Two of the best quarterbacks in the Big Ten will be playing this Saturday. Taylor Martinez leads the Nebraska offense; Braxton Miller is the Ohio State offense.
Martinez has already climbed to second on Nebraska’s list of all-time leaders in total yardage, and he’s averaging 211.8 yards passing and almost 60 yards running per game this year.
Of course, he’s not the Cornhuskers’ only threat. Ameer Abdullah has 5 rushing touchdowns (and one score off a punt return). He and Rex Burkhead are a big part of the reason Nebraska is ranked 5th nationally in rushing offense.
And despite Nebraska’s reliance on the run game, they are still capable of the big strike. Already this year they have 16 touchdowns that covered at least 20 yards.
The defense they’ll bring to the Shoe to try to stop Miller is equally reliant on the big play. The Blackshirts average nearly 4 sacks a game and 9 tackles for loss. They’re ranked 8th and 5th in those categories respectively.
They’re also stout when it counts, giving up only 5 touchdowns in opponents’ 16 trips to the red zone.
When it comes to special teams, they’re in the top 20 in punt and kick off returns.
If you’re looking for chinks in the armor, they’re a little fumble prone, putting the ball on the turf 9 times this season. They’re also ranked 67th when it comes to net punting.
This group also has tended to struggle in away games. Dating back to last season, they have lost 3 of their last 5 on the road, with their only wins coming against Minnesota and against a Penn State team that was just starting to deal with the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
In their most recent game, Nebraska scored the final 20 points to beat Wisconsin 30-27.