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The Second Best Nebraska Football Moment of the Decade: 2011 Comeback Against Ohio State

Lavonte David and Joe Bauserman remember this game. Do you?

Ohio State v Nebraska Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images

Our “Best Moments Of The Decade” countdown so far:

Moments Six through 10

Moment Five - Upset over Michigan State in 2015

Moment Four - Roy Helu Jr.’s 307 Rushing Yards Against Missouri

Moment Three - 2013 Hail Mary Against Northwestern

Nebraska 34, Ohio State 27

This game remains Nebraska’s biggest comeback in school history. To understand it’s meaning, we need to put it in the proper historical context before we begin.

2011 was Nebraska’s first season in the Big Ten - in the Legends Division (‘member that debacle?). There were high expectations for our beloved Huskers. A good percentage of our fan base believed we’d roll into the Big Ten and perhaps not quite take over, but run rough shod through our division.

Things were going well until the fifth game of the season. We went into Madison, Wisconsin, and the Badgers smashed us 48-17. I was at that game; everything about it was fun with the exception of the game.

Up next, Ohio State. It had all the feeling of a “oh dear God, please let this not be soul-crushing” game.

It was, for a while at least. The first half featured a Nebraska team giving up big plays on defense, and an offense lead by Taylor Martinez that sputtered around as if it didn’t know it’s own strengths. The troll from Omaha had only days before written a scathing article about Taylor Martinez, and it appeared at the outset of the game that he was right.

Five minutes into the second half the score was Ohio State 27, Nebraska 6. It was so bad that fans started leaving early. We were on our way to another Buckeye-delivered ass kicking. Then good things happened. Lavonte David stripped the ball from Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller. Taylor Martinez ran for 18 yards for a touchdown.

On the next series, Miller suffered an ankle injury and had to leave the game. He was replaced by non-running, non-dual threat quarterback Joe Bauserman. Bauserman did not play well... Our own Paul Dalen created this beautiful Joe Bauserman Passing Chart that is still shared across the internet to this day.

Martinez hits Quincy Enunwa for a 36-yard touchdown to make it 27-20, the Buckeyes still in the lead. Ohio State’s offense continues to sputter.

Martinez hits Rex Burkhead (God bless him) for a 30-yard touchdown. It’s 27-27.

Burkhead (woooohooooo!) runs 17 yards for another touchdown; Brett Maher adds the PAT and it is a final at 34-27.

And it was glorious. Here’s the highlights.

Martinez finished this game 16-22 for 191 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. He rushed 17 times for 102 yards and another touchdown. Burkhead ran 26 times for 119 yards and 1 TD. He added 5 receptions for 59 yards and another touchdown.

Nebraska went on to a 9-4 season, a Bo Pelini standard. The troll from Omaha apologized (kind of) for his Martinez-bashing article. Husker Mike wrote an article that explained the situation. Nebraska finished 5-3 in the division.

You know the rest of this story. 2013 saw the release of an audio tape of Pelini swearing at Husker fans after the 2011 Ohio State game for leaving early. Everyone was disappointed that a head football coach might use the “F” word with such virility, as if we expect head coaches to be pastors instead a guys who are teaching 300-lb young men to smash themselves into each other for our egos and entertainment.

During his rant, Pelini stated:

“Our crowd. What a bunch of fucking fair-weather fucking-they can all kiss my ass out the fucking door. ‘Cause the day is fucking coming now. We’ll see what they can do when I’m fucking gone. I’m so fucking pissed off.”

Pelini is long gone. I’m guessing if you’re one of those fans that miss him that you don’t really miss him, but instead miss the consistency of a nine-win season.

Just for the record, and because we’re getting all the “fuck” out for this article, here is the best coach rant involving the f-bomb directed at his own fans. It is beautiful.

The game is historic on this site for specific reasons:

I had received some feedback during the 2011 offseason that there was too much profanity in our game threads. I began 2011 by asking that people refrain from swearing in the game threads in the thought that we could create a more “family friendly” atmosphere.

The ban on swearing lasted up until the third quarter of the Ohio State game. That’s when I gave up and issued this:


Fucking joining the Big Fucking Ten.

Fucking Defense that won’t play tough.

Fucking offensive coordinator.

Fucking stupid ass shit for brains offensive line coach.

Fucking defensive secondary that can’t cover my mom (MY MOM iS 90)

I know I’ve asked y’all to not swear during game threads. BUT FUCK IT.

This happened just before David’s strip of Miller for the fumble that lead to the turn around in this game.

It was an explosion of excitement. There were 929 comments on the second half thread, and 156 occurrences of the word “fuck” - clearly there was a lot of pent up emotion about the state of Husker football. You might say that the internet has no bearing on the outcome of a game, but those who were on CN that night might tell a different story.

Nebraska fans have had very few moments like this over the past 2-3 seasons. We’re moving into a new year, a new decade. We had over 1,500 comments between the first and second half game threads during that game in 2011. We went on to have more in the postgame thread.

I hope that level of love comes back next season. It’s much more fun than the losing we’ve been through.

Here’s to hoping for a better decade ahead!!!!