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Lavonte David was key in the Huskers come-from-behind win over Ohio State
Lavonte David, LB
After going three-and-out twice to start the second half, Nebraska found themselves down 21 points and with the Cornhuskers' spirit deflated, linebacker Lavonte David made the play of the game as he stripped the ball from Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller and shifted momentum to Nebraska for the rest of the game.
Known for having incredible instincts and a non-stop motor, David has made big plays throughout his career at Nebraska and this may have been the biggest one yet.
Taylor Martinez, QB
Martinez started off the game 10/10 passing, but was checking down a lot and in slippery conditions, one cannot expect receivers to make the turn upfield as quickly.
His next two throws after his hot start were horrendous as he threw behind Kenny Bell and then tried to make a play to the end zone, throwing into triple coverage to Jamal Turner. After that, Nebraska fans everywhere were holding their breath and expecting the Martinez of old to appear.
The second half was one of the best performances that we have seen from the sophomore as he accumulated 196 all-purpose yards and 3 TDs (2 pass, 1 rush).
What made Martinez's performance so impressive was the week leading up to the game as he was getting burned by media & fans. For many players, that would kill their confidence. Martinez did his best to tune the critics out and his teammates may have helped as his offensive line and coach were the most vocal about the quarterback's ability.
Rex Burkhead, RB
The junior RB was bottled up by the Ohio State defense in the first half as he gained just seven yards on 11 carries. The second half was a different story as Burkhead rushed for 119 yards and hauled in a 30-yard touchdown reception via Taylor Martinez.
If you're Burkhead, you have to love the 15 carries you got in the second half. Out of Nebraska's 23 fourth quarter plays, Burkhead carried the ball 12 times and found himself on the receiving end of a Martinez TD. If you're a Husker fan and wanted to see Burkhead get the ball more (whether rushing or receiving), you got your wish as he had over 30 touches.
Tim Beck, Offensive Coordinator - Nebraska
Last weekend against Wisconsin, Tim Beck didn't play to Taylor Martinez's strengths in the first half and aired it out 17 times. That led to the Nebraska collapse as he threw two interceptions. Beck came out in the third quarter, decided to throw on Nebraska's first play and Martinez threw an interception and the game was all but over.
Last night's game showed the adjustments Beck made after halftime. The Huskers got back to the diamond formation and QB options. As the Huskers were gaining yards on the ground, the Buckeye defense had to keep their eyes in the backfield. This led to the Quincy Enunwa TD reception as the Ohio State safety had his eyes trained on the line of scrimmage and Enunwa ran right by him. Martinez was able to loft the ball right into the hands of his open receiver.
From then on, Beck was able to call almost anything he wanted on the Ohio State defense.
Brett Maher (K, P)
During Nebraska's disastrous first half, Maher was one of the lone bright spots as he connected on two field goals and pinned Ohio State inside their own 20 yard line twice.