Nebraska Loses Badly at Ohio State
Husker fans had three concerns going into their game against OSU. First, would they be able to avoid penalties? They weren't. More importantly, could they avoid turnovers. They didn't. Finally, would they be able to stop the rushing threat posed by Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller. They couldn't. The result? A 63-38 loss on national television.
The game got off to a good start for the Huskers. They got out to a 17-7 lead behind two Ameer Abdullah touchdowns early in the second quarter. Miller responded with a big run to set up a score that closed the gap to 17-14. Then NU quarterback Taylor Martinez threw his second interception of the night to set up OSU's third touchdown (the first was a pick-six thrown by Martinez).
Nebraska would answer with a touchdown set up by a big Rex Burkhead run. The Buckeyes responded with a pair of touchdowns to end the half, giving them a 35-24 lead. NU responded with a touchdown drive keyed by a Kenny Bell reception to open the second half and close the gap to a 35-31 OSU advantage.
But the NU defense began to come apart. They surrendered a long drive capped by Carlos Hyde's third touchdown of the night. The next drive ended in a punt by Nebraska that was returned for a touchdown by Ohio State. A promising Husker drive was then ended when Taylor Martinez threw his third interception of the night. Only a Miller fumble kept the Buckeyes from scoring on the ensuing drive. But after a three and out by NU, OSU needed just three rushes to go 62 yards for another score that made it 56-31.
The Huskers answered with a touchdown with just over five minutes remaining in the game. They still trailed 56-38. A Taylor Martinez fumble cost NU any chance to keep it closer and OSU head coach Urban Meyer opted to run it up rather than kneel out the clock to make the final 63-38. After five years with Bo Pelini at the helm, we've come to expect these kinds of outings. Too many penalties. Too many turnovers. Too few answers for a running quarterback.
The bye week will be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, they can avoid a hangover, regroup, heal, and focus fully on Northwestern. But the loud and incessant negativity from the Husker fan base will be ringing in the ears of these players for a solid two weeks. Hopefully, that doesn't translate to their performance on the field. Northwestern won't have the benefit of a week off, so they may a bit tired going into their matchup with Nebraska. NU needs to take their anger and disappointment out on the Wildcats. Because unlike Ohio State, the Huskers can still win the Big Ten this year.