Ohio State Buckeyes Football: Winners, Losers from Win over Nebraska Cornhuskers
Ohio State put the college football world on notice for next year after the Buckeyes blasted Nebraska at home on Saturday, 63-38.
The Buckeyes are the lone undefeated team in the Big Ten and have only one or two realistic obstacles between them and a surprising perfect season, which is almost a complete 180 from their disappointing 6-7 season in 2011.
Braxton Miller showed he is a Heisman candidate, as he sparked his team to its highest point total in a Big Ten game since 1983.
Here's a look back at the winners and losers from the Buckeyes' big victory over the 'Huskers.
Winner: Carlos Hyde
Ohio State's power back Carlos Hyde followed up a two-touchdown performance against Nebraska last year by doubling that number under the lights of the Horseshoe.
Hyde had a career night, rushing for 140 yards along with the four touchdowns. He was a big factor in the Buckeyes running wild (371 yards) on the Blackshirts.
His great size and power make Hyde a different back than Urban Meyer is used to. But that dimension has turned into a great asset for his offense.
The Buckeyes are No. 10 in rushing offense and Hyde—almost as much as Braxton Miller—is a big part of that.
Loser: Etienne Sabino
Etienne Sabino has had a very good senior season so far, but his season suffered its first hiccup as he left Saturday's game with a leg injury.
His absence hurt his team as they struggled on defense early on before regrouping in the second half. It will also keep him out of next Saturday's road game at Indiana, according to Doug Lesmerises of the The Plain Dealer on Twitter.
The injury will likely force some rotational play between freshmen Josh Perry and Camren Williams, each of whom played significant snaps in Saturday's win.
Winner: Bradley Roby
Ohio State may just have its next first-round defensive star in Bradley Roby, who made two interceptions against Nebraska's Taylor Martinez, including the Buckeyes' first INT return for a TD in about two seasons.
Roby may be the best corner the Buckeyes have had since Malcolm Jenkins was shutting down receivers a few years ago.
He's still working on becoming a more complete corner, but he's already among the best corners in the Big Ten and possibly the country, as well.
The question now with Roby is whether he will be back after this season because he is a third-year sophomore with NFL draft eligibility kicking in after this year.
Loser: Jim Bollman
Six games into the Urban Meyer era, and Ohio State's offense has looked much better than it has at almost any other point than in the eleven seasons that Jim Bollman was the offensive coordinator.
The offensive line so looks dramatically better this year than it did last year, Bollman's last as the offensive line coach. In his current gig at Boston College as the O-line coach, the Eagles are ranked No. 110 in rushing offense, a full 100 spots below Ohio State.
What a difference a year—and a new offensive coaching staff—makes.
Winner: Jeff Heuerman
The move of Jake Stoneburner from TE to WR hasn't exactly benefited him just yet, but it's allowed young Jeff Heuerman to blossom as the starting tight end.
Heuerman scored his first college touchdown on Saturday and reeled in a 35-yard catch to set up another score.
Nights like that are what will make Heuerman more of a threat in the passing game, especially when you consider Meyer's background in grooming talented tight ends.
Heuerman needs to have games like this more consistently, but he might be on his way to being a very dangerous player.
Loser: Big Ten
For the first time in college football history, the Coaches Poll does not have a single Big Ten team ranked.
Part of that is due to Ohio State being banned from the postseason and thus being ineligible to be ranked in either the Coaches Poll or the BCS.
The irony here is that the last two teams Ohio State has beaten were ranked—that and archrival Michigan is likely a win away from climbing back into the polls.
The Buckeyes are ranked No. 8 in the AP Poll. But it's because OSU's play has no bearing on the BCS rankings that the Big Ten has been as criticized as it is.
The postseason ban keeps Ohio State from being the conference's flagship school as it had been in recent years.
Winner: Corey "Philly" Brown
Corey "Philly" Brown has been a reliable receiver all season long and the volume guy in Braxton Miller's passing game.
On Saturday, he added his first punt return touchdown in the third quarter to help give his team some distance over Nebraska.
He may get more of those type of big plays; he continues to show why he's deserving of the touches that he has been getting this season.
Winner: Ohio State's Marching Band
There's a reason that Ohio State's band is called "The Best Damn Band in the Land."
Saturday night's homage to video game themes including Mario, Zelda and Halo was not only entertaining.
It got the internet buzzing.
The show may have been one of the best and most unique halftime performances you will find.
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