A preview of Ohio State, the first opponent of the Scott Frost era ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll at the time it plays Nebraska.

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Record: 7-1 (4-1 Big Ten)

Offensive yards per play: 6.75 (15th nationally)

Defensive yards per play: 5.88 (89th nationally)

Turnover margin: plus-6 (T-17th nationally)

Penalty yards per game: 75.9 (120th nationally)

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Coach

Urban Meyer (77–9 at Ohio State)

Regardless of your personal opinion about Meyer, he’s undoubtedly one of the most successful head coaches in college football’s modern era. He’s 181-32 as a head coach, with stints at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and now Ohio State. He’s won three national titles, two at Florida and one in 2014 with the Buckeyes. In seven seasons at Ohio State, Meyer has won 77 games and lost just nine. This summer he was investigated for keeping former assistant Zach Smith on staff despite Smith’s long list of domestic abuse allegations. Meyer was suspended for the first three games of this season. There is speculation this will be Meyer’s final season at Ohio State, though he denied that Monday.

Offense

Type: Spread, pass-heavy

Coordinators: Ryan Day, Kevin Wilson

Day took over as interim head coach while Meyer was suspended. Wilson left Indiana amid speculation of player mistreatment in 2016 and was hired by Ohio State. Both run one of the top offenses in the country. The five-year average of Ohio State’s recruiting class ranking is No. 2 on most recruiting websites, so OSU has more speed and talent than it could ever need. That includes quarterback Dwayne Haskins, running backs Mike Weber and JK Dobbins and receivers KJ Hill and Parris Campbell.

Defense

Type: 4-3

Coordinators: Greg Schiano, Alex Grinch

Ohio State’s defense isn’t as great as it's been the past few years, but that doesn’t mean it's nothing to sniff at. They allow 22.9 points and 390 yards per game. They are without Nick Bosa, who after getting hurt decided to sit out the rest of the season and prepare for the NFL. The Buckeyes still boast a strong defensive front, with sophomore Chase Young and junior Dre’Mont Jones, who together have 10 sacks this season.

Players to watch

Haskins: He completes 71.1 percent of his passes and has 30 touchdowns and five picks. The redshirt sophomore beat Joe Burrow for the starting job and is already over 2,800 passing yards this season. He’s not as much of a run threat as JT Barrett, but he's much more accurate, especially downfield.

Dobbins: Ohio State’s run game has struggled lately, but Dobbins still has 521 yards rushing with four touchdowns. He’s also caught 15 passes for 164 yards. The true sophomore is a bruiser who is difficult to pin down, particularly at the line of scrimmage.

Young: Another sophomore, Young is a former five-star recruit who has eight sacks in his career. He has 8.5 tackles for loss this year with 4.5 sacks. He lines up at defensive end.

They said it

“I think there is urgency. I'm not saying it feels bad, but there is a tremendous amount of urgency. We understand November. We understand where we're at. We understand what's at stake, and we understand our shortcomings. So urgency is probably the key word around here. Hard to say I've ever seen a group of staff work as hard as we've worked, so try to fix the issues and same with our players.” Meyer on his team’s attitude following the loss to Purdue.

“I don’t want to comment much on Ohio State, but you start to get used to doing the things that make you a winner that winning becomes a habit. The expectations are that you’re going to win and when you have a team like that you always seems to find a way to get it done. I’ve seen it happen on a lot of teams I’ve been on, that when you go in not just believing you’re going to win, but knowing you’re going to win you find ways.” Scott Frost on Ohio State’s recent dominance in the Big Ten.

Three stats

118: Ohio State has scored 118 points in the last two games against Nebraska.

Zero: Urban Meyer has never finished a season with a losing record as a head coach dating back to 2001.

2011: Nebraska has not won a game on the road against a ranked team since 2011. The last time was a 17-14 win at No. 12 Penn State.

Schedule

Sept. 1 vs. Oregon State, W 77-31

Sept. 8 vs. Rutgers, W 52-3

Sept. 15 vs. No. 15 TCU, W 40-28

Sept. 22 vs. Tulane, W 49-6

Sept. 29 at No. 9 Penn State, W 27-26

Oct. 6 vs. Indiana, W 49-26

Oct. 13 vs. Minnesota, W 30-14

Oct. 20 at Purdue, L 49-20

Nov. 3 vs. Nebraska

Nov. 10 at Michigan State

Nov. 17 at Maryland

Nov. 24 vs. No. 5 Michigan

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Chris Heady covers Husker football and is the Nebraska men's basketball beat writer. He started at The World-Herald in 2017. Follow him on Twitter @heady_chris. Email: chris.heady@owh.com.

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