Ohio State slipped past Nebraska in a closer-than-expected 26-17 win Saturday as Jaxon Smith-Njigba enjoyed a historic day for the fifth-ranked Buckeyes, who were without leading receiver Garrett Wilson due to an unspecified injury.

Smith-Njigba set Ohio State’s single-game record for catches with 15 receptions for 240 yards and one touchdown. His 240 receiving yards were the second-most in school history behind the late Terry Glenn’s 253 yards against Pitt on Sept. 24, 1995.

Smith-Njigba turned a short reception from CJ Stroud into a 75-yard touchdown late in the second quarter to give the Buckeyes a 17-3 lead.

The sophomore from Texas entered the day with 20 catches for 408 yards and two TDs this season. His breakout performance for Ohio State (8-1, 6-0 Big Ten) was much-needed as the Buckeyes were sluggish against Nebraska (3-7, 1-6) without Wilson, who still leads the team this season in receptions (43) and receiving yards (687) and is second in TD catches (6).

Smith-Njigba now has 35 catches for 648 yards and three scores this season. Last year, he had 10 catches for 49 yards. His emergence is vital for Ohio State with Wilson’s status still unknown moving forward.

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