LINCOLN — It started out terrible and only got worse.
It ended 48-7 in favor of No. 5 Ohio State over Nebraska, an all-so-familiar blowout loss for the Huskers with the national spotlight shining on a program still trying to find its footing.
The Buckeyes averaged 7.7 yards per play with 580 total yards. Quarterback Justin Fields threw for 212 yards and three touchdowns and added 72 yards and another score on the ground. J.K. Dobbins ran for 177 yards and 7.4 yards per carry.
Adrian Martinez, meanwhile, had two completions and three interceptions in the first half. He ended up with eight completions for 47 yards.
Nebraska was out-gained 580 to 231. The Buckeyes were brutal, and didn't let up.
On the opening drive of the game, Martinez was flushed out of the pocket by defensive end Chase Young, forced a pass on the run intended for Wan’Dale Robinson, but was picked by Jeff Okudah.
Ohio State took over at midfield and made quick work with a five-play, 52-yard drive ending in a 15-yard run from Fields.
After a three-and-out for Nebraska — the first of five in the first half — Ohio State plowed right through NU for another score, this one a 2-yard pass from Fields to KJ Hill for 14-0.
Scott Frost opened up a brand new playbook and started out drive three in the flexbone, then ran the ball in the I-formation with Robinson and Dedrick Mills. Nebraska got down to the 26 after a 12-yard run from Mills, which forced an Ohio State timeout and a standing ovation from the crowd.
A tipped pass fell into Okudah’s lap — while he was laying on the ground — for his second pick of the night. Fields took the Buckeyes 81 yards to Nebraska’s 6-yard-line and kicked a field goal for 17-0.
It was pretty much over from there.
Martinez overthrew Mike Williams on the next drive and a diving Jordan Fuller made it three picks for the OSU defensive backs. Fields sprinted for 41 yards on the next play. Two plays later, Master Teague wiggled through the line of scrimmage and scored from 8 yards for 24-0.
After another three-and-out for Nebraska, it took just three plays for the Buckeyes to score again. Teague ran for 28. Fields ran for 28. Teague finished it off from 1 yard for 31-0.
Fans released balloons during the third punt of the night for Isaac Armstrong and gave Ohio State another shot to score again before the half.
Ohio State obliged after seven plays. Fields fit in a pass over Dicaprio Bootle to Austin Mack from 18 yards on first down for 38-0.
Martinez was sacked on third down and gave Fields one final shot with less than a minute left. The only thing that finally stopped OSU's scoring was the clock.
The Nebraska offense didn’t get any better in the second half. Ohio State punched in 10 points for 48-0 in the third quarter after a field goal and a perfect pass from Fields to Garrett Wilson in the back of the end zone.
The Huskers finally got on the board from a 9-yard rushing touchdown from Mills. Martinez escaped for 56 yards down the sideline on that drive to set up the score.
NU then forced Ohio State to punt inside Memorial Stadium for the first time since 2011, which was met with the loudest cheer of the night by those still there.
Ohio State put in its backup defense and Nebraska’s offense started to move the chains. They got all the way down to the 3-yard line, and on fourth down Frost elected to go for it. Martinez spilled out of the pocket, couldn’t find an open receiver, then fell for a 12-yard sack.
The score remained 48-7.