We were excited too, Orhian.
After last weekend’s 17-16 upset victory in East Lansing to open the Big Ten portion of the 2012 schedule, the Ohio State Buckeyes will now host Bo Pelini, Taylor Martinez, Rex Burkhead and the 21st-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers as three point favorites this Saturday night at 8pm Eastern at Ohio Stadium.
WHERE THEY’VE BEEN
Saturday’s win against then-20th-ranked Michigan State was a loud message sent to the Big Ten Conference from Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. Last year’s ugly 10-7 loss to the Spartans was the beginning of the end for the 2011 Bucks and a defeat that stuck with the players and fans. To stroll into East Lansing and come out winners as 3-point underdogs not only avenged last season’s lost but could very well vault the Buckeyes into top-notch performance this weekend against the 21st-ranked Huskers.
As road underdogs, Ohio State could have just as easily came home with a 0-1 conference record and a shortage of confidence to face the same Nebraska team that tore their hearts out a season ago in Lincoln – with the Cornhuskers recording the biggest comeback in their history to defeat the Luke Fickell-led Bucks 34-27 in improbably fashion.
Instead the Buckeyes are riding a wave of confidence and adrenalin into Saturday night with revenge on their minds. Playing the game at 8pm EST – the first night game for Meyer as the Bucks’ head coach – will only add to the electricity in Ohio Stadium.
Nebraska is coming into town off a big home win over the Wisconsin Badgers that required another comeback effort, the second largest in Huskers history, to pull of the 30-27 win to start the B1G schedule unblemished. That victory was good enough to move them up one spot in the AP rankings to 21st, setting up the nationally televised top-25 match-up this weekend.
The Buckeyes enter Saturday night at 5-0 after a blowout of in-state MAC opponent Miami (OH) to open 2012, three closer-than-expected wins over Central Florida, California and Alabama-Birmingham and last Saturday’s win over the Spartans.
Nebraska is 4-1 on the young season with wins over the aforementioned Badgers as well as Southern Miss, Arkansas State and Idaho State to go along with a tough road loss to the UCLA Bruins in week two.
WHERE THEY’RE GOING
With no conference championship or bowl game on the table for Ohio State their focus revolves around a potential 12-0 run through the 2012 season and a strong desire to improve on a weekly basis in an effort to put themselves into position for a national title run in 2013, the last college football season to be played before the playoff system goes into place one year later.
Aside from the annual match-up with Michigan this November 24th, the Buckeyes have to be looking at this Nebraska game as the biggest remaining on the schedule. The Cornhuskers and Northwestern are the only two other B1G teams currently ranked in the AP Poll, the Wildcats sitting at 24th but without a signature win in 2012.
The Buckeyes also have a home date with Purdue in two weeks and they’ll certainly be amped to host the Boilermakers considering the recent success they’ve had against OSU, but this Saturday’s game under the lights is the last remaining heavyweight prize-fight on Ohio State’s schedule before hosting the Wolverines to close out Meyer’s inaugural season in Columbus.
Saturday night will be the first of back-to-back road trips for the Huskers against ranked teams, as they head to Evanston to face Northwestern just ten days from now. They’re currently one of three teams who are undefeated in-conference in the Legends Division of the B1G along side Iowa (3-2, 1-0 B1G) and Northwestern (5-0, 1-0 B1G).
The Huskers only have three games remaining at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln (Michigan, Penn State Minnesota) with four road trip left to make including this Saturday night. With Michigan State now sitting at 0-1, Nebraska and Michigan (2-2, 0-0 B1G) are the current favorites on that side of the conference with the 1-0 Hawkeyes having a brutal seven game stretch that sees them go on the road to face Michigan, Northwestern and Purdue with a home vs. Nebraska to end the regular season.
POINT SPREAD | Ohio State (-3.0)
OVER/UNDER | (+58.0)
TRENDS | #21 Nebraska at #12 Ohio State
- Against The Spread (ATS)
- Cornhuskers are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss.
- Cornhuskers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games on field turf.
- Cornhuskers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 conference games.
- Cornhuskers are 1-4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Cornhuskers are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Cornhuskers are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 road games.
- Against The Spread (ATS)
- Buckeyes are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 games in October.
- Buckeyes are 43-18-1 ATS in their last 62 conference games.
- Buckeyes are 37-18-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Buckeyes are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
- Buckeyes are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games on field turf.
- Buckeyes are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games.
- Over/Under (O/U)
- Under is 18-6 in Cornhuskers last 24 games in October.
- Under is 5-2 in Cornhuskers last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Under is 5-2 in Cornhuskers last 7 conference games.
- Over/Under (O/U)
- Under is 5-0 in Buckeyes last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Under is 9-3 in Buckeyes last 12 vs. a team with a winning record.
Related: For more odds on Saturday night’s game, be sure to check out THE MAIN EVENT in the Empire Lounge.