Who Will Win? Experts Make Predictions For Ohio State Vs. Nebraska

The Ohio State football team, which is ranked No. 5 in the first College Football Playoff rankings this week, travels to Nebraska on Saturday for a noon showdown with the struggling Cornhuskers. 

While the Buckeyes, who have won six straight games since losing to Oregon in September, are in a good position in the CFP rankings, it’s clear they have little room to fail. And Ohio State coach Ryan Day knows that Nebraska is capable of dashing the Buckeyes’ playoff hopes. 

The Cornhuskers are 1-5 in the Big Ten and 3-6 overall, but all their losses this year have been by a possession. 

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The Buckeyes beat then No. 20-ranked Penn State last week and are tied at 5-0 with No.3 Michigan State in the Big Ten East standings. 

So who wins the Ohio State-Nebraska game?

Here’s what the Columbus Dispatch staff and Parker Gabriel of the Lincoln Journal Star think:

Bill Rabinowitz

Ohio State beat writer

The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State 45, Nebraska 20

Yes, Nebraska has kept games close, but I have a feeling the dam might break in this one. The Huskers haven't faced an offense like Ohio State's — Oklahoma was struggling at the time — and last week's miscues against Penn State are unlikely to happen again. On defense, Ohio State has scored six touchdowns, and Adrian Martinez can be a turnover machine. 

Joey Kaufman

Ohio State beat writer

The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State 45, Nebraska 17 

Nebraska has been a tough out for top-10 teams. In September, it came within a field goal of Michigan State and a touchdown within Oklahoma, flashes of progress as Scott Frost leads the Cornhuskers in Year 4. But a three-game losing streak in October turned this into another wayward season, leaving the Buckeyes in prime position to level their annual beatdown. Since the Big Ten paired the teams as divisional crossover opponents in 2016, Ohio State has won all five of the games by an average of 36 points. Fortunately for Nebraska, it won’t see the Buckeyes in the regular season again until 2024.

Rob Oller

Sports columnist

The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State 46, Nebraska 13

Simply put, Nebraska is a train wreck. And more derailment is coming. Scott Frost's Cornhuskers rank 94th in turnover margin, while the Buckeyes rank ninth. That's a recipe for disaster, and Ohio State will take advantage of the statistical mismatch to create excellent field position and favorable scoring chances. Add the systemic talent differential — OSU has produced 18 NFL first-round draft picks since 2011; Nebraska has had one — and no wonder the Buckeyes should have the game sealed away by the end of the third quarter, if not by halftime.  

Parker Gabriel

Nebraska beat writer

Lincoln Journal Star

Ohio State 41, Nebraska 20

Nebraska has played its best this fall against the best teams on its schedule, limiting Oklahoma to 23 points and leading both Michigan State and Michigan in the fourth quarter. The Huskers lost all three of those games, though, and are on a three-game skid. Not only that, but the Buckeyes are more dangerous right now than any of those three teams were when Nebraska faced them.  

The Huskers offensively have been much more capable of creating big plays this year, but they’ve struggled at times to finish off longer, sustained drives. They’ll need to do that to keep pace with OSU’s offense. Scott Frost is under fire, but he’s still known as an offensive coach who can make life difficult for defenses, particularly young or inexperienced ones.

In the end, though, the Buckeyes are more than capable of running away with this game or withstanding an early punch and responding. The bet here is that NU’s got a spirited stand in it somewhere, but not 60 minutes’ worth.

2021 Ohio State Buckeyes football schedule 

  • Sept. 2: Ohio State 45, Minnesota 31
  • Sept. 11: Oregon 35, Ohio State 28
  • Sept. 18: Ohio State 41, Tulsa 20
  • Sept. 25: Ohio State 59, Akron 7
  • Oct. 2: Ohio State 52, Rutgers 13
  • Oct. 9: Ohio State 66, Maryland 17
  • Oct. 23: Ohio State 54, Indiana 7
  • Oct. 30: Ohio State 33, Penn State, 24
  • Nov. 6: at Nebraska, noon
  • Nov. 13: Purdue, TBA
  • Nov. 20: Michigan State, TBA
  • Nov. 27: at Michigan, 12 p.m., FOX

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Source : https://www.jsonline.com/story/sports/2021/11/03/ohio-state-vs-nebraska-predictions-game-columbus-dispatch-lincoln-journal-star/6239608001/

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