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Let’s Try this Again: Previewing Ohio State-Nebraska | I-80 Preview

November 04, 2021

And so it comes to this: To keep its bowl hopes alive for another week, Nebraska must beat No. 5 Ohio State. The game is in Lincoln (a plus) and it is in the morning (a slight plus? maybe?). By losing the last two times out as a favorite, this is the situation Scott Frost and the Huskers have created for themselves.

The Buckeyes are a two-touchdown favorite, and that might be the good news. Compared to the previous three Ohio State-Nebraska matchups, this is the closest the Huskers have been to the Buckeyes and that’s probably not just an “on paper” thing.

Ohio State may have the best offense in the country and, since to losing Oregon in Week 2, has shored up a defense then viewed as the source of all its ills. But unlike most years, the secondary isn’t murder in cleats. Maybe just manslaughter in cleats. Penn State, fresh off losing to Illinois the week prior, went punch-for-punch with the Buckeyes. Ohio State’s latest very good quarterback is still a freshman, so maybe––if the running backs aren’t averaging 7 yards per carry and the receivers 15 per catch––a team could rattle such a still-developing signal-caller.

If the Huskers were 5-4 right now rather than 3-6, it would be a lot easier to talk yourself into Nebraska pulling off such a magic trick. It’s still possible, but Nebraska will need to be nearly perfect, which, as we know at this point, is this program’s fatal flaw since 2018. It’s 65% perfect in games that require 70% perfection, or 82% in games that require 87%. Whatever the threshold may be, the Huskers get close enough, but never actually “enough,” to defy any and all simple explanations.

We get into all of that and more in the latest episode of the I-80 Preview.

The I-80 Preview will have new episodes each week during football season. You can listen to the new episode below or, better yet, subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your preferred pod purveyor.

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