We are finally here!

Ohio State is ready to begin its reign on college football as they seek revenge after their tough loss in the CFP semifinal against Clemson last year. The majority of the NCAA has been having their fun the past five weeks, but now it all changes with the Big Ten back. Most years, hopes are high for Ohio State, but this year is different. For most fans, it is championship or bust. Surprisingly, that’s not overdramatic as Ohio State currently has the second-best odds to win it all with +250 odds on OddsShark.

The Big Ten will play a shortened eight-game season with all matchups being between fellow conference teams. For Ohio State, they start against Nebraska at The Shoe. Everyone is excited about the return of football, but it won’t be the same. No fans and no tailgating, but hey, at least we have football. We almost didn’t to this point, but we’re here and that’s all thanks to both Ohio State and Nebraska. They led the fight to get Big Ten to host a season and we cannot be happier about it.

Ohio State currently holds a five-game winning streak against Nebraska, winning by an average of 34 points in those games. Last year, the Buckeyes ran all over the Huskers, rushing for a combined 368 yards and three TDs, including 177 yards from RB J.K. Dobbins, 77 yards and two TDs from RB Master Teague and 72 yards and a TD from QB Justin Fields. Ohio State will look to continue this success as they establish their dominant running game with Teague, new transfer RB Trey Sermon and Fields. The only success Nebraska found was in the running game too, where they more than tripled their passing yards with 184 yards, including 81 yards from QB Adrian Martinez.

Martinez remains the starting QB for Nebraska this season following a record-breaking freshman season but struggling sophomore year. In his freshman year, he caused Ohio State to worry after losing, 36-31. He is a dual-threat QB who has found success both on the ground and through the air. Due to his weak sophomore year, his job is at risk with redshirt freshman QB Luke McCaffrey, brother of Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey, challenging him.

Outside of QB, Nebraska returns their entire starting offensive line, their top three rushers (Dedrick Mills, Martinez, and Wan’Dale Robinson), their second-leading receiver (Robinson), and their top-tight end (Jack Stoll). On defense, they return five of their top six tacklers from last season: linebackers Will Honas, Collin Miller, and JoJo Domann and safeties Marquel Dismuke and Cam Taylor-Britt, along with starting cornerback Dicaprio Bootle. The consistency in the Cornhuskers’ roster gives reason for high hopes this season, but they don’t fare well having to start off against Ohio State.

The Buckeyes are hungry for a championship this year. Fields is ready to jump-start his Heisman campaign. Teague and Sermon are hoping to follow up on Dobbins’ stellar season last year. Preseason All-Americans OL Wyatt Davis and CB Shaun Wade return after first opting-out for the draft. WR Chris Olave leads a young wide receiver group full of five-star recruits. All eyes in CFB are on Ohio State, putting a lot of pressure on them, but they’re ready.

The big battles that will stand out in this game will be between the returning starting linebackers for Ohio State against Martinez and Robinson’s rushing attacks and the entire Nebraska defense trying to stop Fields. However, I’m predicting a big win for the Buckeyes as a statement to the rest of college football – winning 51-17.

The Ohio State Buckeyes will face-off against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, October 20th, at 12:00 p.m. EST on FOX. The Buckeyes are 27.5 point favorites with an O/U of 66.5 as of Tuesday. ESPN gives Ohio State a 95.4% chance to win. Go Bucks!

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