The moment so many have been waiting for is finally here. Nebraska’s 2020 season kicks off Saturday against Ohio State.
Saturday’s matchup with Ohio State marks Nebraska’s latest season opener in more than 125 years. The Huskers are scheduled to play a nine-game, conference-only schedule. Saturday’s season opener is also Nebraska’s first game in 330 days, dating back to the Huskers’ Black Friday matchup with Iowa in 2019. The 330-day stretch is Nebraska’s second-longest without a game in school history. It only trails the 331 days between the 1982 and 1983 seasons.
Nebraska-Ohio State football TV channel, time, live stream
TV channel: FOX (Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt, Jenny Taft)
Time: 11 a.m. CT
Date: Saturday, October 24
Live stream: FoxSportsGo
Radio: Nebraska fans can listen to the game on IMG Husker Sports Network, as well as on XM 382. Internet radio will be available at Huskers.com.
Location: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Weather: It’s going to feel like fall, that’s for sure.
Full forecast and updates brought to you by Rusty Dawkins of Husker Weather. More here.
Nebraska-Ohio State football picks, odds
The line: Nebraska -26.5
(per the VI Consensus)
Nebraska-Ohio State preview
Was it a coincidence that Nebraska and Ohio State were pegged against each other in Week 1 of the Big Ten’s third iteration of its 2020 schedule?
“No, I don’t think it was a coincidence,” Coach Scott Frost said earlier in the week.
It doesn’t matter all that much though. Frost is grateful to Ohio State, and said as much when asked, because the two programs were some of the loudest about making a season happen. He even said he’d cheer for the Buckeyes. You know, except for when they face the Huskers on Saturday.
“We’re grateful to Ohio State. You know, it’s strange where you find allies in certain things, and I think we had an ally at Ohio State to try to get the season played,” Frost said. “I don’t think it would have gotten done without Dr. Borchers there, without Ryan Day continue to push it, Eugene Smith, continuing to push it. We certainly fought for it too, because we thought it was the right thing to do to have football. Our kids wanted to play. We thought we could do it in a safe manner. We weren’t satisfied with the decision to not play and kept trying to find opportunities to find a way to get it done and we’re grateful to Ohio State for having done the same thing. It’s two teams that I think have wanted to play all along are playing each other in the in the first game we got a ton of respect for them.
“I said after last season that was one of the best college football teams that I’ve been on a field with. I think they were one of the best teams in the country and could have easily won everything last year. That being said, I thought we did a really good job of keeping the game close last year for about five minutes.”
As Frost noted, Nebraska didn’t exactly keep it close with Ohio State in 2019. The Buckeyes defeated the Huskers at Memorial Stadium, 48-7. With that said, Nebraska was competitive the last time the team was at Ohio Stadium. The Huskers dropped that one—Frost’s lone trip to the Horseshoe—36-31 after leading by five at halftime.
In 2020? Many assume the Huskers’ offense will put some points on the board, especially with new offensive coordinator Matt Lubick around. He’ll have some questions to answer though, primarily at wide receiver where he is also the position coach. Frost said he expects to see a number of young wideouts against Ohio State.
“I think they could all go to the game,” Frost said. “There’s various degrees of being ready. You’re ready to run some of the plays, you’re ready to operate efficiently in some of them or all of them or somewhere in between. Certainly a lot of new guys that we’re trying to bring along. Alante Brown has done really good things, Marcus Fleming, Zavier Betts and others.
“So we’re going to have to just use a mix of all those new guys as much as they’re ready as well as some of the veterans that have been in the program longer.”
It’s worth keeping in mind that Ohio State was one of the best in the nation in passing touchdowns allowed in 2019, only giving up nine on the season. That’ll make things even more interesting for the Huskers’ young receivers. With that said, Nebraska was 10th in the nation in passing touchdowns allowed last season, only allowing 14.
There’s a reason Nebraska is a 26.5-point underdog to Ohio State, but that doesn’t mean the Huskers can’t keep it interesting. In 2020, anything is possible.