Football

Gleitman’s Gameday Guide: Nebraska Week

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Welcome to Gleitman’s Gameday Guide, presented by Steamboat Dry Goods, a quick-hitting resource for fans on Buckeye Scoop as they prepare for the upcoming Ohio State game and the national slate of college football each week.

This guide will include my five players who must step up each week for the Buckeyes to win, score prediction and how it plays out, and “brave and bold” predictions for the upcoming contest. Additionally, I’ll take a look at the national and Big Ten games to let you know my picks (straight up and vs. the spread), as well as who I am picking as my four teams to advance to the College Football Playoff each week.

This week, Gleitman’s Gameday Guide takes a look at the Buckeyes next game at Nebraska, as well as the rest of college football in week 10.

FIVE PLAYERS WHO MUST STEP UP FOR OHIO STATE TO WIN

The Buckeyes are a 14.5-point favorites in this one, which is a little bit of a lower spread than what may have been anticipated. Here are five players that need to step up to ensure Ohio State advances to 8-1 and keeps their B1G and CFP hopes alive:

  • QB CJ Stroud: When he is great, OSU is great. Last week showed that against a better defense he still has strides to make. Nebraska has played everyone tough this year and if the Blackshirts can keep Stroud thinking, it could be a closer game than OSU would like.
  • LB Teradja Mitchell:OSU linebackers have not been great in coverage this year. Couple the RPO game with Adrian Martinez’s ability to run and linebackers will be key for the Buckeyes. With Steele Chambers out in the first half, they really need Tejada Mitchell to step up.
  • LB Palaie Gaoteote: See above. With Chambers out due to targeting in the first half, Ryan Day has not been shy about Gaoteote being the guy needed to step up.
  • 1Tech: Whoever is in the game at 1T needs to set the tone. That will be key in stopping Nebraska’s two-headed monster rushing attack of Martinez and Rahmir Johnson. Taking on double teams, stuffing the middle, allowing other linemen and linebackers to roam free and make plays will all be key in this game.
  • P Jesse Mirco: I do think that Nebraska’s defense will do a decent job against the Ohio State offense and force a number of punts. Cue Jesse Mirco who needs to be on top of his game and pin the Huskers deep in their own territory. I am not sure Martinez and the NU offense have the ability to drive 90+ yards down the field consistently, so field position will be key in this one.

GAME PREDICTION

This will be covered in our weekly staff picks, but I want to provide it here as well:

Nebraska has a 3-6 record so you would think Ohio State is going to come into Lincoln and whoop the Huskers the same way they did Rutgers, Maryland, and Indiana. But Scott Frost’s program is not your average 3-6 team—NU has lost their 6 games by a total of 33 points, or 5.5 points per game.

Does that mean this one will be close? Of course not. I think Ohio State is more talented than Nebraska in all three phases of the game. I think the Huskers are limited offensively, particularly in the passing game. And their defense has been stout, but nothing spectacular.

But, for some reason, I do think this will be a closer game than what OSU fans want to see. I don’t think it will be as nail biting as last week’s win over Penn State, but I could see it playing out somewhat like Minnesota, where the first half is close and the Bucks struggle, before the Scarlet and Gray pull away and close things out in the second half.

I don’t have a great feel for this one, but I do think the Vegas spread of 14.5 with an over/under of 65 is going to be close. Using those numbers, Vegas thinks this game will be something along the lines of 40-25. I concur.


Ohio State 38 Nebraska 24

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BRAVE AND BOLD PREDICTIONS

While the score prediction is pretty straight forward, here are three “brave and bold” predictions each week that I’ll make about things that happen in the game:

  • Adrian Martinez has a tendency to turn the ball over and I think Ohio State will get him to do it three times in this game—one fumble and two interceptions.
  • I think this will be a breakout game of sorts for CJ Stroud. Yes, he’s dominated Rutgers, Maryland, and Indiana, but this would be the first time he dominates against what is considered a respectable opponent (and on the road nonetheless). I am calling for a 65%+ completion rate, over 300 yards, and 4 total touchdowns from the redshirt freshman signal caller.
  • Samori Toure is Nebraska’s leading receiver on the season. His single-game high for yardage was 136 against Buffalo. I will say he goes over that total, slicing up the middle of the field on RPO slants and the like against Ohio State’s linebacker corps.

THE PICKS

Every week I will pick every Big Ten game and a few select national games both straight up and against the spread (LW SU: 11-4; LW ATS: 6-9; TOTAL SU: 86-46; TOTAL ATS: 62-70)

  • Ohio State at Nebraska (+14.5): Ohio State Straight Up & Nebraska Against The Spread
  • Illinois at Minnesota (-14.5): Minnesota SU & Illinois ATS
  • Michigan State at Purdue (+3): MSU SU & Purdue ATS
  • Wisconsin at Rutgers (+13): Wisconsin SU & ATS
  • Penn State at Maryland (+10): PSU SU & ATS
  • Iowa at Northwestern (+12): Iowa SU & NW ATS
  • Indiana at Michigan (-20): Michigan SU & ATS
  • Wake Forest at UNC (-2.5): UNC SU & ATS
  • Auburn at Texas A&M (-4.5): TAMU SU & ATS
  • Mississippi State at Arkansas (-5): Arkansas SU & ATS
  • Tennessee at Kentucky (PK): Tennessee SU & ATS
  • Liberty at Ole Miss (-9.5): Ole Miss SU & Liberty ATS
  • Pitt at Duke (+21): Pitt SU & ATS
  • Baylor at TCU (+6.5): Baylor SU & ATS
  • Tulsa at Cincinnati (-22.5): UC SU & ATS

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PICKS

The first College Football Playoff rankings came out this week and the top six in order were Georgia, Alabama, Michigan State, Oregon, Ohio State, and Cincinnati. But here are my weekly rankings for the CFP every week heading into the slate of games:

  1. Georgia: Dominated Florida and they keep the top spot. (Last Week: 1)
  2. Ohio State: Not thrilled with how they looked against Penn State, but I think those types of games are needed if this team wants to get where they are capable of. No reason to drop them down but will be watching them closely this week.  (Last Week: 2)
  3. Oklahoma: Dominated Texas Tech, although that doesn’t mean much. Let’s see how they continue to do but being undefeated in the Big 12 has to mean something. (Last Week: 4)
  4. Cincinnati: Not a great looking win over Tulane, and I think this only gets harder for them as other teams play better competition. Drop one spot but still in the CFP (Last Week: 3)
  5. Alabama: A bye last week keeps them right in this spot. (Last Week: 5)
  6. Michigan State: Big win over Michigan to jump up a spot, but they must avoid the let down at Purdue this week. I am still not sure MSU is for real, but is anyone? Oregon is at 7, Michigan is at 8, Notre Dame is at 9, and Oklahoma State is at 10 for me with Baylor and Wake Forest right behind. (Last Week: NR)

Be sure to check out the Buckeye Scoop Staff Picks feature this week to learn how you can win a prize pack giveaway from Steamboat Dry Goods by predicting the score of the Ohio State game!

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