OSU - Ohio State definitely had a few scares against Michigan State, with quarterback Braxton Miller having to leave a few series for injuries. But never fear, the Buckeyes' best play maker will be getting the start on Saturday against Nebraska. Miller rushed for 136 yards and passed for another 179 against a very tough Spartan defense. He did have a few turnovers, including one interception, but that's been a rarity this season for the Buckeyes QB.
NEBRASKA - Like Miller, Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez can both run and pass the ball. He's more throw than rush, but he can run if needed. He's passed for 1,059 yards this season (211.8 per game) and rushed for 298 (59.6 per game). Last week against Wisconsin, Martinez was 17 of 29 for 181 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for a 37-yard score.
EDGE - OSU
OSU - Jordan Hall has a partial tear of a ligament in his right knee and is doubtful for Saturday's game. He's still listed as the starter, but expect Carlos Hyde to be taking a majority of the carries. Miller's legs are still making him the main threat in the running game, as he has amassed 577 yards on the season, including 136 against Michigan State last week.
NEBRASKA - While Martinez can run, he's not the main threat in the running game. In fact, the Cornhuskers have numerous players they can hand the ball off to and get solid carries. Ameer Abdullah leads the team with 486 yards and five touchdowns. Rex Burkhead was out a few games at the beginning of the year, but is back in the lineup and has rushed for 273 yards in the three games he's played. Cardinal Mooney graduate Braylon Heard has played in all five games this year, rushing for 184 yards.
EDGE - Nebraska
OSU - At the beginning of the season, it was a question mark of who would break out as Ohio State's main receivers. It has now become very apparent. Philly Brown has emerged as Miller's go-to target with 32 catches for 317 yards and one touchdown. On the other side, Devin Smith has become the "big play" receiver, coming in with 19 catches for 351 yards and four touchdowns. Last week against the Spartans, Smith had a 63-yard touchdown reception that ended up being the difference in the ball game.
NEBRASKA - Like with the running game, Nebraska has some playmakers on the outside. Kenny Bell has 330 yards on 15 catches. That's an average of 22 yards per catch. Quincy Enunwa had 16 catches for 173 yards and Kyler Reed has caught 11 passes for 141 yards. With the way the Ohio State secondary has been playing, one would have to think this is going to be the most active unit on Saturday.
EDGE - Even
OSU - The line had a big test last week against Michigan State, and for all purposes passed. They only gave up one sack and allowed the running game to compile 204 yards. Going into the game, the Spartans were only allowing 69 yards on the ground per game. The lineup hasn't changed at all this season, which is a main reason for the consistent play of the offense - specifically Miller.
NEBRASKA - The line has given up eight sacks this season and allowed the Cornhuskers to rush for 1,529 yards. Also, this line is huge. Led by 6-foot-7, 315 pound left tackle Brent Qvale, the line averages at 6-4, 300 pounds. Nebraska is currently ranked ninth in the country out of all the FBS team in total offense. That's not done without a stout front line.
EDGE - Even
OSU - The line had a huge task last week in containing Le'Veon Bell, one of the best running backs in the conference. He walked out of Spartan Stadium with 45 yards on the ground. That was a huge accomplishment for the line that had struggled as of late. If the defensive front, captained by Cardinal Mooney graduate John Simon, can keep that kind of play up, it will be very hard for opposing teams to formulate much of a ground attack. Nathan Williams had a spectacular game on Saturday, and is now back to being listed as the starter over Boardman graduate J.T. Moore.
NEBRASKA - The defensive line held Montee Ball, one of the nation's best running backs, to 90 yards. But one of the biggest stats that sticks out about the Nebraska defense is that as a unit, it has sacked opposing quarterbacks 16 times this season. The two defensive ends, Eric Martin and Cameron Meredith, are two big reasons for that. Martin has 3.5 sacks and Meredith has recorded 2.
EDGE - Nebraska
OSU - Ryan Shazier and Etienne Sabino had another solid, consistent game for the linebackers, each recording eight tackles. The linebackers were also a huge part of why Bell was never able to get anything going on the ground. This week, the linebackers will have a tough job of making sure to keep Martinez under control, which ever way he plays the ball, and helping out the secondary when needed.
NEBRASKA - Will Compton leads the unit with a team-high 44 tackles, six for loss, and three sacks. He's also broken up two passes and recovered a fumble and is the most active linebacker of the starting three. While the defensive line has put up some good stats, it should be noted too that the defense as a whole has allowed 340.8 yards per game, and that's split pretty evenly between rushing and passing yards.
EDGE - OSU
OSU - As well as the line and linebackers contained the running game, it was just the opposite with the secondary. The Spartans put up 269 yards on the Buckeye defensive backs, and if were not for some penalties and Michigan State drops, it might have been a different outcome. Nebraska brings in a dual attack to Columbus on Saturday, so the backs better be ready on every play.
NEBRASKA - Safety Daimion Stafford has recorded 32 tackles and cornerback Josh Mitchelle has 26. The unit has only picked off opposing quarterbacks three times this season, and are allowing 188 yards per game. Like Ohio State, this is probably the weakest of the defensive units, so it will be interesting to see which one has the better game.
EDGE - Even
OSU - One of the biggest plays Saturday was Bradley Roby's blocked punt. Though the Buckeyes couldn't turn it into a score, a play like that is always a highlight. The kicking by Drew Basil is still solid, which is a plus when the tough part of the schedule is approaching. The big question remains, when is the return team going to make a big play. Not necessarily a touchdown, but a return for more than 20 yards.
NEBRASKA - Unlike Ohio State, the Cornhuskers have got that big play out of their return team. Last week against Wisconsin, Abdullah rushed for an 83-yard kickoff return, setting up an early Nebraska touchdown. In his career, he's also rushed one for 100-yards. He's also returned a punt this year for 81 yards. As for field goals, Brett Maher is 7 of 12.
EDGE - Nebraska
This is another big game for the Buckeyes. The Cornhuskers have a huge momentum swing from last week, coming back to beat Wisconsin, but Ohio State also is coming in on a high-note after defeating Michigan State. But this is a night game, at Ohio Stadium and a team that wants revenge from last year. The Buckeyes also want to show last week wasn't a fluke.