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Nebraska’s Pelini compares Miller, Tebow

October 5, 2012
By BETTY POKAS - Buckeye Blitz ( , Times Leader

THE NEBRASKA Cornhuskers definitely will be keeping an eye on Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller when the two teams meet Saturday night at the 'Shoe.

John Papuchis, Nebraska's defensive coordinator, noted that the Cornhuskers "have to always know where he (Miller) is. He's about 67 percent of their total offense. He does a great job making plays, improvising and making something out of nothing."

Papuchis went on to reiterate the importance of knowing Miller's location and also mentioned the OSU's quarterback's talents in running and throwing the ball.

The Huskers' head football coach Mark "Bo" Pelini, a four-year Ohio State Varsity O letter winner and a team co-captain for the Buckeyes in 1990, was asked during a press conference to compare Miller and New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow, the first-ever college sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.

"Obviously, you see some similar plays, but Tebow's a 240-pound guy. Braxton Miller is like a tailback back there. He's elusive, and he makes a lot of people miss," Pelini replied. "Tebow is going to run over you. Braxton is going to make you miss. Obviously, there are some different plays that led to each of those guys' talents, but they're both very effective and very dangerous in their own way."

OSU head football coach Urban Meyer regards Huskers QB Taylor Martinez as dynamic. He went to say Nebraska has a very good, sound defense, and it's a much different defense than the Buckeyes have faced all year.

Martinez said he doesn't feel more competitive going up against OSU and Miller. He also noted that it's very important" to come out fast against OSU "just to establish the rhythm of the game and know that we can put points on the board and the defense can stop."

After noting how the Huskers play, Meyer said the Buckeyes, as a result, will "have to try some new things. I don't want to say immature team, but we're young. My head's kind of spinning right now because I just walked out of a meeting room that we're going to do some things we haven't done. I'm not sure how we'll adapt to that. I'm glad it's home."

Nebraska is coming off last week's win, 30-27, over Wisconsin, and its record for this season is 4-1 with its other victories being over Southern Mississippi, 49-20; Arkansas State, 42-13; and Idaho State, 73-7. Its sole loss was to UCLA when the Huskers scored 30 points to the Bruins' 36.

Saturday's game marks the first time that No. 12 OSU, which is undefeated, and No. 21 Nebraska will meet as ranked teams.

After pointing out Saturday's game will be a 5-0 team ready to face a really good team, Meyer said he expects the game to be "as electric as it's ever been."It will be the 12th night game in the history of the 'Shoe, and the Buckeyes are 8-3 in home night games, including a 33-29 win over Wisconsin last year in a game where 31 fourth quarter points were scored."


SATURDAY marks the first time that Nebraska has played in the 'Shoe since 1956, and that was the year that OSU set a Big Ten record with its 17th consecutive league win. The legendary Woody Hayes was coach at that time, and OSU won 34-7 in front of a record Ohio Stadium crowd of 82,153.

Also that year, Elvis Presley appeared for the first time on the Ed Sullivan Show and released the first of his 170 hit songs - "Heartbreak Hotel." (The loser in Saturday's game might feel somewhat like the occupant of that hotel, but the winner will know "It's a Wonderful World" and feel like they have a "Pocketful of Rainbows.")

The two teams have faced each other three times. In addition to the 1956 game, there was a contest in 1955 when the Buckeyes won 28-20. In 2011, the Huskers won 34-27 even though OSU led 27-6 in the third quarter before giving up the final 28 points.

That 21-point lead was the largest ever surrendered by a Buckeye team in a loss...

LIKE Ashtabula native Meyer, Pelini is from northeastern Ohio as he lived in Youngstown.

Pelini is a 1990 graduate of OSU where he twice was named academic All-Big Ten and played for coaches Earle Bruce and John Cooper.

As to whether he has pride in OSU, Pelini said, "Yeah, I have pride in where I went to school in my career there. But that has nothing to do with Saturday. It doesn't really make any difference what happened in 1986-1990 (his years at OSU). That's a different time in my life."...

OSU'S 5-0 start is the fifth such start for a Meyer-coached team.

His others were at Bowling Green in 2002, Utah in 2004 and Florida in 2006 and 2009...

SATURDAY'S game, which will be televised by ABC, will begin at 8 p.m...



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