After Ohio State's largest conference win since a 59-0 victory over Wisconsin in the 2014 Big Ten title game, the BSB staff got together to give you their five biggest takeaways from a 62-3 prime time victory against Nebraska.
1. Playcalling Was Never The Problem
The playcalling, outside of a few new formations against Nebraska was the same as it has been all season, but the execution was much better for Ohio State. Quarterback J.T. Barrett connected on the long ball, and the Buckeyes connected on crossing routes over the middle. When running the ball on the perimeter, the blocking was much better and the Buckeyes got extra yards. Not many passes were dropped, and when a play needed to be made, it seemed an Ohio State receiver made it. It all seemed to click for OSU in a game it absolutely had to have.
2. The Future Is Now For Certain Freshmen
While plenty of freshmen have played this season, the Buckeyes haven't gotten much production from true freshmen in the offensive skill positions. That could change going forward, with players like Demario McCall, Binjimen Victor and Austin Mack playing earlier this week than normal. Urban Meyer admitted after the game that McCall will probably be the punt returner going forward, while Victor and Mack could be key additions to a receiving corps that has struggled at times this year.
3. The Offensive Line Is Improving
After giving up six sacks against Penn State and needing an extra lineman in last week to assist in both pass and run blocking, the Ohio State front line did not allow a sack all night as Barrett had plenty of clean pockets to throw from against the Cornhuskers. In addition, the Buckeyes averaged 5.7 yards per carry and pulled away with 238 rushing yards, blowing Nebraska off the ball for most of the night. In fact, Ohio State lost just two yards all night, and that came with the backups in late with the game already in hand.
4. The Vertical Passing Game Exists
With the vertical threat basically being non-existent the last few weeks, the Buckeye offense showed it can throw the ball down the field. Six passes went for 15 yards or more in the 62-3 win over Nebraska. Barrett said he didn’t throw the ball deep much in prior weeks because the opposing defensive backs were playing 10 yards off the ball and essentially forcing him to throw it underneath. Well, that changed against the Cornhuskers. There could’ve been a seventh pass that went for more than 15 yards had Barrett hit Parris Campbell on a post pattern for a touchdown in the first half. He airmailed Mike Weber that would’ve been a score on that same possession as well.
5. Up Tempo Offense Should Continue
Of all the Ohio State scoring drives against Nebraska, only one took longer than six minutes. The Buckeyes appeared to go fast more often against the Cornhuskers and it worked. Ohio State moved the ball at will all night and punter Cam Johnston never once was called upon. With a vertical threat now established, we fully expect to see more of that from Ohio State moving forward.