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Home Of 500 Handicappers
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Nebraska and Ohio State, the two hottest teams in the Big Ten, are set to meet Saturday in a rare night game inside Ohio Stadium. Both teams feature agile quarterbacks and solid ground games. Cornhuskers junior quarterback Taylor Martinez has 11 touchdown passes and only one interception, the best ratio in the conference, and owns a 67.8 completion percentage.
Buckeyes sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller is coming off his third 100-yard rushing effort of the season in a 17-16 victory at Michigan State. He took a pounding in the game, however, twice staying on the turf after what appeared to be serious injuries, but each time bounced back.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten): The 20th-ranked Cornhuskers own the nation’s fifth-best rushing attack at 305 yards per game and average 6.4 yards per carry.One of the bright spots this season has been the play of sophomore running back Ameer Abdullah, who emerged after returning all-Big Ten running back Rex Burkhead missed two games with a knee injury.
Abdullah had 252 all-purpose yards last week in a 30-27 come-from-behind victory against visiting Wisconsin. His dashing and darting running style compliments Burkhead’s straight-ahead approach.
Ohio State Buckeyes(5-0, 1-0): Ohio State offensive linemen Corey Linsley, Andrew Norwell, Marcus Hall, Reid Fragel and Jack Mewhort helped the Buckeyes rush for 210 yards in the victory last week at Michigan State, and they’ll be counted on to lead a running attack that could be without one of its prime players.
Senior running back Jordan Hall is doubtful after suffering a knee injury against the Spartans. He missed the first two games this season after stepping on glass outside his apartment in June and undergoing foot surgery. Carlos Hyde, who missed two games earlier this season with a knee injury, will be counted on to pick up the slack.
1. Nebraska coach Bo Pelini was a free safey for the Buckeyes from 1986-90, the first two seasons while Ohio State coach Urban Meyer served as a graduate assistant.
2. The Buckeyes are 7-3 all-time in night games at Ohio Stadium. In their only night game last season, they beat Wisconsin 33-29 on a last-second Hail Mary pass by Miller to receiver Devin Smith.
3. Ohio State safety C.J. Barnett is expected to return after missing the last two games with an ankle injury. He started all 13 games for the Buckeyes last season, leading the team in tackles with 75.
Vegas Prediction: Nebraska 27, Oho State 24