LINCOLN, Neb. — Ohio State scored the first eight times it had the ball on its way to a 56-14 win over Nebraska on Saturday night.
But that sort of thing is nothing new for the Buckeyes against the Cornhuskers’ once-proud football program.
Last year Ohio State rolled to a 62-3 win over Nebraska in Columbus. The last time the two teams played before that game, the Buckeyes won 63-38 in 2012 in a game that was also played at Ohio Stadium.
One indicator of OSU’s recent dominance is that the last time OSU it had to punt against Nebraska was in the 2012 game.
Ohio State finished with 633 yards of total offense on Saturday night, which was the fifth consecutive game it has gained at least 500 yards total offense.
Quarterback J.T. Barrett was 27 of 33 for 325 yards and 25 touchdowns. K.J. Hill was his top receiver with seven catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
Freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (106 yards on 12 carries) went over 100 yards for the third time this season.
“It was a very good performance on offense. J.T. played exceptional. This is not any easy place to play,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said.
“Our quarterback is playing at a very high level and his confidence is elite,” he said.
Meyer said Nebraska concentrated on stopping the running game and Barrett, the receivers and the offensive line, with Demetrius Knox starting at right guard in place of the injured Branden Bowen, responded.
Defensively, he liked what he saw in the first half but didn’t feel as good about the second half.
“I think the run defense was outstanding but there were too many big hits (by Nebraska) in the passing game,” Meyer said.
The Buckeyes’ next game will be Oct. 28 against Penn State at Ohio Stadium after taking next week off.
“We know what’s coming next. We come back Monday and get ready for a big one,” Meyer said.
The Penn State game is even bigger because of OSU’s only loss, 31-16 to Oklahoma on Sept. 9.
“You wish you could have one back. We have a lot of respect for Oklahoma but we just didn’t play very well,” Meyer said.
Nebraska (3-4, 2-2 Big Ten) did not do much to scare No. 9 Ohio State (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten), but injuries might have.
OSU’s leading receiver Parris Campbell left the game in the first quarter and did not return. Then in the third quarter defensive end Jalyn Holmes was down on the field for several minutes before going to the locker room.
Also in the third quarter, running back Mike Weber was checked out by trainers on the sideline but went back into the game at the start of the fourth quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, left tackle Jamarco Jones went down briefly but walked off the field.
Meyer said after the game that none of the injuries appeared to be serious.
Nebraska coach Mike Riley said, “That was a really disappointing loss, how it started and continued throughout it.
“We had an impossible time getting them off the field. We had a hard time tackling them, stopping them, catching them,” he said.
Ohio State scored touchdowns all five times it had the ball in the first half. And there were no chip shots in those five possessions.
OSU scored on first-half drives of 96 yards, 85 yards, 80 yards, 71 yards and 59 yards. The longest of these drives took three minutes, 48 seconds and two of them took under three minutes.
Dobbins got the scoring started with a 52-yard touchdown run at 10:47 of the first quarter.
Barrett followed that with a 6-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
K.J. Hill caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Barrett and Terry McLaurin caught a 31-yard scoring throw from Barrett for a 28-0 lead with 8:20 left in the first half. Barrett’s 3-yard run with 1:10 left in first half pushed the lead to 35-0.
They nearly got a touchdown on the final play of the first half when Ohio State’s Damon Webb played was a bit too nonchalant on what looked like an easy interception. Nebraska’s De’Mornay Pierson-El cut in front of him but saw the ball bounce off his hands for an incompletion.
Barrett threw touchdown passes of 16 yards to Rashod Berry, 18 yards to tight end Marcus Baugh and six yards to K.J. Hill in the second half.
Nebraska’s touchdowns came on a 77-yard pass from Tanner Lee to J.D. Spielman and a 17-yard throw from Lee to Stanley Morgan Jr.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.
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