4. Nebraska’s tendency to turn the ball over will diminish their chances against the Buckeyes
Taking care of the ball is one of the most important things that a team can do in any sport. Minimizing mistakes decreases the amount of opportunities that the opposing team has to either score or attain momentum. Many of the best sports teams follow this to a T.
Nebraska ranks 91st in the nation in turnover margin. This means they are turning the ball over much more than they are creating turnovers from their opponents. Turnover margin is one of the most underrated stats when considering the strength of a team since this stat measures offense and defense simultaneously.
The most significant issue that Nebraska faces is their interceptions. Nebraska’s redshirt junior quarterback Tanner Lee is currently leading the Big Ten in interceptions by a wide margin with ten total. He also has one of the lowest completion percentages in the Big Ten at right around 54%.
On the other side, the Buckeyes maintain much of their success by minimizing their own turnovers while capitalizing on their opponents’. OSU is ranked 23rd in the country in turnover margin and quarterback J.T. Barrett has thrown just one interception all season.
Playing solid defense and not turning the ball over allows the Bucks to play on a shorter field which easily tilts the game into their favor. The same can’t be said for Nebraska as their offense struggles to maintain possessions by throwing interceptions and having a less than mediocre running game.
At worst, Ohio State should be able to play it safe and easily win this game. That in itself is the lowest expectation as that excludes the fact that the Bucks tend to rip off big plays more often than not this season.