yards, 3 TDs), WR Philly Brown (32 catches, 317 yards, 1 TD), WR Devin Smith (19 catches, 351 yards, 4 TDs), DB Christian Bryant (32 tackles, 1 INT), LB Etienne Sabino (36 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 INT), LB Ryan Shazier (48 tackles, 2-1/2 TFLs, 1 sack), DE John Simon (17 tackles, 2-1/2 TFLs, 1 sack), CB Bradley Roby (28 tackles, 1 sack), CB Travis Howard (18 tackles, 3 INTs), DT Johnathan Hankins (28 tackles, 2 TFLs, 1 sack).

Depth Charts

Ohio State Offense

LT 74 Jack Mewhort 6-6, 312, Jr.
76 Darryl Baldwin 6-5, 300, So.
LG 78 Andrew Norwell 6-6, 310, Jr.
73 Antonio Underwood 6-2, 306, So.
C 71 Corey Linsley 6-3, 295, Jr.
50 Jacoby Boren 6-2, 287, Fr.
RG 79 Marcus Hall 6-5, 315, Jr.
57 Chase Farris 6-4, 290, R-Fr.
RT 77 Reid Fragel 6-8, 310, Sr.
68 Taylor Decker 6-7, 313, Fr.
TE 86 Jeff Heuerman, 6-5, 250, So.
Or 81 Nick Vannett 6-6, 255, R-Fr.
WR (H) 11 Jake Stoneburner 6-5, 245, Sr.
80 Chris Fields 6-0, 197, Jr.
QB 5 Braxton Miller 6-2, 220, So.
13 Kenny Guiton 6-3, 210, Jr.
RB 34 Carlos Hyde, 6-0, 232, Jr.
2 Rod Smith, 6-3, 228, So.
FB 44 Zach Boren 6-1, 245, Sr.
49 Adam Homan 6-3, 245, Sr.
WR (X) 15 Devin Smith 6-1, 200, So.
83 Michael Thomas 6-2, 198, Fr.
WR (Z) 10 Corey Brown 6-0, 187, Jr.
16 Evan Spencer 6-2, 205, So.
K 24 Drew Basil 6-1, 210, Jr.
39 Kyle Clinton 6-1, 215 So.

Ohio State Defense

LEO 54 John Simon 6-2, 263, Sr.
88 Steve Miller 6-3, 255, So.
OR 8 Noah Spence 6-3, 240, Fr.
DT 52 Johnathan Hankins 6-3, 322, Jr.
92 Adolphus Washington 6-3, 289, Fr.
OR 90 Tommy Schutt 6-2, 295, Fr.
NT 53 Garrett Goebel 6-4, 290, Sr.
51 Joel Hale 6-4, 295, So.
72 Chris Carter 6-4, 340, R-Fr.
DE 43 Nathan Williams, 6-3, 249, Sr.
50 J.T. Moore 6-3, 260, So.
63 Michael Bennett 6-3, 285, So.
OLB 10 Ryan Shazier 6-2, 230, So.
36 Conner Crowell 6-1, 235, R-Fr.
25 David Perkins 6-2, 220, Fr.
MLB 32 Storm Klein, 6-2, 242, Sr.
14 Curtis Grant 6-3, 235, So.
OLB 6 Etienne Sabino 6-3, 237, Sr.
37 Joshua Perry 6-4, 238, Fr.
CB 1 Bradley Roby 5-11, 190, So.
12 Doran Grant 5-11, 188, So.
SAF 2 Christian Bryant 5-10, 192, Jr.
19 Orhian Johnson 6-3, 210, Sr.
SAF 4 C.J. Barnett 6-1, 202, Jr.
3 Corey Brown 6-1, 198, Jr.
CB 7 Travis Howard 6-1, 200, Sr.
9 Adam Griffi n 5-8, 180, So.
P 17 Ben Buchanan 5-11, 192, Sr.
24 Drew Basil 6-1, 210, Jr.
LS 41 Bryce Haynes 6-4, 220, R-Fr.
56 George Makridis 6-2, 230, Jr.

Nebraska Offense

WR X 80 Kenny Bell, 6-1, 185, So.
88 Tyler Evans, 6-1, 200, So.
LT 76 Brent Qvale, 6-7, 315, Jr.
79 Brandon Thompson, 6-6, 300, Sr.
LG 77 Seung Hoon Choi, 6-2, 290, Sr.
62 Cole Pensick, 6-2, 275, Jr.
68 Jake Cotton, 6-6, 295, So.
C 72 Justin Jackson, 6-3, 280, Sr.
62 Cole Pensick, 6-2, 275, Jr. -OR-
56 Mark Pelini, 6-0, 285, So.
RG 61 Spencer Long, 6-4, 305, Jr.
69 Brodrick Nickens, 6-5, 305, Jr.
65 Ryne Reeves, 6-3, 295, RFr.
RT 71 Jeremiah Sirles, 6-6, 310, Jr. -OR-
63 Andrew Rodriguez, 6-6, 325, Jr.
TE 81 Ben Cotton, 6-6, 255, Sr. -OR-
25 Kyler Reed, 6-3, 230, Sr.
41 Jake Long, 6-4, 240, Jr. -OR-
89 Conor McDermott, 6-2, 245, Sr.
WR Z 18 Quincy Enunwa, 6-2, 215, Jr.
7 Taariq Allen, 6-3, 200, RFr. -OR-
21 Steven Osborne, 6-4, 205, Sr.
WR A 10 Jamal Turner, 6-1, 185, So.
88 Tyler Evans, 6-1, 200, So.
QB 3 Taylor Martinez, 6-1, 200, Jr.
12 Ron Kellogg III, 6-1, 210, Jr. -OR-
4 Tommy Armstrong Jr., 6-1, 215, Fr.
IB 22 Rex Burkhead, 5-11, 210, Sr.
8 Ameer Abdullah, 5-9, 185, So.
5 Braylon Heard, 5-11, 185, So.
32 Imani Cross, 6-1, 225, Fr.
FB 19 Mike Marrow, 6-2, 250, Jr. -OR-
31 C.J. Zimmerer, 6-0, 230, Jr. -OR-
35 Andy Janovich, 6-1, 215, Fr.
K 96 Brett Maher, 6-0, 185, Sr.

Nebraska Defense

DE 46 Eric Martin, 6-2, 250, Sr. -OR-
9 Jason Ankrah, 6-4, 265, Jr.
DT 53 Thad Randle, 6-1, 295, Jr.
92 Kevin Williams, 6-2, 265, RFr.
DT 55 Baker Steinkuhler, 6-6, 290, Sr.
97 Chase Rome, 6-3, 285, So.
96 Aaron Curry, 6-1, 280, Fr.
DE 34 Cameron Meredith, 6-4, 260, Sr.
7 Joseph Carter, 6-5, 265, Sr.
94 Avery Moss, 6-2, 260, Fr.
BUCK 42 Sean Fisher, 6-6, 230, Sr.
45 Alonzo Whaley, 6-1, 230, Sr. -OR-
40 Max Pirman, 6-5, 220, RFr.
MIKE 51 Will Compton, 6-2, 230, Sr.
43 Trevor Roach, 6-2, 230, So.
WILL 45 Alonzo Whaley, 6-1, 230, Sr.
41 David Santos, 6-0, 220, RFr.
CB 11 Andrew Green, 6-0, 195, Jr.
16 Stanley Jean-Baptiste, 6-3, 215, Jr.
2 Antonio Bell, 6-2, 200, Sr.
S 13 P.J. Smith, 6-2, 210, Sr.
1 Harvey Jackson, 6-2, 210, So.
6 Corey Cooper, 6-1, 210, So.
S 3 Daimion Stafford, 6-1, 205, Sr.
12 Courtney Osborne, 6-3, 200, Sr.
39 Justin Blatchford, 6-1, 200, Sr.
CB 5 Josh Mitchell, 5-11, 155, So.
4 Mohammed Seisay, 6-2, 200, Jr.
23 Daniel Davie, 6-1, 185, RFr.
NICKEL 17 Ciante Evans, 5-11, 185, Jr.
P 96 Brett Maher, 6-0, 185, Sr.

Also Notable

* Nebraska coach Bo Pelini was a four-year letterwinner and a two-year starter at free safety for Ohio State from 1987-90 and a team captain in 1990. He is a native of Youngstown, Ohio. As a senior at OSU, Pelini won the Bo Rein Award as the program’s most inspirational player.

This will mark the fourth time Pelini has coached against OSU. He was a graduate assistant at Iowa in 1991, when the Hawkeyes won 16-9 in Columbus. He was the defensive coordinator at LSU when the Tigers defeated OSU 38-24 in the 2008 BCS national title game. And his Huskers came back to post last year’s win over the Buckeyes in Lincoln.

* Ohio State and Nebraska are two of the top five winningest programs in college football history. Ohio State is fifth all-time with 830 wins. Nebraska is just ahead of OSU with 850 wins. (The top three winning programs are Michigan at 897, Texas at 862 and Notre Dame at 858.)

Since 1970, Nebraska has won more games (416) than any other program. The next three since 1970: Oklahoma, 388; Michigan, 380; and Ohio State, 377.

Comparing other categories:

National championships – Nebraska, 5; Ohio State, 7.

Conference championships – Nebraska, 43; Ohio State, 35 (including vacated Big Ten title in 2010).

Heisman Trophy winners – Nebraska, three (last winner: Eric Crouch in 2001); Ohio State, seven (last winner: Troy Smith in 2006).

Major award winners – Nebraska, 23; Ohio State, 36.

Consensus All-Americans – Nebraska, 55; Ohio State, 78 (most among Big Ten schools).

National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes – Nebraska, 20; Ohio State, 20 (tied for nation’s best).

* This will also be just the 12th night game ever at Ohio Stadium since the first one against Pittsburgh in 1985. OSU is 8-3 all-time in home night games.

This is OSU’s first night game of the season. OSU will also play night games at Indiana next week and at Penn State Oct. 27. OSU won its lone home night game last year over Wisconsin 33-29.

* OSU is 66-19-5 in past Homecoming games.

* The Buckeyes will be shooting to reach 6-0 to start a season for the fourth time in seven years, dating to 2006. Over the last 20 years, OSU has reached at least 6-0 on at least eight occasions: 1993 (started 8-0), 1995 (started 11-0), 1996 (started 10-0), 1998 (started 8-0), 2002 (finished 14-0), 2006 (started 12-0), 2007 (started 10-0) and 2010 (started 6-0).

This is the fifth team Meyer has led to a 5-0 start in his 11th year as a head coach. Only two first-year OSU coaches have started 6-0. Carroll Widdoes was 9-0 in 1944 and eventually won his first 12 games before a loss. Earle Bruce posted an 11-0 record to open the 1979 before a Rose Bowl loss to USC.

* Nine Nebraska players hail from Ohio, including freshman DB LeRoy Alexander (Toledo), freshman LB Aaron Gabriel (Marion), sophomore RB Braylon Heard (Youngstown), senior WR Tim Marlowe (Youngstown), junior FB Mike Marrow (Holland), freshman defensive end Greg McMullen (Akron), sophomore center Mark Pelini (Youngstown), redshirt freshman linebacker Max Pirman (Orrville) and redshirt freshman defensive tackle Kevin Williams (Holland). Marlowe, Pelini and Heard all played at Cardinal Mooney High School where Pelini starred as a prep. Mark Pelini is the nephew of Bo Pelini.

* OSU’s 1972 Big Ten championship team will be recognized at halftime. That team went 9-2 and won the first of six straight conference titles with a Big Ten record of 7-1. LB Randy Gradishar and OT John Hicks were All-Americans on that squad, which was coached by Woody Hayes.

* The win at Michigan State was Meyer’s first against a ranked team as the OSU coach. In 11 years as a college head coach, his teams are a combined 22-10 against ranked teams.

* OSU is asking fans to wear scarlet to “Scarlet Out The Shoe.”

Breaking It Down

* When Ohio State Has The Ball: The Buckeyes will try and establish the run. Coming off a 204-yard rushing performance against Michigan State’s stingy defense, the Buckeyes should be feeling good about themselves. Nebraska’s rushing defense is middle of the road, allowing 152.8 ypg (62nd nationally). OSU is up to 21st nationally in rushing (224.2 ypg).

The only issue is that the Buckeyes won’t have RB Jordan Hall, who suffered a partially torn PCL in the win at MSU. That may put more of the heavy lifting on QB Braxton Miller to carry the ball. RB Carlos Hyde seems recovered from the knee injury that cost him two games. He finished the Nebraska game strong.

The OSU offensive line is in for a big challenge. Nebraska, led by DE Eric Martin and MLB Will Compton, has amassed 19 sacks. They are also coming off one of their best games, though. The Huskers are reasonably good against the pass (27th nationally at 188.0 ypg) and safeties Daimion Stafford and P.J. Smith are two of their better players. But OSU WRs Philly Brown and Devin Smith may be able to make some things happen against corners Andrew Green and Josh Mitchell.

* When Nebraska Has The Ball: The Huskers are putting the pieces together. When it all clicks, this team could be as explosive as any in college football. OSU saw that firsthand last year when Nebraska scored four touchdowns in the game’s final 23 minutes to steal that win in Lincoln.

QB Taylor Martinez has upped his completion percentage and become more of a distributor – even as he has also improved as a runner. He had a 92-yard TD run against UCLA. RB Rex Burkhead missed time with a knee injury, but is back to full-go. Ameer Abdullah filled in while he was gone and they hardly missed a beat. WRs Quincy Enunwa and Kenny Bell are also coming into their own.

Nebraska is fifth nationally at 305.8 rushing yards per game. OSU just solved MSU’s bullish Le’Veon Bell, holding the Spartans to 34 yards rushing on 22 attempts. The difference is Nebraska will be attacking the edges with Martinez running the zone read. Nebraska had 232 yards rushing against OSU last year, although it took 51 carries to do it.

The Buckeyes will need to run and make plays in space against Martinez and Burkhead. It’s that simple. When he does throw, the Buckeyes will need to exert pressure and force him into incompletions and bad throws.

The defense, maligned after giving up big yards against Cal and UAB, took a big step last week at MSU. Now we’ll see if they can contain a spread option team that has actual talent and real playmakers at every skill position as well as a sound offensive line.

* How It Will Go: You can tell from Urban Meyer’s comments (linked below with the video from Wednesday) that he deeply respects what Nebraska is doing on both sides of the ball.

Yes, the Huskers lost at UCLA and gave up over 600 yards in that game. And, yes, Nebraska fell behind Wisconsin twice by 17 points at home last week. But this is still a dangerous team, especially now that Martinez and Burkhead are rekindling their match-up.

My guess is this will be a back-and-forth type game. The key will be in the second-half adjustments and which team finds a way to stop the other in the second half. Ohio State used to be a lights-out team at home at night – at least until losses to Texas in 2005, Penn State in 2008 and USC in 2009. They regained some of that mojo with last year’s home win over eventual Big Ten champion Wisconsin, though.

This is going to be one heck of a game. I think when the game is on the line, the OSU defense gets the stop it needs and Miller (and probably his dynamic threat Smith) find a way to put it in the end zone.

I’ve got it Ohio State 31-23

* For The Record: I am 5-0 straight-up and 2-3 against-the-spread with Ohio State. (The Buckeyes are a three-point favorite over the Huskers.)

Also Check Out

Click here for details on our special offer that will let you enjoy Bucknuts for free for the rest of 2012!

Here are more stories and columns to check out (some are premium):

Wednesday’s Boarding House

Big Ten Blast: Showdown At The Shoe

Miller: ‘It’ll be crazy’

Meyer: ‘This is a tough outfit’

Smith, Roby Talk Nebraska

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