Huskers fall to No. 9 Buckeyes 56-14

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- J.T. Barrett passed for five touchdowns and ran for two others, and ninth-ranked Ohio State scored on its first eight possessions on its way to a 56-14 victory over Nebraska on Saturday night.

The Buckeyes (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) continued their dominant surge since their loss to Oklahoma last month, tying their school record with a fourth straight game of scoring 50-plus points, and now get a week off before their East Division showdown with third-ranked Penn State.

They rolled up 633 total yards and had 41 first downs while scoring the most points by a Nebraska conference opponent in Lincoln and most overall since Minnesota won 61-7 in 1945 when the Huskers were in the Big Six.

Barrett was 27 of 33 for a season-high 325 yards and rushed 10 times for 48 yards before giving way to backup Dwayne Haskins on the second series of the fourth quarter.

J.K. Dobbins ran for 106 yards on 12 carries, Mike Weber had 82 yards on 18 carries, and K.J. Hill caught seven balls for 80 yards and two touchdowns.

It was Ohio State's second straight lopsided win over the Huskers. The Buckeyes won 62-3 in Columbus last year.

For Nebraska (3-4, 2-2), this beat-down followed a 21-point home loss to Wisconsin and turned up the heat on third-year coach Mike Riley another notch or two or three.

Ohio State went into the game as a 24-point favorite -- Nebraska hadn't been a bigger underdog at home since 1957 -- and was up 35-0 at halftime on a blustery evening. A trickle of fans headed for the exits when it was 21-0, and many more were gone by the start of the second half in what undoubtedly was a referendum on Riley and his staff. The stadium was less than a quarter full early in the fourth quarter.

When the Huskers picked up their second first down of the game late in the second quarter, fans gave them a sarcastic cheer and many let go of their red balloons. Those balloons traditionally are launched when Nebraska scores its first touchdown. That didn't come until the third quarter, after it was 42-0, when Tanner Lee and JD Spielman hooked up for a 77-yard catch-and-run.

Lee finished with 303 yards passing, and Spielman finished with a school-record 200 yards on 11 receptions.

THE TAKEAWAY
Ohio State: All you need to know about the Buckeyes' offense right now: They've amassed more than 500 total yards in five straight games and Barrett has completed 99 of 137 passes (72 percent) with 18 touchdowns and no interceptions since the Oklahoma game. Oh, and the Buckeyes tied Nebraska for fourth place on the major-college all-time win list with 892.

Nebraska: The Huskers have lost four of their last six games, meaning they'll have to win three of their last five to become bowl eligible. The good news is that except for a trip to Penn State next month, they play more comparable opponents the rest of the way.

UP NEXT
Ohio State hosts Penn State on Oct. 28
Nebraska plays at Purdue on Oct. 28.

· Redshirt freshman receiver JD Spielman set career highs with 11 receptions for 200 yards, including a career-long 77-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. Spielman’s 200 receiving yards rank as the most in school history, bettering the previous record of 167 yards by Matt Davison at Texas A&M in 1998. His previous long receptions were 38 yards in the first half of tonight’s game and a 36-yarder against Northern Illinois. Spielman’s previous career highs were six receptions for 79 yards against Wisconsin last week.
· Entering today there had only been nine 200-yard receiving games in FBS, none by a freshman.
· Spielman is the third different Husker with a 100-yard receiving game in 2017, joining Stanley Morgan Jr. (3) and De’Mornay Pierson-El (1).
· Junior quarterback Tanner Lee passed for a career-high 303 yards and two touchdowns, marking his first 300-yard passing game at Nebraska. He has thrown for at least 200 yards in six of seven games.
· Junior receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. caught three passes for 30 yards and a 17-yard touchdown. Morgan’s third-quarter touchdown reception was his sixth of the season. Morgan now has 91 career receptions, moving him within two catches of the top 10 on the NU career list (93 is 10th).
· Junior linebacker Dedrick Young had a career-high 14 tackles, bettering his previous high of 11 tackles against Illinois in 2015 and Purdue in 2016.
· Senior linebacker Chris Weber finished with a team-high 15 tackles for his second double-figure tackle game of the season and his fourth with at least eight tackles. Weber’s career high for tackles is 17 (Illinois in 2015)
· Senior safety Joshua Kalu had five tackles, increasing his career total to 190. Kalu is 10 tackles from becoming the sixth Nebraska defensive back with 200 career tackles.
· Junior linebacker Sedrick King finished with a career-high seven tackles, bettering his previous high of three.
· Sophomore linebacker Mohamed Barry had a career-high eight tackles, bettering his previous high of four vs. Arkansas State.
· Redshirt freshman Dicaprio Bootle made his first career start, lining up at safety in place of the injured Aaron Williams and Antonio Reed. Bootle lined up at cornerback in the first five games before tonight’s start. Bootle finished the game with three tackles.
· Sophomore punter Caleb Lightbourn averaged 48.0 yards on four punts, including a 57-yarder on his first punt to pin Ohio State at its 3-yard line.
· The Ohio State victory tied the all-time series in Lincoln at one win apiece and the Buckeyes now lead the all-time series 5-1.


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