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Fate Is Fickell: Buckeyes Blow 21-Point Lead After Braxton Miller Is Hurt, Lose To Nebraska 34-27

Buckeyes let one get away in the second half

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Recap via SB Nation and Sports Network

Lincoln, NE (Sports Network) - Rex Burkhead scored the game's final two touchdowns to cap a huge Nebraska comeback, as the 14th-ranked Cornhuskers took a 34-27 win over Ohio State.

Nebraska trailed by 21 early in the third quarter, but scored 28 unanswered points. A 30-yard catch from Burkhead tied the game and his 17- yard TD run gave the Huskers the lead with 5:10 to play.

He finished the game with 119 yards on 26 carries along with five receptions for 59 yards for the Cornhuskers (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten), who completed their largest ever comeback victory in the contest.

"I've been a part of some pretty great ones," said Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini. "That's up there. I'm proud of our football team, I'm proud of the character on our team. They just kept fighting. We've got a lot to fix. We've got a lot of areas we can get better at. I think our kids showed a lot of character. I'm proud of that group of guys in the locker room."

Taylor Martinez was 16-for-22 for 191 yards with two scores and an interception. He added 102 yards and a score on 17 carries for Nebraska, which rebounded from last week's 48-17 pounding against Wisconsin.

Braxton Miller was 5-for-8 with 95 yards and a score and added 91 yards on 10 carries for the Buckeyes (3-3, 0-2), who have dropped their past two games. However, he left the game in the third quarter with a possible leg injury.

On Friday, Ohio State learned that wide receiver DeVier Posey has been suspended five games for receiving hundreds of dollars for work not performed. Running back Daniel Herron, offensive lineman Marcus Hall and defensive end Melvin Fellows were suspended one game due to similar offenses.

All the players were unavailable for Saturday's game, but Posey's suspension means he will have to sit out much longer. He had already been suspended five games because of the memorabilia scandal involving a local tattoo parlor.

Nebraska had been dominated in the first half and the first part of the third quarter, but began its comeback when Lavonte David ripped the ball out of Miller's hands to give Nebraska the ball deep in Ohio State territory. Two plays later, Martinez took the ball into the end zone from 18 yards out to make it a 27-13 game.

Miller was knocked out of the game on Ohio State's next series and the Cornhuskers got the ball back at their 20 following a punt.

On the seventh play of the drive, the team used play action and Martinez hit a wide open Quincy Enunwa in stride near the goal line on a 36-yard score. The play pulled Nebraska within a touchdown with 1:44 to play in the third.

Ohio State got to the Nebraska 29 on its next touch, but a three-yard loss on a rush and a five-yard delay of game penalty forced the team to punt.

After an exchange of punts, Nebraska tied the game when Martinez threw a pass out to the right flat for Burkhead. The running back hopped to the left to make a defender miss and took it in from 30 yards out with 7:35 left in the game.

Joe Bauserman, who took over after Miller left, was then picked off in Nebraska territory and the Cornhuskers needed just four plays to get into the end zone. Burkhead took a handoff to the left for a 17-yard score and a 34-27 lead.

The Nebraska defense then held Ohio State to a quick three-and-out, and proceeded to kill off the rest of the clock for the comeback win.

"They just out-schemed us," said Ohio State safety Tyler Moeller. "They changed up their play style a little bit and we weren't in the right gaps and they scored on us. They outplayed us."

The Buckeyes opened the game with the ball and took it 56 yards over 13 plays, killing off almost eight minutes in the process. The drive stalled at the Nebraska 24 and a 41-yard field goal from Drew Basil gave the team a 3-0 lead.

A big kickoff return from Ameer Abdullah, along with a face mask penalty, helped Nebraska get a 50-yard field goal from Brett Maher on its ensuing possession.

Ohio State, though, answered with a 32-yard touchdown catch by Jake Stoneburner to take a 10-3 lead with 1:51 to play in the first.

On the Buckeyes' first play of the second quarter, Carlos Hyde took a handoff 63 yards to the end zone for a 17-3 lead just over two minutes in.

A 34-yard field goal by Maher made it an 11-point game with 2:44 left in the half and the Cornhuskers held Ohio State to a three-and-out. But Martinez was picked off by Orhian Johnson, who returned it to the Nebraska 47 with just 15 seconds remaining.

Miller then took the ball 29 yards to set up a 35-yard field goal from Basil as time expired, giving Ohio State a 20-6 lead at the break.

The Buckeyes continued to take it to the Cornhuskers in the third. On their first touch, they took advantage of excellent field position and Hyde pushed the ball in from a yard out for a 27-6 lead with 10:53 to play in the quarter.

Posey won't be eligible to play until a November 19 game against Penn State...Hyde finished with 104 yards on 13 carries...Ohio State had won the only other two meetings. The last contest was on September 29, 1956...Nebraska has off next week...Ohio State plays at Illinois next Saturday prior to its bye week...Bauserman went just 1-for-10 for 13 yards.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.