Lincoln – No. 5/6 Ohio State produced a complete game in all phases to post a 48-7 win over Nebraska on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
The Buckeyes improved to 5-0 and 2-0 in the Big Ten, while Nebraska slipped to 3-2 and 1-1 in the conference. The Buckeyes showed that they may be one of the nation’s best teams, rolling for 580 total yards, including 368 on the ground, while holding the Husker offense to just 231 total yards.
The Buckeyes controlled the game from the outset, forcing a turnover on Nebraska’s opening possession with a diving interception from junior cornerback Jeff Okudah. Ohio State took over at midfield and covered 50 yards in just five plays with quarterback Justin Fields running in from 15 yards out for a 7-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
Ohio State shut Nebraska down with a quick three-and-out on its next drive and took over at its own 40 after a Husker punt. Ten plays later, the Buckeyes were in the end zone again on a two-yard touchdown pass from Fields to K.J. Hill for a 14-0 lead.
Late in the first quarter, Nebraska put together a sustained drive and was knocking on the door, when a Martinez pass floated over the head receiver Wan’Dale Robinson, who tipped the ball but it landed in the hands of Okudah, who was lying on the ground, for his second interception of the quarter. Okudah had been covering JD Spielman on the play.
The Buckeyes turned the fortunate bounce into points, pushing the ball 90 yards in 13 plays over the next 7:04. The Husker defense stiffened near the goal line and forced a Buckeye field goal to make it 17-0 with 9:32 in the first half.
Two plays into Nebraska’s next drive, Martinez was intercepted again at midfield – this time by OSU senior free safety Jordan Fuller. Three plays later, the Buckeyes were in the end zone again on running back Master Teague’s eight-yard touchdown run to give OSU a 24-0 lead with 8:26 left in the half.
The flurry of turnovers left the Huskers on the ropes, and the Buckeyes went for the knockout, forcing a quick three-and-out, then scoring on another three-play drive that covered 55 yards. Teague’s second touchdown run, this time from one yard out, put Ohio State up 31-0 with 5:42 left in the half. Teague accounted for all 55 yards on the drive, with a 28-yard reception followed by a 26-yard run to set up his one-yard blast.
Another quick stop, set up a seven-play, 72-yard drive capped by Fields’ second touchdown pass of the game, an 18-yard strike to senior wide receiver Austin Mack to give the Buckeyes a 38-0 halftime lead.
The Buckeyes owned every statistical category in the half, amassing 378 yards on 45 plays, including 230 rushing yards on 29 carries. Junior running back J.K. Dobbins rushed for 114 yards on 17 first-half carries, while Fields carried eight times for 80 yards. Teague added 36 yards on just four carries with two touchdowns. Fields also completed 10-of-15 passes for 148 yards and two scoring strikes in the half.
Nebraska managed just 76 total yards on 28 plays, as Martinez went just 2-for-8 passing for 10 yards with a career-high three interceptions. Running back Dedrick Mills led the offense with three carries for 26 yards.
Ohio State put the game firmly out of reach with 10 more points to open the second half, before Mills ended the Buckeyes’ shutout hopes with a nine-yard touchdown run to cap a five-play, 75-yard drive late in the third quarter. Martinez sparked that drive with his 56-yard run.
The Mills touchdown gave Nebraska its 300th consecutive game with at least one score. Nebraska knocked on the door again midway through the fourth quarter but was stopped on fourth down inside the Buckeye 5.
For the game, Martinez led Nebraska in rushing with 81 yards on 15 carries, while completing 8-of-17 passes for 47 yards. Mills added 67 rushing yards, while Robinson contributed 27 rushing yards.
Dobbins finished with 177 yards on 24 totes, while Teague ended the day with 77 rushing yards. Fields was efficient, completing 15-of-21 passes for 212 yards and three passing touchdowns while adding 72 rushing yards and another score on 12 carries.
Nebraska will try to bounce back next week at home when the Huskers host Northwestern next Saturday. Kickoff between the Huskers and Wildcats at Memorial Stadium is set 3 p.m., with live national television coverage on FOX.