Over the past 23 seasons, the Cornhuskers have compiled a record of 138-19. To add to that notion, Nebraska has won at least six home games per season over the past 25 seasons. Also in that timeframe, the Huskers have recorded multiple home winning streaks of 20 or more games.
Simply put, the Ohio State Buckeyes are heading into a gloomy situation.
After falling to Michigan State last week – lowering their record to 3-2 on the season – the Buckeyes are in dire need of a win over Nebraska, who suffered a blowout loss to the hands of Russell Wilson and the Wisconsin Badgers.
Unfortunately for Ohio State, though, the odds are stacked against them this weekend. Not many teams have escaped out of Lincoln, Nebraska with a win, and to make matters worse, Saturday's game will be Homecoming for the Huskers.
What does that have to do with the game? Well, Nebraska is 74-22-4 all-time on Homecoming and is 67-16-3 against conference opponents.
Head coach Luke Fickell and the Buckeyes will have a steep hill to conquer in order to pull off their fourth victory of the season this weekend.
To prepare for the roaring crowd at Memorial Stadium, Fickell has utilized the campus' sound system in order to provide some sort of "real-crowd simulation."
"We try to use the music out at practice -- blare it up. And know that that's what we're going to have to do to try and handle it," said Fickell regarding the noise of the sellout crowd at Lincoln. "We do that in the offseason at times but we definitely do it during the week of practice. We're fortunate enough to have a sound system that makes it difficult on us."
Practicing with all the noise in the world – no matter what type of sound system is in use – can only prepare a team so much. Things such as audibles, hot routes and blocking adjustments can all be affected by a rowdy crowd, which is why practicing with the sound system bumping is helpful to some extent.
But the main thing that sound systems can't do is generate the atmosphere. With a boisterous crowd, crazy college kids and an immense amount of support from the alumni, the stands at Memorial Stadium cannot be recreated. Because of this, it's impossible to prepare for the pressure that comes with playing under the lights with earsplitting noise surrounding the playing field.
"The pressure isn't quite the same, that's hard to simulate, but we're doing our best," said Fickell when asked about how he plans on preparing his team in practice for the atmosphere at Memorial Stadium.
With an inexperienced quarterback under center, a handful of suspended players returning while others are preparing to serve their suspensions, and a new coaching staff, Ohio State's meeting with Nebraska could prove to be way too much to handle.
"Emotionally our guys are competitors and Saturday, I promise they will be fired up to play. The key is, do they understand what they are doing and what it's going to take," said Fickell.