Nebraska 51, OSU 41: Thoughts and Observations
–Never thought this would happen. The Cornhuskers won a shootout with Oklahoma State. And Taylor Martinez finished with better passing numbers than Brandon Weeden.
–Have to admire the way Taylor Martinez bounced back from last week’s benching. He was the difference in the game. He repeatedly eluded OSU’s defensive ends and linebackers in key situations. A lot of his passing yards were a result of his great acceleration, quickness and speed. Sometimes a guy makes plays and beats you. That’s what happened to OSU on Saturday.
–Step back and think about it. If OSU had it all to do over again, what should they change? How would they defend Martinez differently? They wouldn’t change and they shouldn’t change. Running is his forte, not passing. So you load up to stop his run and he passes for over 300 yards. What options do you have then? Unless you have Ray Lewis on your defense and you can spy him with someone who matches his athleticism and speed… even then, he still would have to make one-on-one tackles with Martinez. Easier said then done, he made Orie Lemon miss a couple times and Orie is a very sure tackler. Martinez is just a special talent. And special talent win football games.
–On that note, I was surprised Brandon Weeden didn’t look Justin Blackmon‘s way more in the second half, especially when the Pokes really needed a play. True enough, the Huskers had bracket coverage on him throughout, but give him a chance, he catches 80 percent of the balls you throw his way.
–Don’t underestimate the Huskers fake punt to start the game. OSU’s defense started with a three-and-out and a lot of emotion and confidence. Then that happened.
–41 points against Nebraska’s defense is a good outing by the Cowboys’ offense. That should have been enough to win the game.
–I’m not sure what else can be done with kickoff coverage. Putting defensive starters on that unit is just not a option. But something has to change.
–We wondered if the Cowboys would have the speed to keep up, turns out they did. They just didn’t tackle well at all. Not only was Martinez making plays and breaking tackles (which was understandable), so was Roy Helu Jr. (which was not).
–Kendall Hunter had 26 carries for 201 yards and two touchdowns. And I’m just now getting to mentioning that. It just goes to show you what a unusual game it was.
–Cowboys averaged 7.0 yards per play and scored 41 points. They struggled on third down and had just 75 yards in the fourth quarter but, again, they scored 41 points against a very good defense.
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