Ohio State answered any doubts about whether the first four games were a fluke or not with a dominating 48-7 victory against Nebraska at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.
The Buckeyes outgained the Cornhuskers 580-231 and many players were worthy of praise for their parts in the blowout road win.
The Buckeye Sports Bulletin staff and BSB subscribers distributed Buckeye Leaves for players who especially stood out for Ohio State.
Once again, there are plenty of players on both sides of the ball that deserve credit for helping dismantle Nebraska, but I will go with Jeff Okudah. Before the game got out of hand, it was the Cornhuskers that got the opening drive to try to get an early jump and make the upset happen.
Instead, Okudah came up with his second interception in as many games to immediately halt the momentum. Then again, with the Cornhuskers driving down the field with an unorthodox play style, a ball was batted in the air, and fell into the hands of the junior corner for his second pick of the day.
It may have been a pick that happened by being in the right place at the right time, but without Okudah making his second and third career interceptions, who knows if Ohio State is able to immediately put the game away in the same style that they did.
Josh Alabi earned a Buckeye Leaf for his excellent performance as a fill-in starter at right tackle in place of injured Branden Bowen. It’s no small task to step into the starting lineup on the road in the biggest game of the season to date, and the fifth-year senior rose to the occasion.
With the game still in reach and Ohio State regaining possession ahead 7-0 with 9:10 left in the first quarter, Alabi helped lead running back J.K. Dobbins on his first big run of many.
The Buckeyes started on their own 40-yard line, and Dobbins followed Alabi along the right side for a 15-yard gain on first down, which helped propel the visitors’ momentum on their way to
Alabi, a Detroit Cass Tech product, helped pave the way for the Scarlet and Gray rushing offense, which gained 307 yards and three touchdowns on 44 attempts (7.0 average) when he was in the game.
Also blocking well on the edge during pass plays, the 6-foot-5, 305-pound Alabi helped protect Justin Fields, who threw for 212 yards and three scores on 15-of-21 passing.
Though it was just his second-career road start, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields continues to make the game look easy — both throwing and running the football.
In the 48-7 win over Nebraska, Fields completed 15 of 21 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed 12 times for 72 yards and another score, leading the Buckeyes down the field on drive after drive.
Fields’ confidence is apparent, both in the way he motivates his teammates before the game and in how he performs within the flow of the game. He’s taken an already exciting offensive attack and not only made it multi-dimensional, but even more dangerous and difficult for opponents to stop.
Fields should and will get even greater consideration for the Heisman Trophy after his output on Sept. 28. He has also put the Big Ten and the rest of the country on notice — the Buckeyes are for real and aren’t going to slip up in a game they should handily win this season.
It’s hard to put up a quiet 175-yard rushing performance, but J.K. Dobbins did just that against Nebraska, because he gashed the Cornhuskers all night and it still felt like he was never there.
That’s become a bit of a trend for Dobbins, because of the way that he runs. He isn’t super explosive, and while he can make them sometimes, he really doesn’t have a knack for big plays. Instead, he just racks up solid gains on basically every carry, and against Nebraska he kept up his workman-like approach. He averaged just over seven yards per carry, despite a long of just 26 yards.
He did it without a touchdown, with the touchdown carries going to Justin Fields and Master Teague, but Dobbins was dominant just as he has been in basically every game this season. Plenty of credit could and should go to the offensive line too, but Dobbins deserves props for how hard he ran against Nebraska, and how hard he has been running all season long.