Saturday, October 8, 2011
1Q update: Buckeyes off to fast start
By Adam Rittenberg
LINCOLN, Neb. -- The first quarter is in the books, and if you're an Ohio State fan, you had to like what you saw. The Buckeyes lead 10-3. They've outgained Nebraska 141-32 and dominated time of possession (11:08).
Here are a few takeaways:
- Ohio State came out with a great game plan on offense after a horrendous performance last week against Michigan State. The Buckeyes started by using a lot of the pistol formation with multiple running backs. They also split tight ends Jake Stoneburner and Reid Fragel wide on one play. Coordinator Jim Bollman called manageable passing plays for freshman quarterback Braxton Miller, who showed good mobility and made only one bad decision in the quarter, which should have been intercepted. Even the touchdown pass to Stoneburner didn't put much pressure on Miller. It was just a great call.
- The Buckeyes are capitalizing on Miller's athleticism and Nebraska's aggressive style of defense. Miller has used his legs and found gaps in the Huskers' defense, which continues its disappointing start to the season.
- Nebraska freshman Ameer Abdullah will be a factor in this game. He leads the nation in kickoff returns (35.1 ypr) and had a 35-yarder to set up Nebraska's field goal, which required basically nothing from the offense. Ohio State's special teams aren't nearly as polished as they were several years ago, so Abdullah could break a long one or two.
- The Huskers have the right idea by getting Rex Burkhead more touches both in the option game and as a receiver out of the backfield. They need to do more of this in the second quarter.