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Nebraska vs. Ohio State, 10.8.2011 28

Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead (22) scores in fourth-quarter action at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. (TED KIRK/Lincoln Journal Star)

NEBRASKA OFFENSE VS. OHIO STATE DEFENSE

Ohio State has been susceptible to big plays through the air, and Nebraska has arguably the best wide receiving corps in the Big Ten. Combine that with the Huskers’ three-headed monster running attack of Taylor Martinez, Rex Burkhead and Ameer Abdullah, and you’d expect Nebraska to score some points. The big question: Can the Huskers get out of their own way? Turnovers and penalties have been big bugaboos in recent road games against ranked teams, and too many of those Saturday night will spell doom again.

Edge: Nebraska


NEBRASKA DEFENSE VS. OHIO STATE OFFENSE

We’ve heard all week (and probably longer than that) about Braxton Miller, the Ohio State spread offense, and how Nebraska’s defense isn’t built to stop either. The Buckeyes will surely move the ball up and down the field, right? Right? While it’s not realistic to expect the Huskers to completely stop Miller, it’s not impossible to apply some pressure on the sophomore dual-threat quarterback, make sure he takes his licks and see how he holds up. Miller is dangerous throwing deep balls, but keep an eye on tight end Jake Stoneburner, and on short passes over the middle.

Edge: Ohio State

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SPECIAL TEAMS

Nebraska’s Abdullah is the biggest threat in the return game for either team, and Brett Maher, despite his early season struggles, is the strongest kicker. OSU’s Drew Basil has attempted only two field goals, both inside 26 yards, and has missed a PAT. The Buckeyes, though, have blocked three kicks.

Edge: Nebraska


OVERALL

It’s an opportunity for redemption for Nebraska — redemption for the UCLA debacle, and redemption for last year’s three road meltdowns (at Wisconsin, at Michigan and vs. South Carolina). Ohio State, though, is also eyeing revenge for last year’s loss to Nebraska (the biggest comeback in NU history, and the biggest lead ever surrendered in a loss for OSU). Night games at the Horseshoe are rare, but give OSU the edge in this one because of its offense.

Edge: Ohio State

Reach Brian Rosenthal at 402-473-7436 or brosenthal@journalstar.com. You can follow him on Twitter @HuskerExtraBR.

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