Related Stories: Nebraska rips Oklahoma State with pass attack
With 201 yards, Kendall Hunter had the first 200-yard rushing performance against Nebraska since 2007, when OSU's Dantrell Savage ran for 212 at Lincoln. Hunter's numbers might have been outrageous if he had gotten more than nine second-half carries. He scored on runs of 1 and 8 yards and, on 26 carries, averaged 7.7 yards per attempt. Nebraska's outstanding secondary - most notably, All-Big 12 cornerback Prince Amukamara - limited Cowboy wide receiver Justin Blackmon to five catches. Blackmon did, however, score on catches of 80 and 25 yards. He finished with 157 receiving yards. Brandon Weeden completed only 51 percent of his passes but wound up with 283 yards. His only interception was the result of a tipped ball. OSU's offensive line was outstanding as the Cowboys averaged nearly 6 yards per rush attempt. Weeden was sacked only once.
Oklahoma State was doomed by failures on pivotal plays. On third- and fourth-down conversions overall, Nebraska was a combined 10-of-20. The ability to extend possessions resulted in a pronounced time-of-possession advantage for the Huskers. On third-down passes, Nebraska freshman Taylor Martinez was 8-of-12 for 127 yards and two touchdowns. On several run plays, OSU defenders missed tackles when they had chances to stop Martinez for losses or short gains. "When you have an opportunity to hit him and get him down, you've got to get him down," OSU coach Mike Gundy said. As Martinez passed for 323 yards and five touchdowns, and was sacked only once on 35 pass attempts, the Cowboys obviously had issues both in generating pressure and in coverage.
Special teams: F
Punter Quinn Sharp was great (60.4-yard average on five kicks) and Dan Bailey connected on first-quarter field goals of 31 and 44 yards. Otherwise, Oklahoma State had a terrible day on special teams. For the third time this season, the Cowboys were scorched for a touchdown on a kickoff return. Niles Paul had a 100-yard return - Nebraska's longest in 61 years. OSU fell asleep on a first-quarter punt play. On fourth-and-8 from the Husker 22, Nebraska punter Alex Henery rolled right on what appeared to be the set-up for a rugby-style kick. But when he noticed that there was no containment, Henery scrambled upfield for 27 yards. Three plays later, Nebraska scored a touchdown.