2. The Buckeyes’ defense is here to stay.
When it comes to defense, the Buckeyes have been consistently better than almost every team in the country in the past few years. Since 2014, they have finished within the top 11 in the country in total defense. Being consistently great does come with its rough patches though.
Saying the Buckeyes started slow on defense this season would be an understatement. In fact, the Bucks might as well have not put their defense on the field at all in the first two games. Letting up over 400 passing yards per game is not something the Buckeyes were used to dealing with.
As much hate as they got, it was to be expected that they’d get back on track. This is especially true considering their softer schedule in the following weeks and the development of the new starters. The Bucks haven’t allowed more than 14 points to be scored by an opposing offense since their loss to Oklahoma.
Ohio State shut out Rutgers on the road in prime time just two weeks ago. Last week, the Buckeyes’ defense somehow put up an even greater performance that put them in rare company as they held Maryland to just 66 yards of total offense. That includes holding them to just 16 passing yards. This is an absolutely incredible feat considering Maryland is in the top four in total offense in the Big Ten.
Nebraska has had its struggles on offense. Lee is a first year starter for the Cornhuskers since he transferred from Tulane which explains his troubling play. Nebraska is finding it difficult to navigate without Tommy Armstrong Jr. Also, their leading rusher is not even in the top10 in the conference which explains their bottom five ranking in rushing offense.
The Bucks’ defense is reaching full strength as time has allowed for the unit to jell. Now up to 11th in the country in total defense, Ohio State have all of the confidence they need to lock up their opposition. Nebraska should be at least a bit more serviceable on offense considering their quarterback has some experience as compared to Maryland’s third stringer last week. Even then, the Bucks’ defense will have enough to hold the Cornhuskers to minimal production.