QB / OHIO STATE
It has been a fast start for Justin Fields.
Through his first four games as Ohio State’s starting quarterback, he has thrown for 13 touchdowns and run for six more with no interceptions.
The debut has largely been without blemish.
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A game Saturday night at Nebraska could pose the first significant test for the sophomore.
Although the Cornhuskers rank toward the bottom half of the Big Ten in scoring defense and total defense, they began the season as one of the favorites in the West division and present an intimidating atmosphere with a sold-out home crowd.
At several points this week, Buckeyes coach Ryan Day referred to the game as the biggest challenge for his team.
That includes Fields.
If the game is a measuring stick, the stiffest test yet, Fields viewed it differently.
“Going into big games like this, you can't make the game bigger than it is,” Fields said. “If you do that, you'll end up not playing to your full potential. So you just got to treat this like any other game and just doing the same things we've been doing for the last four weeks. Executing on offense and doing all that stuff. Preparing the same.”
Day mentioned last week that Fields was “light-years” ahead in his development, but the coach hoped to see improvement as Ohio State had concluded the nonconference portion of its schedule and readied for a string of teams from the Big Ten over the final months of the season.
“There's going to be adversity along the way, and he's going to have to handle that,” Day said. “When you look back on all the great quarterbacks, they have to handle that the right way, and they have to improve when things like that come into play and handle that the right way, and he will.”
The only road test for Fields came at Indiana this month in a 51-10 win over the Hoosiers, his first Big Ten opponent.