Ohio State's Parris Campbell holds off Maryland's JC Jackson in the Buckeyes 62-14 victory last week. BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
COLUMBUS — At long last, Ohio State has finally reached the end of its five-game stretch of heavy underdog opponents.
This week’s flavor is struggling Nebraska, against which Ohio State is favored by 24 even though the game is being played in Lincoln. The Cornhuskers are 3-3, which includes a loss to Northern Illinois, and already have fired their director of athletics midseason.
Before the No. 9 Buckeyes take the field Saturday at Memorial Stadium, here are three things to watch:
1. Beware the season-saver
For Nebraska, this game could save the season. The Cornhuskers have obvious disadvantages, but they still have a great home environment, a night game, and a program that sorely needs something good to happen. Against a desperate team, Ohio State has to treat this game as more than just a means to an end.
2. Nebraska’s turnovers
Giveaways have killed Nebraska this season. Quarterback Tanner Lee has thrown 10 interceptions — the most in the Big Ten — and the Cornhuskers have a negative turnover margin after six games. Nebraska cannot realistically expect to turn over the ball and have a chance to win this game.
3. Stanley Morgan, Jr., vs. the OSU defense
The Cornhuskers receiver is one of the top pass-catchers in the Big Ten and a good test for the Buckeyes cornerbacks before playing Penn State in two weeks. Morgan is first in the league in receiving touchdowns and yards, and the Buckeyes will be without cornerback Damon Arnette in the first half following a targeting penalty last week. Whoever follows Morgan will have his hands full.