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Malik Hooker is doing more and more on the Ohio State defense

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First he was intercepting passes, now, Hooker is helping shutdown rushing attacks.

Indiana v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

“If you remember what he did on the kickoff team last year — which is really how he arrived on the scene — he’s a very fast and physical football player,” Coombs said. “So getting him more involved in all phases of the game doesn’t do anything but make us better.”

– Tim May, The Columbus Dispatch

We all knew that this Ohio State team was one of the youngest teams in college football. New faces would take starting jobs left vacant by Buckeyes making the leap into the professional football circuit.

These were big shoes to fill for the new cast of Buckeye starters. Already, Malik Hooker has made an impact.

Hooker is a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award (given to the nation’s best defensive back). That shouldn’t be surprising, though, as he has tallied four interceptions and 50 tackles this season.

In a piece by Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch, May goes in-depth on how Hooker made a transformation (and evolution) during the Wisconsin game. The Badgers were using jet sweeps to pick up chunks of yards against the Buckeye defense, however, when the safety Hooker was assigned to stop the sweep instead of the cornerback, the Badgers were stifled.

From that point on, Hooker became both a pass stopper as well as run stopper. Against Penn State and Northwestern, the safety was utilized more in stopping the opposition on the ground.

Given more time to progress, Hooker is bound to be the next great defensive back at Ohio State. This Saturday, he gets a taste of starting in a primetime game at home – where it’ll be a packed house in scarlet and gray.

“According to our pals at Vivid Seats.com (www.vividseats.com), tickets for the Cornhuskers’ first game at Ohio Stadium since 2012 are listed on the site at a current median price of $220.”

– Sean Keeler, Landof10

The state of Ohio will get another marquee game that features eye-popping ticket prices. While it's still a far cry from the roughly $20,000 World Series Game 7 ticket, the price to get into the Ohio State-Nebraska game is sitting at a median price of $220, according to a story done by Sean Keeler of Landof10.

Even with this game being Nebraska’s first trip to The Shoe since 2012, both teams ranked in the CFP top 10 and the Buckeyes breaking out the alternate throwback uniforms, this isn't the hottest ticket in Week 10 of the college football season. That honor rests with, sigh, the Alabama-LSU game - where tickets are going for a median price just north of $300.

On a grand scheme, the Buckeye-Cornhusker contest is the second highest ticket price this season that features the Buckeyes.

The highest? Michigan-Ohio State, which is going for a price of over $500 per ticket. While this year’s edition of The Game will probably feature a top 10 matchup, the asking price of tickets is reaching the stratosphere.

If you're planning on trying to catch the Buckeyes in action this season, and don't want to break the bank in the process, tickers are trending below $100 for Ohio State’s next game at Maryland on Nov. 12.

“The loser of Saturday's primetime game at Ohio Stadium will have its national playoff hopes all but dashed in front of a huge TV audience, and be saddled with a much more winding route to the conference crown.”

– Mitch Stacy and Eric Olsen, The Associated Press

Chalk this up as another reason why the ticket price is so steep for this game: Once the rubber pebbles settle inside The Shoe Saturday night, someone will have their college football playoff hopes dashed in addition to blowing a proverbial tire on the road to the Big Ten Championship.

The Nebraska players are pumped to make the trip to Columbus for the game - and avenge last weekend’s road loss at Wisconsin - while Ohio State has the fans and an electric atmosphere, as reported in the article by Mitch Stacy and Eric Olsen.

In this battle of Big Ten powers, as well as programs with rich histories in college football, this game has the potential to come down to not who plays the best, but rather which team’s Achilles heel shows up the least.

Even though the Buckeyes have won two of their last three games, all three sides of the ball have made miscues - ushering in criticism on players and coaches. On Nebraska’s end, the ability of how well their quarterback plays in a pressurized environment could easily be the deciding factor in the game. Tommy Armstrong III hasn't won (0-3) on the rod against a ranked opponent, according to the article.

We’ll see who wins this battle of college football giants tomorrow night.

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