Friday October 5, 2012
thelantern www.thelantern.com upcoming FRIDAY
Don’t call it a homecoming for Bo Pelini DAN HOPE Senior Lantern reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
Field Hockey v. Michigan State 3pm @ Columbus Softball v. Ohio Dominican 6pm @ Columbus Men’s Lacrosse: Alumni Game 7pm @ Columbus Women’s Volleyball v. Illinois 8pm @ Champaign, Ill. Women’s Ice Hockey v. Minnesota-Duluth 8:07pm @ Duluth, Minn. Women’s Lacrosse: Alumni Game 9pm @ Columbus
SATURDAY Women’s Ice Hockey v. Minnesota-Duluth 5:07pm @ Columbus Women’s Volleyball v. Northwestern 8pm @ Evanston, Ill. Football v. Nebraska 8pm @ Columbus Rifle: Ole Miss Invitational TBA @ University, Miss.
Courtesy of MCT
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini gives a fist pump before the Capital One Bowl game against South Carolina on Jan. 2 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. Nebraska lost, 30-13.
ANDREW HOLLERAN Photo editor email@example.com If he is given even the slightest bit of running room, he will speed through it and make the opposition pay. That’s how Ohio State coaches and players described the danger that Nebraska redshirt junior quarterback Taylor Martinez poses for the Buckeyes’ defense this Saturday. “(Martinez) is one of the best runners I’ve ever seen at the quarterback position,” said OSU coach Urban Meyer, who has coached the likes of former Florida and current New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. A quarterback who can just as easily break a long touchdown run as he can loft a 50-yard pass, Martinez has thrown for 1,059 yards this season while running for 298 more. He has 14 total touchdowns — three on the ground, including a 92-yard scamper against UCLA on Sept. 8. In his two-plus seasons as Nebraska’s starting quarterback, Martinez has 4,779 career passing yards and 2,137 career rushing yards. Three times
Softball v. Kent State 12pm @ Columbus Men’s Soccer v. Michigan State 12pm @ Columbus
Top 25 College Football Poll
Alabama (5-0) Oregon (5-0) Florida State (5-0) LSU (5-0) Georgia (5-0) South Carolina (5-0) Kansas State (4-0) West Virginia (4-0) Notre Dame (4-0) Florida (4-0) Texas (4-0) OHIO STATE (5-0) USC (4-1) Oregon State (3-0) Clemson (4-1) TCU (4-0) Oklahoma (2-1) Stanford (3-1) Louisville (5-0) Mississippi State (4-0) Nebraska (4-1) Rutgers (4-0) Washington (3-1) Northwestern (5-0) UCLA (4-1)
DROPPED FROM RANKINGS: Michigan State (20), Boise State (24), Baylor (25). OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Cincinnati 72, Boise State 53, Texas A&M 51, Michigan State 43, Texas Tech 39, Michigan 38, Louisiana Tech 37, Baylor 31, Ohio 30, Arizona State 15, Arizona 4, Miami (Fla.) 4, Iowa State 3, Tennessee 3,
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Miller versus Martinez under the lights
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During Ohio State’s annual Homecoming football game Saturday, many OSU alumni will be back in Columbus to cheer on their Buckeyes. One alumnus, however, will be representing the Buckeyes’ opponent. That alumnus is Bo Pelini, the coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who will be playing the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium at 8 p.m. Saturday. Pelini, who played free safety at OSU from 1987-90, will be going against his alma mater in Columbus for the first time in his head coaching career. Pelini said his history at OSU will not affect him on Saturday. “I have pride in where I went to school and my career there. But that has nothing to do with Saturday,” Pelini said in Nebraska’s press conference Monday. “I’m in a different time in my life and a different place. I have a job to do and that’s all I’m concerned with.” As for the game itself, the No. 21 Cornhuskers (4-1) will be hoping to upset the No. 12 Buckeyes for their first loss of the season. Pelini acknowledged that the game will not be easy.
“We know we’re going to have to play our best football on Saturday,” Pelini said during the Big Ten coaches’ teleconference on Tuesday. “We’re playing a really good football team.” Cornhuskers senior running back Rex Burkhead said the physical play of OSU’s defense stood out in the Buckeyes’ win against Michigan State. “I saw they were getting a big push on the offensive line. They were making it tough to make reads in the backfield and have lanes open up,” Burkhead said during Nebraska’s press conference. “I think penetration was the key thing they were getting.” As for the Buckeyes’ offense, Pelini said “we’ll see on Saturday” whether his defense is able to match up with OSU sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes’ offense. “Braxton Miller does a really good job,” Pelini said. “He’s a real threat to run, pass, they do a lot of different things to feature him. It puts a lot of stress on you.” Pelini added that while Miller might stand out, he is not the sole reason for the Buckeyes’ offensive success. “Everyone, and deservedly so, gives a lot of credit to Braxton Miller, but they,
Courtesy of MCT
continued as QBs on 2B
ANDREW HOLLERAN / Photo editor
OSU Football: The Matchup OHIO STATE
First-year Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer’s first Homecoming football game as the leader of the OSU program could be one to remember. Meyer’s No. 12-ranked Buckeyes (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) will host the No. 21ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten) in the only Big Ten night game at Ohio Stadium this season. OSU is coming off a 17-16 road win against the reigning Big Ten Legends Division champion, Michigan State, while Nebraska rides into Columbus after its come-frombehind 30-27 home win against defending conference championship game winner, Wisconsin. Saturday’s meeting between OSU and Nebraska marks the Cornhuskers’ first visit to Ohio Stadium since the 1956 season.
OSU’s offense posted its lowest scoring output of the 2012 season during its 17-16 win at Michigan State, and that was still good enough for a win. The Buckeyes are averaging 34 points per game through five contests this season, making it the 43rd-ranked offense in the country. On paper, Nebraska’s offense is better. At nearly 45 points per game, the Cornhuskers are the 10th-best offense in America. With nearly 306 rushing yards per game, Nebraska also boasts the fifth-ranked rushing attack nationally. Nebraska sophomore running back Ameer Abdullah leads the team in rushing with more than 97 yards per game. That, plus senior running back Rex Burkhead’s 91 yards per game, present a true test for the Buckeyes’ defense. Through the air, junior quarterback Taylor Martinez averages 211 yards per game to OSU sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller’s nearly 187 yards per game.
There’s plenty of history in the teams’ Saturday meeting, but the Buckeyes are focused on the most recent chapter with their Homecoming guest. Throughout the week, OSU players and coaches have maintained that they owe Nebraska for last season’s 34-27 defeat in Lincoln. In order to pay the Cornhuskers some revenge, the Buckeyes’ defense will need to stop one of the top offensive units in America. Coming off a season-low 17-point performance against MSU, the Buckeyes’ offense could use a strong showing as well. Kickoff for Saturday’s Big Ten showdown is scheduled for 8 p.m., but you can get a preview of the matchups to come right here.
Nebraska is no “one-unit wonder” — it has plenty of defense to go along with its offensive attack. The Cornhuskers boast the third-ranked defense in the Big Ten and the 35th total defense in America — they allow more than 340 yards per game. By contrast, OSU’s 57thranked defense allows more than 376 yards per game but is also coming off its strongest outing of the season against the Spartans. The Buckeyes held MSU junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell 269 passing yards on 22-of-42 attempts while the Spartans’ entire rushing attack was limited to 34 yards for the game. OSU’s defense holds an edge when it comes to turnovers as well — the Buckeyes are ranked 45th in the country in turnover margin. Nebraska is ranked 86th in the same statistical category.
Special Teams You’d probably have to favor Nebraska when it comes to special teams. OSU redshirt junior kicker Drew Basil remains 100 percent on field goal tries this season as he hit his second attempt of the year during OSU’s win against MSU. Nebraska senior kicker Brett Maher is 7-of-12 on field goal attempts this season, and some of his successful tries came from distance. Maher is 4-of-6 on attempts from between 40-49 yards out and 1-of-3 on attempts from 50 yards or longer. Both kickers average 62 yards on kickoffs, but Basil’s kickoffs are usually returned by the opposition as he only has nine touchbacks on the year. That would seem to play to Nebraska’s hand as the Cornhuskers’ 19th ranked special teams unit which currently averages more than 26 yards per return. Maher has 26 touchbacks on 41 kickoffs for the season. PAT BRENNAN / Sports editor