Make that #8 Ohio State.
Urban Meyer’s first night game at Ohio State as Head Coach couldn’t have had a better ending. It appears that the Buckeyes have finally found their stride and just at the most opportune moment. A 63-38 obliteration of Nebraska under the lights on Homecoming night was just what the doctor ordered for the huge number of recruits that were in attendance including 2013 Commits Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Jalin Marshall, and target James Quick who said he “fell in love with Ohio State” during his visit.
Though the Buckeyes started slow once again, trailing 17-7 at the end of the first quarter, something that has become an almost commonplace occurrence, to the lamentation of the fanbase in general. The game started with the obligatory False Start, just to get it out of the way, but it would not be the only flag in what was an oddly called game. There was no penalty, however, when Bradley Roby picked off Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez and take it to the house to draw first blood.
Nebraska responded with two drives down the field and wildcat formations inside the Red Zone for two scores to end the quarter. The Huskers opened the 2nd quarter with a 26 yard field goal to push the lead to 10 before Braxton Miller did what Braxton Miller does and ripped off a huge run to put the Buckeyes in prime scoring position. Just as last week, backup Kenny Guiton came in for the scoring series, handing off to Carlos Hyde for the 1 yard score.
Miller was back for the rest of the game in the next series, and was getting everyone included in the offense, this time dropping an 18 yard TD pass to Tight End Jeff Heuerman to take their first lead of the game since the Roby INT. Nebraska responded with a Martinez run for 9 yards and then it was all Ohio State, all the time. The Buckeyes scored in almost every way possible, including 3 more from Hyde, a Rod Smith run that was what we have all been waiting for from him, and a Corey Brown punt return that evoked images of #7 streaking down the sidelines for a score.
The defense did their job, yet still showed weaknesses in the tackling arena. John Simon was consistently in the backfield, taking down Martinez twice on key drive killing plays. But it will be the swarming play of Roby that will be the talk of the water cooler as he pulled in his first two interceptions of the season including the aforementioned Pick 6. Safety Orhian Johnson contributed a pick of his own to give Martinez his first three interception game of his career. They couldn’t have picked a better crowd to do their work in front of. An Ohio Stadium attendance record of 106,102 visitors was set last night as the Scarlet Out proved to have worked.
The Buckeyes travel to Bloomington next week to take on the Hoosiers (what IS a Hoosier?) in what might be considered a trap game for the Scarlet and Gray. Meyer will once again focus on the tackling aspect of a good defense, but must also stress not looking past Indiana to Purdue and Penn State. They must also avoid the inevitable “12-0” discussions and take this season for all that it has to offer. If the wins come and the losses stay away, then we can have this discussion the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Until then, we continue to support our Buckeyes in their quest for their first Leaders Division Title.