Nebraska at No. 5 Ohio State, Saturday at noon ET (FOX).
Line: Ohio State by 26.
Series record: Ohio State leads 7-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
After failing to win enough games for bowl eligibility in coach Scott Frost’s first two seasons, the Cornhuskers – 5-7 in 2019 – still have some significant issues, especially with lack of depth. Ohio State is loaded with weapons and wants to start strong in a coronavirus-delayed season that realistically could result with another trip to the College Football Playoff..
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields was a Heisman Trophy finalist last season after leading his team to a 13-1 finish and a national semifinal appearance. He’ll face a Nebraska defense with a veteran secondary that will need good pressure from a young defensive line.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Nebraska: QB Adrian Martinez won a competition to keep his job and now is looking to atone for his disappointing performance in last year’s 48-7 loss to Ohio State. Martinez was solid in his 2018 appearance at the Horseshoe, throwing for 266 yards and a touchdown and running for 72 yards and two scores in a 36-31 loss.
Ohio State: WR Chris Olave took a wrong turn in the end zone with the Buckeyes driving in the final minute in last year’s semifinal against Clemson, and Fields’ throw resulted in an interception and a 29-23 loss. Olave, a junior, is hungry for redemption. He led the Buckeyes with 849 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns in 2019.
FACTS & FIGURES
Ohio State has outscored Nebraska by an average of 53-19 over the last three meetings. … WR JD Spielman, the leading pass catcher for the Huskers last year, transferred to Minnesota in the spring. He was among nearly two dozen players who entered the transfer portal after last season. … Nebraska returns all five starting offensive linemen from 2019. … The Huskers are opening on the road for only the fourth time in 42 seasons and the first time since 1999, when Nebraska began its Big 12 championship season with a 42-7 win at Iowa. … Ohio State finished 2019 at No. 3 in the country in scoring offense (46.9 ppg), No. 5 in rushing offense (266.7) and No. 4 in total offense (529.9). … Ohio State returns nine players who started six or more games last season.
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