COLUMBUS, Ohio — It wasn’t a blowout, but the Buckeyes got back in the win column on Saturday as they defeated Nebraska, 36-31 in their first game back since their horrific loss to Purdue two weeks ago.
Nebraska received the ball to start the game and took it 75 yards down the field on 12 plays in five minutes and four seconds.
Ohio State was then given a gigantic break on the ensuing Nebraska kickoff as punter Caleb Lightbourn slipped up on the kickoff and actually had a net kickoff of -4 yards to give Ohio State possession starting at the Nebraska 31.
Ohio State would be unable to even make it into the redzone, however, as they turned it over on downs after gaining just nine yards on four plays.
Ohio State caught another big break on the following Nebraska drive as they forced a three-and-out against the Huskers and then Keandre Jones blocked the Huskers punt for a safety to cut the Nebraska lead to 7-2 as Ohio State regained possession as well.
Ohio State then managed to get going with a six-play, 68-yard drive capped off by a 42-yard wide open touchdown pass from Dwayne Haskins to Johnnie Dixon as the Buckeyes took their first lead of the game, 9-7.
Ohio State then forced another quick three-and-out against Nebraska and took their ensuing possession 57 yards on just seven plays, capped off by runs by J.K. Dobbins for 16 yards and then ten yards for the touchdown, breathing the first signs of life into the Ohio State run game in several weeks.
Nebraska would then get the ball back and drive into Ohio State territory on the ensuing drive to end the first quarter.
Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez then made a terrible decision to throw a backwards pass which led to a fumble that was recovered by Ohio State, although the Buckeyes would end up punting away on that ensuing drive.
Nebraska would be pinned back at their own 11 after a booming punt by Drue Chrisman and the Huskers would gain just 17 yards on the drive before having to punt themselves.
Ohio State was driving in Nebraska territory on the ensuing drive before a fumble by Dwayne Haskins gave Nebraska the ball at the Huskers’ own 36.
The Huskers then easily drove 64 yards down the field on ten plays for a touchdown on a 2-yard TD run by Nebraska QB Adrain Martinez to cut Ohio State’s lead to 16-14 with 4:52 left in the first half.
Ohio State would fumble once again on their next drive as K.J. Hill had a big gain but then coughed up the football to give Nebraska possession at the Ohio State 47 with 4:09 left in the half.
Nebraska then drove down the short length of the field for a touchdown to take a 21-16 lead over Ohio State into halftime as the Buckeyes left the field to the sound of boos from the Ohio State fanbase.
Ohio State opened the second half with possession and they quickly made their way into the Nebraska red zone but Dwayne Haskins threw an interception for Ohio State’s third turnover of the game.
Ohio State’s defense would hold Nebraska to just 26 yards on their ensuing drive following the OSU turnover and force the Huskers to punt.
Ohio State then drove the ball 80 yards down the field on just eight plays for a touchdown, compliments of a 3-yard TD run by J.K. Dobbins. It was Dobbins’ second touchdown of the game and it gave Ohio State a 23-21 lead over Nebraska with 5:39 left in the third quarter.
Ohio State’s defense would force another Nebraska punt as the Huskers went three-and-out and the Buckeyes regained possession back at their own 32.
Ohio State’s offense would be held to a three-and-out themselves and the Buckeyes would end up having to punt as Drue Chrisman delivered a booming kick that was downed at the Nebraska 4.
Nebraska came up just short on third down on their ensuing drive at their own 13 and almost went for it on 4th and an inch, but instead decided to punt for just 34 yards and Ohio State quickly capitalized on the decision as they went 47 yards on just three plays for a touchdown to take a 30-21 lead in just 1:15.
Nebraska received the ball back to end the third quarter and they would gain just 15 yards on that drive and punt away.
Ohio State would be held to a quick three-and-out on their following possession as they failed to gain a single yard on the drive and Nebraska would get the ball back at their own 33.
Nebraska and Ohio State would then trade three-and-outs before Nebraska popped off a huge play on their following drive as Adrian Martinez found wide receiver Stanley Morgan for a 46-yard reception which brought the Huskers down to the OSU 20. Nebraska would be held to a field goal, however, after they failed to punch it in at the goal line.
Ohio State then extended their lead to 36-24 on their following possession with an 82-yard, seven-play touchdown drive capped off by J.K. Dobbins’ third touchdown of the game.
Nebraska would answer with a late touchdown of their own, but it was too little too late for the Huskers as Ohio State finished off Nebraska, 36-31.
Ohio State will now hit the road for two games against Michigan State and Maryland before returning to Ohio Stadium for their final home game of the season against Michigan.
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