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The No. 8 ranked run defense in the nation was exposed in this game by the Huskers and the great play calling.
The Huskers passed early to spread out the defense and took advantage of that in the second have by establishing the run. When the Lions moved in to defend the run they were open to mid-range passes. Tyler Martinez is hard for any defense to corral.
Rex Burkhead wore down the defense on the ground as he piled up the yards, and the defense failed to stop Nebraska on several key conversions.
A crucial pass interference call near the end of the first half was a glaring mistake that allowed the Cornhuskers to open up the early lead. However in key moments, such as after the Penn State score, the defense were up to the challenge and got the ball back to the offense.
The defense had to do something down the stretch to keep Penn State in the game and responded with a big fumble recovery in the fourth quarter. This was just the beginning.
The defense held Nebraska with under five minutes to go in the game setting up the offense with one more chance.The front line began to overwhelm the line of scrimmage, and in the fourth it was the penetration that made the difference.
In the biggest moment of the game, it was the defense that came up big and stopped the Cornhuskers on a fourth down play that would have sealed the victory. Unfortunately it was not enough.