COLUMBUS, Ohio — Thanks to a standout performance from J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State came out on top of Nebraska 36-31.
“I’m very upset with the turnovers,” coach Urban Meyer said of his team’s performance. “That would have been a different game.” OSU trailed 21-16 going into halftime after Nebraska capitalized on a fumble by the Bucks. There were six total fumbles for the home team, as well as six penalties.
Dobbins accounted for 163 of Ohio State 229 rushing yards. Nebraska threw for 266 yards, barely shadowing Ohio State 252.
The Nebraska offense started their attack with 75 yard drive for a touchdown on their first possession. Devine Ozigbo ended the drive with a one yard TD, which was followed by a successful PAT from Barrett Pickering. Nebraska led 7-0 with 9:56 left in the first quarter.
A short kickoff and an offensive penalty put the Buckeyes on Nebraska’s 31 yard line for their first drive. Dobbins got the first touch for the Buckeyes but was unable to move the chains on a 4-2 attempt. Ohio State turned over the ball.
The defensive OSU squad brought new energy on their second time on the field. Nebraska was forced to punt from their 22 yard line and Keandre Jones blocked the ball for a Buckeye safety Nebraska got the ball back, leading 7-2.
Dwayne Haskins, who averages nearly 400 yards through the air a week, connected with Johnnie Dixon III for a 42 yard pass to the endzone. The OSU offense began to look a little more like itself after struggling last week at Purdue.
The Bucks returned to the endzone a second time in the first quarter. Dobbins broke through the Corn Husker line for 10 yards, his first trip of three for the running back. The first quarter ended 16-7, OSU.
Nebraska’s QB Adrian Martinez was the highlight Husker in the game. Martinez was responsible for three Nebraska touchdowns, two on the ground and one in the air. He finished a 64 yard drive with a 10 yard TD with 4:52 remaining in the half.
K.J. Hill Jr. fumbled a pass from Haskins on the following drive in Nebraska territory. Martinez took to the field and ended this possession with another rushing score. Trailing 21-16, OSU needed to find composure on offense going into the second half.
In his post game interview, Meyers admitted that his team was not where he wanted it to be. He then took that comment back, saying “I think we’re close … I liked the effort today.”
The Buckeyes offense was able to cover more ground in the second half than their Big 10 foe. Dobbins scored a rushing TD and Parris Campbell Jr. pulled in a nine yard pass from Haskins, the only two scores in the third quarter. Ohio State led 30-21 to start the final quarter.
Pickering landed an 18 yard field goal to creep closer to the Buckeyes with 7:46 left in the game, but the Huskers would not come back.
Finishing off his day, Dobbins went 42 yards with a handoff for six more points. Haskins failed a two-point conversion and OSU led 36-24.
Martinez was able to complete a 17 yard pass to JD Spielman, which was followed by a successful PAT. With 2:57 left, Nebraska was the last to change the scoreboard.
The game ended 36-31, OSU.