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The Morning After: Ohio State

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What are folks saying after the 59 point defeat that the Huskers took last night in Columbus?

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Shatel, Omaha World-Herald: Huskers showed little fight, but they can still salvage season

You thought, or hoped, that Nebraska had moved beyond these kinds of stink bombs. You thought, or hoped, wrong.

Not even the most pessimistic Husker fan or optimistic Buckeye expected Ohio State 62, Nebraska 3.

What a polar opposite effort from last weekend’s overtime loss at Wisconsin, where the Big Red looked strong and ready to emerge as a league contender. How could a team look so capable one week and so inept the next?

Mike Riley has some explaining to do. So do the players.

What a horrible disappointment, particularly coming on the heels of NU climbing into the top 10 of the College Football Playoff rankings and earning the ABC prime-time game of the week.

That 17-point spread? Turns out it was low.

“Wow,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. “I didn’t see that one coming.”

You’re not alone, coach.

Steve Sipple, Lincoln Journal-Star: Even with adversity, Huskers meltdown inexcusable

Yes, Nebraska (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) has valid excuses for faltering. But come on, who saw 62-3 coming, especially after the Huskers pushed No. 8 Wisconsin to overtime only a week ago at Camp Randall Stadium?

Nebraska's patchwork offensive line was beaten soundly, but Husker coach Mike Riley, to his credit, wasn't making excuses.

His team blocked poorly and tackled poorly. The basics were basically awful. The performance was inexcusable.

"We were beaten thoroughly in all the phases, and it really didn't remind me of our team," he said.

He said such a poor showing "came out of the blue."

Yeah, the black and blue. Nobody saw this coming, and that's partly what makes it so painful for Nebraska and its immensely proud fan base.

Bill Rabinowitz, Columbus Dispatch: Ohio State 62, Nebraska 3. Who expected this?

Urban Meyer walked into his postgame press conference in glorious disbelief.

“Wow,” the Ohio State coach said. “I didn’t expect that one.”

Nobody saw a 62-3 victory over Nebraska coming. Why would they? For the last month, the Buckeyes seemed to have plateaued after a dominating first four games.

Ohio State looked like it would have to slog its way to victories by relying on its defense and a play-it-safe offense. Instead, a crowd of 108,750, the second-largest in Ohio Stadium history, watched with delight as the Buckeyes sprung fully to life while clad in their 1916-style throwback uniforms.

“Just an A-to-Z very good performance by our guys tonight,” Meyer said.

Matt Tamanini, Land-Grant Holy Land: OSU rolls over Nebraska 62-3

Since demolishing Rutgers on the first day of October, the Ohio State offense has seemed to be a shell of its early-season self; or for a more apt analogy, it often felt as if it had crawled back into its shell. For weeks, OSU opponents had been bludgeoned by heavy doses of zone reads and short passes.

Against Nebraska, while not everything was successful, the Buckeyes infused a bit more creativity into the playcalling; from downfield (however often overthrown) passes, to multiple end-arounds, to shovel passes, to a jump pass. Coming into the game, Nebraska had the nation’s 15th best scoring defense, allowing only 18.4 points per game, but through a renewed aggressiveness and creativity, the Buckeyes put up 62 points, their second highest total of the season.

Dirk Chatelain, Omaha World-Herald: Riley’s revival comes off the tracks in one of program’s worse defeats

As the Huskers limp back to Lincoln and assess the psychological damage of the second-worst loss in school history, they won’t think much of one split-second in the second quarter.

But that failure — that moment — perfectly encapsulated Nebraska’s futility. The Huskers were humiliated on the biggest stage of the season. They entered the Horseshoe understanding the stakes. They recognized that an upset of Ohio State would be the crowning achievement of their careers, the biggest moment for the program since Stuntz to Crouch, vaulting them into the national title picture.

They couldn’t handle it. Not physically, where the Buckeyes proved far more talented and disciplined. Not emotionally, where the Huskers couldn’t find the fire that propelled them to a 7-0 start. It was a flashback to the Pelini Era, when Nebraska frequently felt the heat of the national spotlight and crawled under the covers with a high fever.