On Saturday Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska to take on Mike Riley’s Cornhuskers. The Buckeyes are 24 point favorites and are given a 95.4% chance to win by ESPN’s Football Power Index. But, why is this? Yes, the Buckeyes have been more dominate on the gridiron this season. However, when it comes to football, everything starts with recruiting. That’s why, starting this week, I will be doing a series of “three reasons why” Ohio State will win each game. This will be based purely on recruiting, and nothing else. No off-the-field factors, no coaching analyzation, and no gut feelings. This is simply recruiting.

Before we get started, a disclaimer: This series will not be about predicting Ohio State to win every game. It will simply be analyzing certain recruiting advantages in each game, and why that could propel them to victory.

Defensive Line

Ohio State’s defensive line has been repeatedly dubbed the best line in football. With every starter being a likely first-rounder, opposing offenses despise lining up against the Scarlet and Gray.

When we compare the two teams, let’s keep in mind that Ohio State generally lists numerous starters versus one per position.

Nebraska
Starters: Freedom Akinmoladun, Mick Stoltenberg and Carlos Davis.
Average star ranking: 3.0
Average rating: 0.8642

Ohio State
Starters: Tyquan Lewis, Nick Bosa, Dre’Mont Jones, Tracy Sprinkle, Sam Hubbard, Jalyn Holmes
Average star ranking: 4.0
Average rating: 0.9296

Ohio State has a clear advantage when it comes to pure ratings, and that advantage has shown on the field. The Buckeyes have twice the sacks that Nebraska does this year, at eighteen to nine. The Huskers’ offensive line will have a tough task ahead of them this weekend.

Wide Receiver

While Zach Smith’s receiving core has struggled in Columbus, it has gotten better as the season has progressed. Nebraska’s receiving core has been decent this year, but the offense has relied almost twice as much on the rushing game.

Nebraska
Starters: Stanley Morgan, JD Speilman and De’Mornay Pierson-El.
Average star ranking: 3.0
Average rating: 0.8638

Ohio State
Starters: Austin Mack, Binjimen Victor, Johnnie Dixon, Terry McLaurin and Parris Campbell
Average star ranking: 4.0
Average rating: 0.9433

On 142 receptions this season, Ohio State has averaged 0.9 more yards per catch and have caught eight more touchdowns than the Cornhuskers.

Defensive Secondary

Through the first two weeks of the season, the Buckeyes were ranked dead last in the nation in passing defense. Since then they have improved to 31st, though Nebraska will be their first test against stronger competition.

Nebraska
Starters: Eric Lee, Joshua Kalua, Aaron Williams and Lamar Jackson.
Average star ranking: 3.5
Average rating: 0.9008

Ohio State
Starters: Denzel Ward, Damon Webb, Jordan Fuller and Kendall Sheffield
Average star ranking: 4.0
Average rating: 0.9417

On the season, the Buckeye secondary has allowed a 56.1% completion rate, 6.0 yards per attempt and 170.2 yards per game. Nebraska has allowed a 64.5% completion rate, 6.7 yards per attempt, and 208.8 yards per game.

The Wrap

Saturday’s game will likely come down to these three units. With a low of 38° and thunderstorms in the forecast, this will be a battle in the trenches. However, the team that is able to make a big play or two through the air will have a major advantage.

For quality up-to-date sports reporting, visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

For all your collegiate and professional apparel needs, check out 365 Gameday.

Author Details
My name is Collin Ginnan and I am majoring in Journalism and Spanish at The Ohio State University. I grew up playing baseball year-round from t-ball through high school and am a diehard Cincinnati Reds fan. Coming from a family of Buckeyes, I was raised living and breathing Ohio State football. To the best of my memory, I have not missed a single game to date. Ohio State vs. Penn State during Homecoming? That’s what the Watch ESPN app is for. Besides the Buckeyes and Reds, I follow the Blue Jackets, Browns, Cavaliers, FC Cincinnati, and Liverpool FC.
×
My name is Collin Ginnan and I am majoring in Journalism and Spanish at The Ohio State University. I grew up playing baseball year-round from t-ball through high school and am a diehard Cincinnati Reds fan. Coming from a family of Buckeyes, I was raised living and breathing Ohio State football. To the best of my memory, I have not missed a single game to date. Ohio State vs. Penn State during Homecoming? That’s what the Watch ESPN app is for. Besides the Buckeyes and Reds, I follow the Blue Jackets, Browns, Cavaliers, FC Cincinnati, and Liverpool FC.

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.