Husker Dan: OSU Another “Dream” Game?
Last Saturday, the Huskers hosted the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman in what was a makeup game for the September 1st Husker home opener with the Akron Zips that was canceled due to strong storms.
But Saturday, dozens of non-starters got to play in front of nearly 90,000 Husker fans on an absolutely gorgeous fall afternoon. For many of those players, Saturday’s 45-9 win was their “Field of Dreams” moment — one they’ll never forget.
FIELD OF DREAMS PART II?
And this Saturday, there is another “Field of Dreams” opportunity.
“Wait Husker Dan, don’t tell me that you think the non-starters and walk-ons are going to get another chance to play this weekend?”
No. Probably not. But this Saturday’s “FOD” moment might be for the entire Husker football program. Win this game and the bad memories of an 0-6 start will fade faster than a JD Spielman punt return for a touchdown.
Does Nebraska even have a chance of winning at OSU?
It’ll be a daunting task to even hang with the Buckeyes, let alone beat them.
And what’s sobering is that the last two games with Ohio State, the Huskers have lost 62-3 and 56-14. Ouch! And what’s notable about those two losses is that the Buckeyes did not have to punt even once in either of those games! Let that sink in awhile.
And this Saturday at the Horseshoe, Nebraska is a 20½-point dog. And to make matters worse, Ohio State’s last game, which was on October 20th with Purdue, resulted in an embarrassing 49-20 road loss for the Buckeyes. OSU had a bye week last Saturday and therefore has had an extra week to prepare for Nebraska.
And Buckeye Coach Urban Meyer is a master motivator and will likely have his players playing with their hair on fire.
LAST YEAR FOR URBAN?
And if that’s not enough, we just learned today that Urban Meyer has some very serious health issues he’s been dealing with. Will this be his final season as the Buckeye head coach? And if so, how will his team respond to the latest news?
How can Nebraska possibly win the game? How can the Huskers even play with them, especially at the Horseshoe?
I’m not sure. The strength of the Buckeye team appears to be in their passing game, led by sophomore QB Dwayne Haskins. He’s racking up some stunning passing numbers. And his corps of WRs (K.J. Hill and Parris Campbell) are among the best in the conference.
However, while Haskins can throw the ball, he’s pretty one-dimensional. And the Buckeye running game has not been as potent as it has been in the past.
And what about Nebraska? The strength of the Huskers so far is its offense, which includes a pretty solid running game and a potent passing game, led by dual-threat true freshman QB Adrian Martinez.
But the Achilles heel of the Husker program has been its defense. Nebraska gives up way too many yards to even lesser opponents than the Buckeyes.
So how do I see this game? If I were a betting man (and I’m not), I would take Nebraska and the points. I think this game may be closer than many think. Win this game and Nebraska’s postseason hopes remain intact. Lose it, and well, that’s the season.
I look for a high-scoring game with the winner scoring in the 50s and the loser scoring maybe in the high 40s. And don’t be surprised if the Huskers get in a big hole early. But I think Nebraska has the offensive firepower to hang in the Horseshoe, perhaps even into the 4th quarter.
So will the Dream game be a win, or will Nebraska just have to be content to force the Buckeyes to punt?
You may contact the writer at HuskerDan@cox.net