Sophomore defensive end Ben Stille made headlines last week when he refused to accept the Blackshirt awarded to him by Scott Frost and the coaching staff. After Stille enjoyed a great game for himself, getting a few tackles and a sack in Nebraska’s 45-9 beat down of Bethune-Cookman, Stille emerged from the practice field on Tuesday wearing a Blackshirt.
“Just effort every play you know,” Stille said. “I thought the snaps we were in there, the D-line as a whole, we played well.” His defensive coordinator, Erik Chinander, agreed.
“He had a couple tacks (tackles), and I think a TFL (tackle for loss) and a sack,” Chinander said. “He practiced well and he played well.”
Nebraska will need a Blackshirt worthy performance out of every player on the defense if they want a shot at winning the game. Most betting markets have placed the Huskers as three touchdown underdogs to the Buckeyes.
It’s a daunting point spread for Nebraska, but to lose by such a margin would be the closest the Huskers will have played against them since their 34-27 victory back in 2011. In 2012, Nebraska gave up over 60 points, eventually losing by 25.
Recently, in 2016 and 2017, Nebraska has lost 62-3 and 56-14, a margin of -59 and -42 respectively. To even play the Buckeyes close will be a tall order, especially considering the threat Ohio State has at quarterback – Dwayne Haskins.
“Yeah I mean, he’s right up there at the top,” Chinander said. “He can throw it. He can run it pretty adequately when he has to. I think he can make all the throws.”The 6-3 sophomore has thrown for over 2,800 yards on the season, with 30 touchdowns. His completion percentage has dipped below 63% just one time this season, in a victory over Penn State.
Ohio State had a bye-week on October 27th, however the week before that, the Buckeyes fell to the Boilermakers 49-20 in an unexpected blowout that caught Urban Meyer and Ohio State off guard. Nebraska will need to follow the blueprint Purdue laid down for a chance to repeat such a feat.
“If you watch through the game, Ohio State walked out on the field a little bit and then Purdue found a way to get a stop,” Chinader said. “And then they [Ohio State] got going again a little bit, and Purdue found a way to get a stop, and that kind of went on forever.”
Nebraska is currently on a two game winning streak, looking to make it three against Ohio State this Saturday at 11 A.M. on FOX.