Buckeyes Ready For Big Games Under Lights

Three of Ohio State's biggest games of 2011 will be played in prime time. That much we know after the Big Ten's announcement Thursday afternoon. One in particular has revenge-minded fans buzzing already.

Two games that already figured to be highly charged received an added boost Thursday when the Big Ten announced Ohio State's Oc. 8 game at Nebraska and an Oct. 29 visit from Wisconsin will be televised in prime time at 8 p.m. ET.

Ohio State's trip to Nebraska not only represents the first Big Ten home game for the storied Cornhuskers program but also the first game for which five Buckeyes - quarterback Terrelle Pryor, offensive lineman Mike Adams, running back Dan Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas - are eligible to play this season after serving five-game suspensions for NCAA violations.

The contest in Lincoln, Neb., also is expected to include the return of head coach Jim Tressel to the Ohio State sideline. The Buckeyes' mentor is scheduled to serve a self-imposed five-game suspension to start the campaign, although that is subject to change when the NCAA returns a ruling on his case, something that could happen any time after Tressel and university officials face the NCAA Committee on Infractions on Aug. 12.

The prime-time start for the Wisconsin game fulfills the wishes of many Buckeye fans frustrated at watching their favorite team lose two of three evening tilts in Madison in the previous eight years, including a stunning 31-18 defeat last season when the Buckeyes were ranked No. 1.

Wisconsin will be the 11th team to play at Ohio Stadium at night since the stadium opened in 1922.

The Buckeyes have at least three night games scheduled for this season beginning with a Sept. 17 trip to Miami (Fla.) that will also be aired by ABC or ESPN.

Ohio State has played 22 regular season night games during Tressel's 10-year tenure and amassed a record of 14-8. That includes a 10-4 mark in Big Ten road games.

The Buckeyes are 1-1 all-time in Big Ten games at home. They trounced No. 14 Northwestern 38-20 in 2001 and lost 13-6 to No. 3 Penn State in 2008.

Ohio State will play at least two night road games for the fifth time in six seasons.

More game times are expected to be announced next week when the Big Ten Network reveals its preliminary schedule for the fall.


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