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Dan Wismar

Michigan Purdue1And then there was one.

Ohio State moved to 6-0 on Saturday night, surviving the regular season’s first half as the Big Ten’s only unbeaten team. It was a good weekend for the conference’s traditional powers and a setback for some wannabes. Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State posted impressive wins, while Northwestern and Purdue looked like also-rans. Everything old is new again.

The Buckeyes jumped up to No. 8 in the new AP ranking, but the only other Big Ten representation is Michigan, sneaking into the poll at No. 25.  To the games...



Dan Wismar

Braxton Neb3Urban Meyer described the Ohio State offense in the first quarter as “a trainwreck”, but for the last three quarters, it looked more like a high-speed bullet train to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Braxton Miller broke his own team record for rushing yards by a quarterback, and Carlos Hyde bulldozed his way to 140 yards and four touchdowns as the Buckeyes demolished Nebraska 63-38 in front of a record crowd of 106,102 at Ohio Stadium.

The victory leaves Meyer’s Buckeyes (6-0, 2-0) the only remaining unbeaten team in the Big Ten, as Northwestern (5-1, 1-1) suffered their first loss of the year to Penn State in State College.

OSU fell behind 17-7 in the first quarter, their only score a 41-yard interception return by Bradley Roby. The offense generated just 17 yards in the period, and failed to register a first down. But once again they were sparked by a big play...this one a 72-yard dash by Miller to set up Hyde’s first TD, and the train was back on the track early in the second quarter.

The Buckeyes proceeded to score touchdowns on six straight possessions, interrupted only by halftime. After one 4th quarter OSU drive it was 56-31, and it was all over but the postgame revelry on High Street. Ohio State amassed 498 yards of total offense, averaging 8.0 yards per play, and they did it while completing just seven passes. The Buckeyes ran the ball...and they ran the ball some more...and Nebraska had no answer, least of all for the electrifying Braxton Miller.

In the much anticipated matchup between Miller and his Husker counterpart Taylor Martinez, the OSU sophomore won by unanimous decision. Martinez competed hard, showing his toughness by breaking several tackles on a 9-yard TD run to give the Huskers a brief 24-21 lead in the 2nd quarter. But Miller took care of the football for his team and Martinez didn’t. The Nebraska junior turned the ball over four times, with three interceptions and a 4th quarter fumble that added an exclamation point to the OSU triumph.


Dan Wismar

Martinez 2011c

- Saturday, October 6, 2012

- Ohio Stadium - Columbus, OH

- Nebraska at Ohio State

- 8:00 p.m. (ET)

- TV: ABC -

Undefeated Ohio State faces what may be its toughest test of the year as the 2012 season reaches the halfway point Saturday night at the Horseshoe. Former OSU captain Bo Pelini brings his 21st-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers to Columbus where he’ll try to collect his second win in as many tries against the No. 12 Buckeyes.

Pelini and the Huskers set a record for the school’s greatest comeback a year ago in Lincoln when they overcame a 21-point Ohio State lead in the second half to top the Buckeyes 34-27, and you can bet the bitter memory of that loss lingers with this year’s OSU team. Following their bruising win over a tough Michigan State squad a week ago, Urban Meyer said he felt his team came together in a way that proved to him what they’re made of, and they’ll need more of that togetherness Saturday night in order to remain unbeaten.

This matchup is compelling well beyond the storied histories of the two programs and the prime-time national telecast with Brent and Herbie. The collision of two ranked teams in the beleaguered Big Ten may be a rare occurrence this season, and as the conference wheat begins to separate from the chaff, Nebraska (4-1, 1-0) and Ohio State (5-0, 1-0) look like two of the kernels worth watching closely the rest of the way.


Dan Wismar

Wisky Neb2012bFive games opened up the Big Ten slate last weekend, while Purdue finished up its non-conference schedule with a win over Marshall. Your humble correspondent missed all of the action, untethered as he was from football, the Internet and the North American land mass on a brief weekend cruise in the Caribbean, but the Recap must go on, and the DVR makes it all possible, if slightly delayed.

There were two feature match-ups on the day’s schedule. First, the Ohio State-Michigan State game in East Lansing, a revenge game of sorts for the Buckeyes, and the first ever Big Ten contest as head coach for Urban Meyer. The other was the Nebraska-Wisconsin meeting in Lincoln, with the Huskers trying to avenge last year’s 48-17 wipeout at the hands of the Badgers in Madison.

As you probably know by now, the two revenge-minded teams both came out on top, and will meet in a nationally-televised game this Saturday night in Columbus.

We’ll begin with those two headliners as we revisit Saturday’s games...



Jesse Lamovsky

Ohio State didn’t play a particularly clean game up in East Lansing on Saturday afternoon. There were turnovers, blown opportunities and, on at least one occasion, a mass outbreak of the tackling woes that have plagued the team all season. But the Buckeyes won the game 17-16 over the Spartans, and in doing so showed plenty of toughness and fortitude in gutting out a road victory over a solid Big Ten opponent. In terms of execution they graded out at a C; in terms of effort they graded out at an A, and as a result they’re now 5-0.

Defensive Statement: Not that Michigan State is all that good offensively, but Ohio State’s defensive performance on Saturday is still laudable. The Buckeyes swarmed Le’Veon Bell, holding him to 45 yards on 17 carries while basically erasing the ground game from the Spartan playbook. The normally run-oriented MSU offense passed 42 times and ran 22 times, far from its usual ratio. For the day the Spartans finished with 303 total yards, went 4-of-15 on third down and reached the end zone only once. With Ohio State’s offense struggling to finish drives, it was up to the defense to hold the line-and it did just that.


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