The Clash of Allies: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs #5 Ohio State Buckeyes by Mike Scharf

After the Big Ten cancelled the 2020 football season in August, and then reversed that decision last month, Ohio State’s pursuit for another CFB Playoff trip starts this week as Nebraska comes into Columbus to take on the Buckeyes. 

The Buckeyes and Cornhuskers are meeting for the seventh time since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011. The Buckeyes have won seven of eight matchups including five straight. This Buckeye team is starting their season in October for the first time since 1939.

The Big Ten was the first power 5 conference to cancel its fall schedule, only for the decision to be backpedaled due to constant strategies within the conference along with an eight week schedule that features eight games with no off dates. The Buckeyes and Cornhuskers both voiced their opinions strongly on the desire to play so it’s only right these two face off in Ohio stadium this weekend.

Ohio State fell just short of a visit to the national championship game last season losing to Clemson 29-23 in the CFB semifinal, but this Buckeye squad led by Head Coach Ryan Day reloaded for another run at it this season. Day returns a Heisman Trophy Finalist at quarterback in Justin Fields, one of the best offensive lines in the country, along one of the most talented wide receiver groups in recent years, and a stout defense.

The Buckeyes will also have some new faces displaying their ability this weekend with Oklahoma transfer running back Trey Sermon and a talented freshman recruiting class led by the receiving core of Julian Fleming, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Gee Scott.

Like Day, Nebraska coach Scott Frost also re-establishes some key members for his squad. Notably starting quarterback Adrian Martinez along with a returning offensive line. Martinez was in a fight for the starting job as redshirt freshman Luke McCaffrey, who offers a unique, similar skill set as a dual-threat quarterback for the Cornhuskers. So the Buckeyes defense needs to have their focus on both quarterbacks come game time as both could see snaps. The offensive front for the Cornhuskers is experienced as they get returning all five starters from last year including three seniors in tackle Brenden Jaimes, and guards Boe Wilson, Matt Farnoik. 

There’s no denying the notable talent gap between the two programs as the Buckeyes have won its last five games against the Cornhuskers in dominating fashion and is 7-1 all-time including a 48-7 matchup in Lincoln last year. Many are expecting Ohio State’s high-powered offense to blow the doors off Nebraska. Although it shouldn’t be eye opening if Nebraska makes some plays on the offensive side of the ball as Ohio State’s defense is playing its first game without seven starters who were all drafted into the NFL including two of the top three picks in Chase Young, and Jeff Okudah.


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