Nebraska vs. OSU: What happened to “3 yards and a cloud of dust”?Written by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Woody Hayes has to be turning over in his grave. Ohio State and Nebraska just put the finishing touches on a 63-38 defensive struggle Oct. 6, in which Ohio State prevailed over its Big Ten opponent.
Big Ten schools normally would rack up only 500 yards of offense and score that many points in a single game when playing outside the conference against the “Little Sisters of the Poor.”
But times they are a changin’ in college football. Spread offenses and bigger and faster kids make for more exciting football and lots more scoring.
Woody always advised that only three things could happen when a quarterback dropped back to pass and two of those were bad. OSU quarterback Braxton Miller and Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez proved the former Buckeyes coach may have missed a couple more favorable options.
Martinez and Miller both are exceptional runners. Those skills in addition to their ability to chuck the football down the field put a tremendous amount of pressure on opposing defenses to not only guard against the run but to also protect against the pass.
Martinez completed 15 of 25 passes, accumulating 214 yards through the air. He did have one pass for a touchdown but also had three interceptions. The Nebraska QB ran for another 40 yards plus two touchdowns. The Cornhuskers totaled 437 yards of total offense against a relatively good Ohio State defense.
OSU’s Miller completed seven of 14 passes for 127 yards and one touchdown plus added another 14 carries for 119 yards on the ground. The Buckeyes racked up 498 yards of total offense against Nebraska.
The biggest statistic of the game was the four turnovers committed by the Nebraska offense. In comparison OSU had only one fumble lost. A plus-three in the turnover ratio will win nearly every time.
Past Nebraska teams played hard-nosed defense under the likes of Tom Osborne. Current Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini played on some OSU teams that played stellar defense and ground opposing teams into the Horseshoe turf. His Nebraska defense did not have an answer for OSU and Heisman candidate Braxton Miller.
Last year, Nebraska rallied from 21 points down to beat the Buckeyes at Lincoln after Braxton Miller was forced to leave the game with an injury. It was the greatest comeback in school history.
Although OSU QB Miller took some hard shots during the game he was always able to return and provide more dazzling runs that confused the Cornhuskers.
OSU improves to 6-0 (2-0 Big Ten). They already know that due to NCAA penalties their season will be over after the Michigan game in November. Crafting a perfect record and enjoying the holidays at home will be the only satisfaction awaiting this Buckeye team.
First year Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer has a history of producing Heisman Trophy winners. Will Braxton Miller continue his stellar play and be the seventh Buckeye to win the Heisman?