Stanley Jean-Baptiste’s interception late against Ohio State in 2011 may go down in Husker folklore, but Sean Fishers tackle that sidelined Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller may have been the most important part of that 2011 thriller in Lincoln. The Huskers trailed 27 to 10, late in the third quarter when Miller looked to scramble, and Fisher took the Buckeye freshman down, and Miller didn’t get up. Insert limited runner, Joe Bauserman. The Blackshirts take over, and the rest is history.
Since then Ohio State demoted Luke Fickle to defensive coordinator, and hired Urban Meyer. You may have heard of him. Braxton Miller returned later in the season and helped lead the Buckeyes offense put up 172 points in the last seven games.
The Huskers will travel to Columbus this year, and will face the Meyer lead Buckeyes on October 6 in prime time, at 7 o’clock. The Buckeyes have been banned from the post season, and as of now the Nebraska game is the only, main prime time game on the Buckeyes schedule. You think Urban might have circled this one on the calendar?
Miller will be back at quarterback and in a true spread system, similar to the one Meyer perfected at Florida. The one aspect that Nebraska will have to key on is, Ohio State doesn’t return a wide receiver that had more than 14 catches last season.
Meyer’s influence will be huge. The Buckeyes finished under .500 for the first time in as long as most of us can remember. With no post season, this will be Ohio States “Bowl Game.” Yes, the Michigan game will be the biggest game of the season, but that is an 11 o’clock kick off. This is prime time, ESPN may be there for Game Day. It’s Urban Meyer’s offense vs. Bo Pelini’s defense. It’s got all the box office draw you can think of.
This will be Pelini’s first test against a dual-threat quarterback of the 2012 season. This will be the measuring stick. Yes, UCLA will be a test on the road, and Wisconsin coming to Lincoln will be a big deal, but this will be the game that determins how far the Huskers have come from year one in the Big Ten, to this point. Pelini has struggled against mobile quarterbacks in the past. Miller is one of the best in the country, and he has arguably the best offensive mind of the last ten years guiding him. Everyone asks, is Nebraska ready to be a contender for a National Championship, here is the first test.
With out an elite pass rusher, it will be hard to contain Miller, and that spread look that Meyer will bring with him to Columbus. I don’t think Nebraska is there yet, and it could be a long day for Husker Nation.
OHIO STATE 42
By Jimmie Allen
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