Spielman Sets Record in Loss to No. 9 Buckeyes
Lincoln - Nebraska freshman JD Spielman set the Husker single-game record with 200 receiving yards on 11 catches, including a 77-yard touchdown, but quarterback J.T. Barrett led Ohio State to touchdowns on each of its first eight possessions on the way to a 56-14 Buckeye victory on Saturday night.
Nebraska slipped to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten with the loss, while Ohio State improved to 6-1 and 4-0 in the conference by scoring 50 or more points for the fourth consecutive game. The 42-point win for the Buckeyes marked the largest winning margin by an opponent at Memorial Stadium since Oklahoma defeated the Huskers 48-0 on Oct. 22, 1949.
The Buckeyes amassed 632 yards of total offense and weren't unsuccessful on a drive until their ninth possession of the game when Barrett ended his night. Ohio State's balance included 354 yards passing and 279 yards rushing and a whopping 41 first downs. Nebraska passed for 349 yards to nearly match the Buckeyes through the air, but the Huskers could only muster 44 yards on 16 carries on the ground.
Barrett finished a spectacular night by completing 27-of-33 passes for 325 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions. His NCAA pass efficiency rating in the game of 214.55 was the highest by an opposing quarterback in Nebraska history, while his 81.8 completion percentage was No. 2 on the Nebraska opponent list behind only Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner Jason White's 82.9 percent (29-35) in Norman on Nov. 13, 2004.
Barrett added 10 carries for 48 yards and two more scores as he had a hand in seven of Ohio State's eight touchdowns. J.K. Dobbins led OSU on the ground with 12 carries for 106 yards and a score, while Mike Weber added 18 carries for 82 yards.
Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee also had a solid night, completing 23-of-38 passes for 303 yards and two scores with no interceptions.
In a first half completely controlled by Ohio State, the Buckeyes took a 35-0 lead to the halftime locker room. Ohio State rolled up 366 total yards on 42 plays in 15:35 of possession time. The Buckeyes scored on each of their five first-half drives, with all five drives covering at least 59 yards and all taking at least eight plays. OSU went 6-for-6 on third-down conversions.
On the flip side, the Huskers managed just 116 yards on 33 plays and went just 2-for-9 on third-down conversions in the first half.
Nebraska opened the game with the ball and good field position after OSU's opening kickoff sailed out of bounds to start the game. The Huskers were unable to muster a first down, forcing a punt by Caleb Lightbourn who boomed a 57-yarder that was downed at the OSU 4.
The Blackshirts were unable to capitalize on Ohio State's poor field position, as the Buckeyes raced 96 yards in nine plays, capped by Dobbins' 52-yard touchdown run. It was Ohio State's longest play of the night and gave the Buckeyes a 7-0 with 10:47 left in the first quarter.
Ohio State's second drive also started deep in their own territory at the OSU 15, but nine plays and 85 yards later, Barrett sprinted six yards to paydirt to send the Buckeyes to the second quarter with a 14-0 lead.
Nebraska continued to struggle offensively, and the Buckeyes went eight plays in 80 yards on their third drive, culminating with K.J. Hill's 16-yard touchdown pass from Barrett with 13:37 left in the second to give Ohio State a 21-0 margin.
Ohio State's fourth drive ended with Barrett's 31-yard touchdown strike to Terry McLaurin with 8:20 left in the half to cap an eight-play, 71-yard drive, before Barrett added his second scoring run of the half from three yards out with 1:10 left to give the Buckeyes a 35-0 lead.
Nebraska had a chance to dent the scoreboard on the final play of the first half, but Lee's long pass to De'Mornay Pierson-El in the end zone bounded off Pierson-El's hands after he split three Buckeye defenders.
Ohio State opened the second half with the ball and continued rolling with a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped by Barrett's 16-yard touchdown pass to Rashod Berry with 11:29 left in the quarter to push the margin to 42-0.
Nebraska finally broke through on its first possession of the second half with Lee's 77-yard touchdown pass to Spielman with 11:05 left in the quarter. Nebraska's two-play drive took just 17 seconds, but gave life back to Huskers.
Barrett kept the Buckeyes moving, leading a seven-play, 75-yard march that ended with his 18-yard pass to Marcus Baugh with 7:49 left in the quarter to extend the margin to 49-7.
However, the Huskers continued to fight, as Lee led a four-play, 68-yard scoring drive that closed with his 17-yard touchdown pass to Stanley Morgan Jr., who finished the night with three receptions for 30 yards against a tough and talented Ohio State secondary.
Ohio State produced its final scoring drive of the night with a 15-play, 66-yard drive that lasted 6:24 and resulted in Barrett's six-yard touchdown pass to Hill. It was Hill's second touchdown catch of the night, as he led the Buckeyes with seven receptions for 80 yards.
Nebraska mounted a pair of drives that penetrated deep into Ohio State territory that came up empty in the fourth quarter. Patrick O'Brien, who completed 4-of-9 passes for 46 yards in the quarter, had his pass in the end zone intercepted on the final play of the game.
The Huskers will try to take advantage of a bye week next week after playing back-to-back top-10 foes at home, as they prepare for a road trip to Purdue on Saturday, Oct. 28 in West Lafayette. Game time and television information will be announced at a later date.
No. 9 Ohio State 56, Nebraska 14
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017
First Quarter (OSU 14, NEB 0)
10:47 - OSU - J.K. Dobbins 52 run (Sean Nuernberger kick), 9 plays, 96 yards, 2:44, OSU 7-0
5:39 - OSU - J.T. Barrett 6 run (Nuernberger kick), 9 plays, 85 yards, 3:48, OSU 14-0
Second Quarter (OSU 35, NEB 0)
13:37 - OSU - K.J. Hill 16 pass from Barrett (Nuernberger kick), 8 plays, 80 yards, 3:11, OSU 21-0
8:20 - OSU - Terry McLaurin 31 pass from Barrett (Nuernberger kick), 8 plays, 71 yards, 3:23, OSU 28-0
1:10 - OSU - Barrett 3 run (Nuernberger kick), 8 plays, 59 yards, 2:29, OSU 35-0
Third Quarter (OSU 49, NEB 14)
11:29 - OSU - Rashod Berry 16 pass from Barrett (Nuernberger kick), 9 plays, 75 yards, 3:31, OSU 42-0
11:05 - NEB - JD Spielman from Tanner Lee (Drew Brown kick), 2 plays, 77 yards, 0:17, OSU 42-7
7:49 - OSU - Marcus Baugh 18 pass from Barrett (Nuernberger kick), 7 plays, 75 yards, 3:16, OSU 49-7
5:52 - NEB - Stanley Morgan 17 pass from Lee (Brown kick), 4 plays, 68 yards, 1:51, OSU 49-14
Fourth Quarter (OSU 56, NEB 14)
14:20 - OSU - Hill 6 pass from Barrett (Nuernberger kick), 15 plays, 66 yards, 6:24, OSU 56-14
Attendance: 89,346 (359th consecutive sellout)
Kickoff: 6:40 p.m. (CT)
Time of Game: 3:21