A win is a win, but for the Ohio State Buckeyes, it was another ugly one, beating the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 36-31. Thank goodness a game has two halves.
Following their loss to Purdue two weeks ago, the scarlet and gray not only were angry and wanted to get back in the win column, but they also had two weeks to prepare against a Nebraska squad that was just 2-6. You wouldn’t have noticed that in The Shoe Saturday afternoon. Whether it was their struggles early on or just not being on the same page, the Buckeyes allowed the Cornhuskers to keep it close all game, including the scarlet and gray trailing at the half, 21-16, and were held scoreless in the second quarter.
Ohio State had a dominant running game and the defense stepped up in the second half, allowing the Buckeyes to take care of business in the second half. While Dwayne Haskins completed 18-of-32 passes for 252 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber dominated when their team needed them the most. After struggling throughout much of the last month or so, the duo combined for over 250 yards and three touchdowns. Dobbins finished with 23 carries for 163 yards and three touchdowns while Weber totaled nine carries for 91 yards. Johnnie Dixon also added five receptions 96 yards and a touchdown through the air.
After barely playing all season, safety Brendon White stepped up when his team needed him the most. Following Jordan Fuller’s targetting penalty that led to an ejection in the second quarter, the sophomore had 12 tackles in Fuller’s place. He also had two tackles for loss even though he only played less than three quarters.
The Buckeyes need to continue to improve and become more consistent. Not only must they be more consistent on both sides of the ball, but they also must continue to improve as well. Whether it’s their linebackers, offensive line, or a number of other positions groups, they have plenty of things they need to work on sooner rather than later.
Ohio State may have won, but only beating a 2-6 team by six is nothing to be proud of. They will have a much bigger (and tougher) test next week when they travel to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans next week. With just three games left in the regular season, the Buckeyes still have some time to continue to improve on their biggest weaknesses, but time is running out.