November 6, 2021

Buckeyes Hold Off Huskers, 26-17

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The No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes held on to a 26-17 win at Nebraska Saturday afternoon in Lincoln, Neb. With the win, the Scarlet and Gray improve to 8-1, while the Huskers fall to 3-7 in 2021.

Sophomore wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba had a school-record performance in the road win, with 15 catches for 240 receiving yards. The mark passed David Boston’s record of 14 receptions (at Penn State, 1997). His 240 receiving yards was just 13 yards shy of the OSU record by Terry Glenn (253, at Pitt, 1995).

Noah Ruggles continued to be a weapon for the Buckeye offense as the OSU placekicker went 4-for-4 in field goals to improve to 15-for-15 on the year. The OSU defense held Nebraska to 2-of-13 on third down conversions. 

FIRST QUARTER
Ohio State 0 | Nebraska 0

Nebraska had an early chance to strike but a 45-yard field goal attempt by Chase Contreraz went wide left at 9:17. Both teams failed to put points on the board in the first.

The Ohio State defense held the Husker offense to just 46 total yards in the first quarter, collecting two sacks on quarterback  Adrian Martinez.

A promising Ohio State drive ended with a turnover when JoJo Domann picked off a Stroud at the 22 yard line at 6:45.

SECOND QUARTER
Ohio State 17 | Nebraska 10

The Buckeyes got on the board first following a 26-yard field goal by Ruggles at 11:25 in the second quarter. The OSU transfer improved 12-for-12 on field goal attempts in 2021.

Following another stop by the Silver Bullet defense, Ohio State put together a 7-play, 49-yard drive that ended with a three-yard touchdown pass from C.J. Stroud to Chris Olave at 6:41. A 13-yard punt by Nebraska gave the Buckeyes excellent field position to set up the scoring drive.

Nebraska answered with a 39-yard field goal by Contreraz on the following drive to put the score at 10-3.

Smith-Njigba had a first half to remember vs. the Huskers, highlighted by a 75-yard touchdown reception down the left sideline to put the Buckeyes ahead, 17-3, at 3:34. The OSU sophomore caught it eight times for 148 yards in the opening half, both career-highs.

But the Huskers punched right back with a big play of their own when Samori Toure connected with Martinez for a 73-yard touchdown reception at 2:53 to put the game back to a one-score advantage, 17-10.

THIRD QUARTER
Ohio State 23 | Nebraska 17

Ruggles put the Buckeyes up two scores to start the second half when he drilled a 46-yard field goal at 9:42. He continued to split the uprights as he made his third field goal of the day from 35 yards out at 2:05 to put the score, 23-10.

Nebraska rebounded and made it back to a one-score game following a five-play, 75-yard drive to make it 23-17. Toure came up with the big play again when he caught a pass across the middle from Martinez and took it 53 yards to put the Huskers deep in OSU territory. Martinez then found the endzone on a one-yard touchdown run at 1:43 in the third.

FOURTH QUARTER
Ohio State 26 | Nebraska 17

Myles Farmer intercepted a Stroud pass intended for Chris Olave to begin the fourth quarter. The Husker offense put together a balanced drive down the field but the OSU defense held strong in the end. After forcing a fourth down situation in the red zone, a crucial missed field goal by Contreraz kept the Buckeyes ahead by six points at 9:47.

Ruggles made his fourth field goal of the game at 1:29 to put the Scarlet and Gray on top by two score. Steele Chambers sealed the road win when he picked off Martinez with less than a minute remaining.

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