Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer. Photo by Art Foxall/UPI | License Photo
All the questions about Ohio State's sluggish offense were put to rest emphatically on Saturday night.
J.T. Barrett led an offensive juggernaut, throwing for 290 yards and four touchdowns as No. 6 Ohio State rolled to a convincing 62-3 rout of No. 10 Nebraska in Columbus, Ohio.
The Buckeyes (8-1, 5-1 Big Ten) completely dominated the Cornhuskers (7-2, 4-2), who came into the game leading the Big Ten West Division.
"I didn't see that one coming," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said.
The 62 points were the most Ohio State has scored in history against a Top 10 team -- an outburst that came after the offense failed to click on all cylinders the past few weeks.
Asked how he had seemingly stayed calm while the offense had its issues, Meyer said, "I've been going to acting school. I was a mess. ... Now we're starting to put it all together, and I'm glad it's happening now."
Barrett is the one most responsible for that. He connected on 26 of 38 passes -- equaling a career high for completions -- against a Nebraska defense that couldn't stop Ohio State all night.
"J.T. played fantastic, and he was very sharp, spread the ball," Meyer said.
Two of Barrett's touchdown passes went to dynamic H-back Curtis Samuel, who finished with eight receptions for 137 yards and also rushed for 41 yards on five carries.
"Curtis was outstanding," Meyer said. "And he's very healthy right now. And I mean he's a piece of the (offensive) puzzle. That's a giant piece of the puzzle."
The Buckeyes had four receivers with four or more catches, and Mike Weber rushed for 72 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown as Ohio State outgained Nebraska 590-204 in total yards.
"Everything was clicking," Samuel said. "The run game. The pass game. Everything was going great tonight."
There was a scary moment in the first half when Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong suffered a head injury when his head hit the turf. Armstrong lay motionless on the sideline for several minutes and was briefly unconscious after he was hit near the sideline by Ohio State safety Malik Hooker with 6:06 left before halftime on an 11-yard gain.
The senior was attended to by medical personnel on the sideline while the Ohio Stadium crowd watched in stunned silence. He was taken on a stretcher into a waiting ambulance to be transported to a local hospital for evaluation but returned to Ohio Stadium in street clothes to cheers from the crowd in the second half.
Nebraska coach Mike Riley is uncertain how long Armstrong might be out. But with or without Armstrong on the field, the Cornhuskers were ineffective in their first road game against a Top 10 opponent since 2010.
"That was real bad and we're all responsible for it," Riley said. "And Ohio State played really well."
Barrett's 1-yard jump pass to Samuel at the end of the first half capped an impressive first 30 minutes for the Buckeyes, who led 31-3 at intermission after scoring on all four offensive possessions.
Samuel and Barrett struck again at the start of the third quarter with a 75-yard touchdown hookup that extended the lead to 38-3. It continued to be all Buckeyes with Barrett firing another touchdown pass and Hooker scoring on a 48-yard interception return, Ohio State's second pick-six of the game.
A disastrous start for Nebraska resulted in a pick-six by defensive back Damon Webb that gave Ohio State a 7-0 lead 1:34 into the game. Linebacker Raekwon McMillan tipped Armstrong's pass and Webb avoided a couple tackles on the way to the end zone.
Armstrong responded after the interception and led Nebraska on a 15-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a 20-yard field goal by Drew Brown for its only points of the game.
"Just bad football on our part," Nebraska safety Nathan Gerry said. "Especially early on, we gave a really good football team some opportunities."
NOTES: Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett has accounted for 94 touchdowns during his career, one behind the Big Ten record held by former Purdue QB Drew Brees. ... Nebraska and Ohio State hadn't met since 2012, but they will play each of the next four years under the Big Ten's nine-game conference schedule format implemented this season. ... Ohio State wore throwback jerseys to honor the 100th anniversary of the 1916 team led by legendary Chic Harley. ... WR Jordan Westerkamp is ranked third in career catches in Nebraska history. ... Ohio State H-back Curtis Samuel is the only player in FBS with 500 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving.