Rex Burkhead - always incredible.
I was woken up by Mrs CN around 6:00 am as she was concerned about a man laying in our back yard. He was really more in our neighbor's back yard, but he was laying there just the same. I hate it when that happens. I put on some sandals and went out to make sure he wasn't dead.
I thought about poking him with a stick, but that's not very nice, really, is it? So, I just kind of nudged him. Thank God he stirred. He wasn't in very good shape, though, as whatever he'd had in his stomach was all over his arms. He pointed to our neighbor's house and mumbled something, then got up in a couple minutes and walked away...
I'm guess that's how most of the Ohio State community feels this morning. Things were going so well until I had the Jager......
So what did happen?
The obvious turning point was Lavonte David's strip of the ball and tackle on Braxton Miller. Miller's injury clearly killed the Buckeye offense - you knew that when Joe Bauserman came in that the Buckeyes weren't going to score again.
That doesn't explain what happened to the offense. They spent the first two and a half quarters stumbling around the field, unable to complete a drive to save their lives, and then all of a sudden they're shredding the Buckeye defense for the biggest comeback in Nebraska school history?
Did the injury create that large a mood swing in both teams?
That could be the case, but on offense what I believe really happened is that Tim Beck started calling plays that Taylor Martinez felt comfortable executing. There was so much of a difference in Martinez after the David play - he didn't hesitate in his decision making, he ran with authority, he completed the long ball to Quincy Enunwa and looked nice in the process.
Bo Pelini uses the terms "execution" and "make a play" so often they've become inane. At the same time, they were the key to coming back against the Buckeyes. Lavonte David's strip of the ball, Stanley Jean-Baptiste's interception of Joe Bauserman, Rex Burkhead - well, Burkhead always makes plays but that 30 yard touchdown reception was just gorgeous. The offensive line, which struggled with the Ohio State defensive line most of the first half, suddenly looked like world beaters.
That the defense shut down the Buckeyes with Bauserman is no great surprise. That the offense came alive, however.... leaves you wondering just what happened.
Kind of like that dude in my back yard this morning.