COLUMBUS, Ohio—Ohio State (8-1, 5-1) overcame a 21-16 halftime deficit and defeated Nebraska (2-7, 1-5) 36-24 Saturday at Ohio Stadium.
The Buckeyes scored twice in the third quarter and got a big 42-yard touchdown run from J.K. Dobbins with under five minutes left in the fourth to secure the victory.
Dobbins scored a career-high three touchdowns on the day, finishing with 142 yards on 19 carries. Running mate Mike Weber also totaled 91 yards on nine carries.
Quarterback Dwayne Haskins threw for 252 yards and one score. He completed 18 passes to eight receivers. Johnnie Dixon tied his career-high with five receptions for 96 yards and one score. Parris Campbell caught four passes for 31 yards and touchdown.
Defensively, Malik Harrison and reserve safety Brendon White led the Buckeyes with 13 stops.
Ohio State travels to Michigan State next Saturday to face the Spartans at noon. The game will be broadcast on FOX as well as the Ohio State Radio Network.
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Ohio State 16, Nebraska 7
Nebraska drove 75 yards using 12 plays on its opening possession and scored on a 1-yard run by Devine Ozigbo to take a 7-0 lead with 5:04 expiring off the clock.
After a failed onside kick attempt followed by a 5-yard Nebraska offside penalty, the Buckeyes took possession on the Husker 31-yard line. Ohio State was then stopped on a fourth-and-2 run up the middle, giving the Huskers possession at their 22.
Nebraska was unable to move the ball on its second possession forcing a punt, which was blocked by the Buckeyes out of the endzone resulting in an Ohio State safety with 7:10 on the clock. The punt was blocked by Ohio State’s Keandre Jones.
The Buckeyes took advantage of the short field after the safety to score on 42-yard touchdown pass from Dwayne Haskins Jr. to Johnnie Dixon with 5:11 remaining. The Buckeyes took the lead on the play, 9-7.
Ohio State reached the endzone again on its next possession as well with J.K. Dobbins scoring on a 10-yard rush up the middle with 1:51 left in the first quarter to give the Buckeyes a 16-7 lead after a seven-play, 57-yard drive.
Nebraska 21, Ohio State 16
With Nebraska driving deep inside Ohio State territory, the Huskers fumbled a backward pass that was recovered by Jonathon Cooper at the Ohio State 26 with 13:34 on clock. The Buckeyes moved the ball to its own 34 but was forced to punt.
Ohio State fumbled on its next possession on the Nebraska 35. The Huskers recovered and scored on a 2-yard run by quarterback Adrian Martinez with 4:52 left in the first half. The score cut the Ohio State lead to 16-14. Nebraska’s drive covered 64 yards on 10 plays and used four minutes of game time.
The Buckeyes started their next possession at the OSU 13 after a short return by Dixon with 4:45 left in the half. After a completed pass and run by K.J. Hill, the Huskers forced a fumble that was recovered by Nebraska at the Ohio State 47.
The Huskers converted the sudden change, taking at 21-16 lead into the locker room on a 2-yard Martinez run with 15 seconds remaining. The drive covered 47 yards on eight plays and used 3:54 of game time.
Ohio State 30, Nebraska 21
The Buckeyes opened the second half with an impressive drive into Husker territory but Haskins was intercepted in the endzone.
After forcing a Nebraska punt, the Ohio State drove 80 yards on eight plays capped by a 3-yard Dobbins run over the left side to make the score 23-21 Buckeyes with 5:39 left in the quarter.
During the quarter Dobbins also reached 2,000 career yards rushing, joining backfield mate Mike Weber. The pair are the first in Ohio State history to hold that mark as current teammates.
Later in the quarter, the Huskers where held just shy of a first down at their own 13, forcing a punt. Ohio State got the ball at Nebraska 47 and quickly scored with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Parris Campbell ending a 3-play drive with 1:43 left in the quarter. The big play in the short possession was a 37-yard rush by Weber to the Nebraska 9.
Ohio State 36, Nebraska 31 – FINAL
After the teams traded 3-and-outs on their opening possessions of the fourth quarter, Nebraska marched 65 yards down to the Ohio State one yard line and elected for an 18-yard Barrett Pickering field goal to cut the deficit to 30-24 with 7:46 to play.
The Buckeyes then responded with a touchdown drive to give themselves some breathing room. Dobbins punctuated the drive with a 42-yard run for his third touchdown of the day. The two-point conversion was no-good and Ohio State led 36-24 with just 4:52 left.
Nebraska hustled right back down the field and scored just two minutes later. Martinez hit JD Spielman for a 17-yard score and again the OSU lead was back to one score at 36-31.
Ohio State picked up a pair of first downs on the ground to salt away the final 2:57 off the clock and preserve the 36-31 victory.