Ohio Stadium should be rocking on Saturday when No. 6 Ohio State hosts No. 10 Nebraska.
The stakes are high for both teams, which still have championship aspirations. A loss is de facto elimination from the conference title race. A win, on the other hand, is be a huge step forward in the playoff picture.
The Cornhuskers (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) are coming off their first defeat of the season. However, the overtime loss at Wisconsin was arguably their most impressive performance of the season. The Buckeyes (7-1, 4-1), are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They got the job done in a 24-20 win against Northwestern last weekend but looked as bad as they have all season in the process.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to watch Ohio State and Nebraska:
Ohio State vs. Nebraska details
Time: 8 p.m. ET kickoff
Date: Saturday, Nov. 5
Location: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Weather: Clear skies and 54 degrees at kickoff. No rain.
The line: Ohio State is a 17-point favorite.
What TV channel is the game on?
It will be televised nationally on ABC.
Where can I watch the game on the internet?
It can be watched online via WatchESPN.
Who is calling the game for ABC?
Chris Fowler (play-by-play), Kirk Herbstreit (color analyst), Sam Ponder (sidelines)
Ohio State vs. Nebraska keys to the game
1. The opening drive
The win against Northwestern included Ohio State’s first opening-drive touchdown of the season. That was great for the Buckeyes, but they’ll have to work to repeat that act. Nebraska hasn’t allowed any points this season on opponents’ first drives.
In addition to forcing punts, the Huskers have also shown they can generate turnovers from the start. Their opportunism might be a good match for Ohio State, which has turned the ball over three times on an opening drive this season. If the Buckeyes can start the way they did against Northwestern, however, it could lead to a long night for the Huskers.
2. The talent gap
Looking at the results of the two teams thus far, it’s clear they’re not too far apart — especially based on recent play. The rosters, however, tell a different story. The Buckeyes are favored by 17 points against a top-10 team. That’s largely because they’ve run circles around Nebraska on the recruiting trail. If Ohio State executes to its full ability — as seen against Oklahoma — there’s nothing any team can do to stop it. The Buckeyes are the better team and will win if they play like it.
3. Ohio State on third down
Possessions can’t go wasted against good opponents. Ohio State is one of the best teams in the country at converting third downs. The Buckeyes have moved the chains 50 percent of the time on third down, tied for seventh nationally. This Ohio State offense is at its best when the Buckeyes are gaining huge yards on first down, which allows them to take shots downfield on second down or too bully teams on third and short. Ohio State ran into some trouble with third-and-long situations the last two games, so avoiding that will be critical.