Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes – College Football, October 24, 2020
The wait is almost over in the Big Ten. For Scott Frost and Nebraska, it’s an opening date at Ohio Stadium against one of the true powerhouse teams in the country. For the Buckeyes, it marks the official beginning of their quest to return to the College Football Playoff.
Here’s a betting preview to help set the stage, culminating with a Nebraska vs. Ohio State prediction.
Nebraska vs. Ohio State Odds
Scott Frost has been begging for football.
Scott Frost says if Nebraska has to play a game in Uzbekistan, it will. #huskers— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) October 2, 2020
Be careful what you wish for.
Opening up as a 22.5-point dog in Columbus is far from ideal – especially for a program that’s searching for an identity. More on that below.
Previewing the Cornhuskers
After a less-than-stellar sophomore campaign, Scott Frost has been noncommittal about naming Adrian Martinez as the team’s starting quarterback. Redshirt freshman Luke McCaffrey is in the mix to take snaps under center and figures to be on the field (at some capacity) in either scenario. Expect a decision to come “very soon” regarding who will be the Nebraska starting QB.
As far as who will be reeling in passes, Cade Warner has looked sharp and will be relied upon heavily. Unfortunately, this receiving corps is pretty banged up and may not have that luxury of dressing Omar Manning. The 6’4” 225-pound transfer arrives as the top JUCO WR in America and is being counted on to provide a major boost to this offense.
On the defensive side of the ball, Frost has muttered about lack of consistency throughout his linebacking core – namely due to nicks and bruises and guys simply not being available to practice. Not exactly a good sign getting set to face the Buckeyes.
Previewing the Buckeyes
Pun intended, but Justin Fields is on his way to having plenty of “field” days in 2020. A consensus top-3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, here’s a guy who tossed 41 TDs compared to 3 interceptions last year, plus ran for 484 yards and 10 additional scores.
Shaun Wade and Wyatt Davis have both opted back in, giving Ryan Day a couple of other top-10 prospects to lean on. And the rich just get richer.
Fields will be playing pitch and catch with the top-ranked incoming WR in the nation and the highest-rated wideout to ever sign with Ohio State.
Adding Julian Fleming to Justin Fields’ arsenal – things could get messy for opposing Big Ten defenses. Throw in a stout running game, a ferocious front seven, and a coach who prides himself on attention to detail.
It’s no surprise that OSU has the second-lowest odds to win the National Championship.
Nebraska vs. Ohio State Pick
Don’t get fancy with a Nebraska vs. Ohio State prediction as the Cornhuskers are dealing with a lot of moving parts. For example, injuries to key players and not knowing the identity of the starting quarterback. Oh yeah, and Scott Frost has to find time to game plan for a school that averaged 46.9 ppg in 2019.
Frankly, while many are hoping the product in Lincoln is better during year 3 for Coach Frost, the reality is we have nothing substantial to fall back on. Flip the coin and the Buckeyes are a well-oiled machine that can’t wait to get into motion.