Ohio State 52, Nebraska 17
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 24, 2020
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Quarterback and Heisman Trophy front-runner Justin Fields completed 20 of 21 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns Saturday as No. 5 Ohio State pulled away from Nebraska 52-17 at Ohio Stadium in the season opener for the Big Ten schools.
Fields also ran for 54 yards on 15 carries and had a 17-yard TD run in the third quarter. That was quickly followed by a 55-yard fumble recovery and return for a score by cornerback Sevyn Banks as the Buckeyes blew open a game that was tied at 14 midway through the second quarter.
Garrett Wilson was Fields' favorite receiver with seven catches for 129 yards and a TD; Chris Olave added six grabs for 104 yards, while the Buckeyes rolled up 215 yards rushing. Master Teague had 41 yards and two TDs on 12 rushing attempts and Trey Sermon added 48 yards on 11 carries.
Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez complete 12 of 15 passes for 105 yards and rushed 13 times for 85 yards and a touchdown. Freshman backup QB Luke McCaffrey had 80 rushing yards on nine carries.
Instead of more than 102,000 fans in Ohio Stadium, there were approximately 1,600 spectators at the game, mainly relatives of the players, due to the Big Ten's COVID-19 protocols.
Ohio State led 24-14 at the half despite falling behind 7-0 when Nebraska went 75 yards in four plays on the first possession of the game. McCaffrey lined up at tailback and had a 47-yard run before Martinez ran in from the 10.
Ohio State took a 14-7 lead on a 1-yard run by Teague and a 42-yard TD pass from Fields to Wilson. Nebraska tied the score at 14 when Dedrick Mills scored from 3 yards out, but a 34-yard field by Blake Haubeil and Teague's 6-yard run gave the Buckeyes the 10-point margin at the intermission.
Ohio State outscored Nebraska in the second half, 28-3, dominating to the point that Buckeyes coach Ryan Day apologized for not taking a knee when his team reached the Nebraska 2-yard line in the final minute. Freshman quarterback Jack Miller ran for a touchdown.
"If I could do that again, I'd have taken a knee -- I feel bad about that," Day said, noting that with a young quarterback in the game, "I didn't feel like we had the personnel to take the knee, and I probably should have done that. So I just want to publicly apologize to them."
Both teams play ranked opponents on Oct. 31 when Ohio State is at No. 8 Penn State. Nebraska hosts No. 14 Wisconsin.
--Field Level Media
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