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Nebraska vs. Ohio State: Keys to victory, HOL score predictions

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Since Urban Meyer has been the head coach at Ohio State, the Buckeyes have outscored Nebraska 181 to 55 in three meetings. That's an average margin of defeat of 42 points.

Can the Huskers change that today in Columbus? As things get closer to kickoff, here are the keys to victory for Nebraska.

NU is currently a 17.5 point underdog against OSU for today's game in the Horseshoe.

KEYS TO VICTORY: Nebraska at Ohio State

KEY 1: Withstand the early charge

Ohio State hasn't played since losing at Purdue two weeks ago. For two weeks they have heard how bad they looked that night. You know Urban Meyer is going to come at the Huskers in the first quarter like Mike Tyson in his prime. They will go for an early knockout. NU has to be able to stand up to this.

KEY 2: Stopping the run

Ohio State's last two times out, their running backs had just 79 yards on 20 carries vs. Purdue and 86 yards on 23 carries vs. Minnesota - two defenses the Huskers had great success running the football on. Nebraska needs to have a similar type of game where they limit Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins.

KEY 3: Find match-ups in space

What jumped out in the Purdue game two weeks ago was how the Boilermakers were able to find the right match-ups for Rondael Moore. Nebraska needs to be able to do this with their playmakers and take advantage of Ohio State's vulnerable secondary.

KEY 4: Field position

Urban Meyer is one of the best special teams coaches in the country. He has hurt Nebraska in this area over the years. The Huskers need to find ways to create field position on Saturday with special teams play.

KEY 5: Don't try to do too much

When you play a great program like Ohio State on the road, it's easy to put pressure on yourself and try to do too much. The Huskers need to stay focused on who they are and do what they do. They can't afford to step out of their comfort zone, because that's when big mistakes tend to happen against teams like the Buckeyes.

EXPERT TAKE: Nebraska at Ohio State 

Sean Callahan - HuskerOnline Publisher

Nebraska will move the ball on Ohio State in this game, but the Huskers don't have the horses on defense to run with the Buckeyes for four quarters. A motivated OSU team will pull away from NU in the second half, but there will be some encouraging moments to take out of this game for the Big Red.

Ohio State 48, Nebraska 28

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Robin Washut - HuskerOnline Senior Writer

The Nebraska that will take the field against Ohio State today will be a completely different team than the one that got walloped at Michigan a month ago. Not only are the Huskers much more confident after putting together two-straight wins, their offense has really found an identity with quarterback Adrian Martinez’s dual-threat ability and an improved running game. I still don’t think all that will be enough to pull off the road upset today, but it should make for a much more respectable showing.

Ohio State 42, Nebraska 28

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Nate Clouse - HuskerOnline Lead Recruiting Analyst

I think we will see a Nebraska team that has definitely come a long way compared to where things were when they traveled to Michigan earlier in the season. Unfortunately for the Huskers, the Buckeyes are coming off a bye week where they’ve been able to regroup and add a few new wrinkles and Urban Meyer is wanting to try and make a statement to their critics. I see NU’s lack of a pass rush and depth in its secondary contributing to a few too many plays in the passing game for OSU.

Ohio State 45, Nebaska 24

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Mike'l Severe - Omaha World Herald Bottom Line

There are so many stats that tell me that Nebraska will have success offensively vs OSU. The problem is the same is true for the Buckeye offense. I really worry about the matchups along both lines of scrimmage. I can see NU staying in it early with the run game and getting Spielman and Washington against LBs. But my number has Ohio state by 25 so I'm going with that this week.

Ohio State 45, Nebraska 20

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Andy Kendeigh - KETV Channel 7 Sports Director

Urban Meyer has never lost a game at Ohio State in the game following a true bye week. In fact, Meyer is 18-1 coming off a bye. His only loss came back in his first season at Bowling Green back in 2001. The Buckeyes are first in the Big Ten in scoring offense, total offense and passing offense so this should be a shootout. Ohio State has more weapons and more talent for now but I do predict Nebraska will force the Buckeyes to punt for the first time since 2012.

Ohio State 49, Nebraska 31

HuskerOnline Week 9  Score Predictions 
Week 9 Sean Callahan Robin Washut Nate Clouse Mike'l Severe Andy Kendeigh 

Nebraska at Ohio State

48-28

Ohio State

42-28

Ohio State

45-24

Ohio State

45-20

Ohio State

49-31

Ohio State

Mich. State at Maryland

27-23

MSU

21-17

MSU

28-20

MSU

27-20

MSU

27-20

MSU

Penn State at Michigan

34-20

Michigan

30-16

Michigan

32-28

Michigan

28-21

Michigan

34-17

Michigan

Iowa at Purdue

30-27

Purdue

23-20

Iowa

33-32

Iowa

27-24

Iowa

27-21

Purdue

Notre Dame at Northwestern

34-24

ND

38-21

ND

30-21

ND

38-24

ND

31-17

ND

Alabama at LSU

37-30

Alabama

41-24

Alabama

38-24

Alabama

28-14

Alabama

28-17

Alabama

HuskerOnline Score Prediction Standings 
Expert Picker Straight Up vs. the Spread  Cumulative Total 

Mike'l Severe

OWH Bottom Line

32-21

30-21

62

Andy Kendeigh

KETV ABC-Omaha

37-16

25-27

62

Sean Callahan

HuskerOnline

29-24

27-24

56

Nate Clouse

HuskerOnline

28-25

22-29

50

Robin Washut

HuskerOnline

28-25

20-31

48