Colin: Wow. Are we that good or was Nebraska that over rated?
Baver: A little of both. When an Urban Meyer team breaks out of a slump, they usually do so in grand fashion. And Urban teams typically play their best in the highest profile games. Since the start of the 2014 campaign, Ohio State has faced 10 teams that ranked in the top 12 nationally. OSU is 9-1 in those games, having scored 40 or more points in 8 of the 10. It helped too that Nebraska suffered from the Wisconsin hangover….we know all too well what that can do to a team. But honestly….no one is going to mistake this Cornhusker team with Tom Osborne’s teams of the 90’s.
Colin: What did you see on offense that was different previous weeks?
Baver: I think they did a better job of mixing up the play calling and the execution was damn near perfect. All of the key offensive pieces seemed to finally be in sync with one another. My guess is that the offensive coaches and players spent a considerable amount of time working to get their rhythm and timing back in the days leading up to Saturday’s beat down. On another note, true frosh Binjimen Victor, who can fly, ran several deep routes. Although they didn’t throw long to him, NU had to account for him, and this helped soften things up for the short stuff. The Buckeyes had the NU defense off balance all night and things just snowballed.
Colin: And the defense...
Baver: It didn’t look like Ohio State made too many changes from a schematic standpoint; there was just a ton more energy than we’ve seen in awhile. Unlike Wisconsin, and Penn State (to an extent), Nebraska had no success running the ball. They then tried to throw the ball deep several times; again, no success. Overall, Nebraska’s offense simply couldn’t match up against an Ohio State defense that was bringing it, play after play. This is an OSU D that will again see several underclassmen being picked in the early rounds of the next NFL draft. You don’t want to face them when they are clearly motivated.
Colin: OK, we are on a collision course with Michigan for a spot in the Big Ten title game. Can anything mess this up?
Baver: Possibly Sparty rising up and playing their best game of the year against Ohio State like they did last year. Or Michigan screwing around and losing to Iowa on Saturday. If that happens, the Bucks not only need to win out, but will need the Nits to lose another game as well. But, yeah….I’d put my money on the winner of that game….The Game….heading to the conference title game the following Saturday.
Colin: Give us an update on your picks and games / lines you will be watching this week.
Baver: Treading water at 14-17 against the spread, but 6-3 ATS picking the Ohio State games, hitting 6 of the last 7. Does Urban take it easy on his former assistant who’s now leading the Terps? Not sure he can afford to with the possibility of OSU winning out but still not making the B1G championship game. I like the Bucks to cover the 29 ½; the call: Ohio State 45-13. Mississippi St is playing better and catching too many against Bama. Take the Bulldogs and the 29 pts against the nation’s best team….I foresee a Bama 21 to 24 pt win. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Nebraska free-fall; take the Gophers getting a touchdown in Lincoln.