Ohio State’s offense has been a juggernaut all season. They rank 2nd in my adjusted success rate, and the pass offense led by QB CJ Stroud is 1st. Had the offense converted more 4th downs against Oregon, Ohio State would be undefeated.
Ohio State’s defense has been a different story. They looked awful the first three games, and the job security of DC Kerry Coombs looked tenuous.
After a bye week against Akron, the Buckeye defense surged over the next three games against Rutgers, Maryland and Indiana. However, they fell back to earth against Penn State, allowing a 46.9% success rate (41.0% college football average). This was a week after Penn State and QB Sean Clifford looked awful against Illinois.
For the season, Ohio State’s defense ranks 29th, and they are much worse against the pass (73rd) than rush (10th). This might be a problem against Nebraska.
Nebraska has had a tough luck season. In Big Ten play, they stomped Northwestern by 49 points but have lost each of their other five games by one score.
Nebraska has had opportunities to win. However, a late fumble by QB Adrian Martinez cost them the game against Michigan. Nebraska had more yards and better yards per play than Purdue, but Martinez threw four interceptions.
The offense ranks 65th in my adjusted success rate, but they are much better throwing (25th) than running (90th). This strength in the passing game should allow them to score points on Ohio State’s defense.
Nebraska’s defense looks great by adjusted yards per play (14th). However, they rank much worse by adjusted success rate (82nd), a more predictive metric. They won’t be able to slow down the nation’s best offense.
My numbers like a total of 68.2 points, and this suggests value in over 63.5.
Football betting with a PhD edge
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