Nebraska vs. Ohio State Recap: Big Ten Football

Matt ZvolanekCorrespondent IIOctober 9, 2011

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 8: Running back Rex Burkhead #22 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers reaches for the end zone for the go ahead score during their game at Memorial Stadium October 8, 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Ohio State 34-27. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

No. 14 Nebraska(5-1): Bye Week

Nebraska defeats Ohio State 34-27. What a way to win the first Big Ten home game.

Nebraska looked anemic and slow in the first half. The rushing offense didn’t accomplish much of anything in the first half, and the defense didn’t know how to tackle and was out of place. 

Then in the third quarter, something changed. A spark occurred. 

Linebacker Lavonte David stepped up for the defense and just ripped the ball out of Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller’s hands. Nebraska was in the end zone two plays later. Then on the next drive linebacker Sean Fisher made a tackle that would change the game, as it knocked out Miller for the rest of the game.

Call it a lucky break. The Husker defense couldn’t stop Miller, who scrambled away from pressure multiple times. Insert Joe Bauserman. The Ohio State senior QB couldn’t handle the pressure Nebraska seemed to dial up more as the game went on and only completed a single pass. 

While Ohio State fell apart down the stretch, Nebraska thrived. Taylor Martinez grew a lot from the unsteady QB we saw in Wisconsin. Whereas last week, Martinez tried to force throws downfield, this week he made a lot of check downs to his running back Rex Burkhead. On one of those check downs, Burkhead took it to the house, making a beautiful juke move on the way. 

Nebraska’s offense got better as the game went, tiring out the Buckeyes defense with a quick-paced attack. But the game wasn’t over. Bauserman took over with a chance to take the lead. Three plays later, Nebraska had the ball once again, courtesy of wide receiver-turned-cornerback, Stanley Jean-Baptiste. 

From there, Burkhead and Martinez took control. Martinez ran to the Ohio State 40, and with help from a facemask penalty, got the ball down to the Ohio State 18-yard line. Two plays later, Burkhead was in the end zone, again. And then the game was over. 

Nebraska had done it, completing the biggest comeback in school history. They faced adversity and found a way to win, albeit in comeback fashion. Martinez, who was heavily scrutinized after losing to Wisconsin, gained heaps of praise. 

Now, the Huskers can take a week off and address the obvious problems on defense. The Minnesota Golden Gophers might be just the cure the Blackshirts are needing. 

What to Watch For: Nebraska doesn’t play this weekend, but there are some interesting matchups, and one in particular stands out.

That would be the game between Michigan State and Michigan in East Lansing. The Wolverines really haven’t been tested against a good defense, and could be undeserving of their No. 10 ranking. 

Saturday will go a long ways in determining the Legends race.