LINCOLN — Ohio State proved quickly on Saturday night why they have one of the top — and most talented — defenses in the country.
The Buckeyes intercepted Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez three times in the Huskers first four possessions which set the tone for a demoralizing 48-7 Buckeye win in front of 89,752 at Memorial Stadium.
On a night where only coach Scott Frost and the Nebraska captains addresses the media, offensive tackle Matt Farniok said Nebraska simply has to get better.
“That is one of the best teams in the nation we played tonight,” he said. “It just shows you how important the little things are in football.
“We have to do our job and get back to controlling the trenches. We just have to keep going.”
Nebraska had a hard time of that on Saturday.
The Ohio State defense held Nebraska to just 76 first half yards, while jumping to a 38-0 halftime lead.
Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez was intercepted on the Huskers first possession which was the start of an anemic first half for Nebraska.
They had 49 of their 76 on their second drive by going old school — traps to Dedrick Mills and under center triple option — but when Ohio State called timeout leading 14-0, Nebraska coach Scott Fross asked Martinez to pass from the shotgun and he was intercepted a second time by Jeff Okudah at the Ohio State 4.
“That drive we went back to some old school Nebraska stuff and it worked,” Nebraska head coach Scott Frost said. “We drove it down the field and then on the pass play if we give the quarterback a little more time we would have had an easy completion and maybe a touchdown.
“We just caught a bad break there, but I thought we executed that stuff pretty well which was good to see.”
Not much else went right for the Huskers.
In total, the Huskers seven first half possessions resulted three interceptions and four three-and-outs while the Nebraska offense crossed midfield just once.
Martinez — who was a magician against Illinois a week ago — was 2-for-8 passing in the first half for 10 yards and three turnovers.
“I think in the second half we came out fighting and didn’t give up,” Martinez said. “This game will not define this team. We will learn from it and get back to work.
“The things we preach (in practice) we have to go out and execute.”
It’s the high-level teams Nebraska has struggled to get over the hump with offensively. They managed just 15 first downs against the Buckeyes only 2.8 yards per pass attempt.
The Huskers managed a touchdown drive down 48-0 in the third quarter, when Diedrick Mills scored on a 9-yard run that capped a 5-play, 75-yard but the game was well in doubt then.
Nebraska’s final drive moved them to the 4 before Martinez was sacked on fourth down.
Nebraska has 140 of their 211 total yards on their final two possessions of the contest. Frost made no bones about it being time to go back to work.
“We didn’t sustain any drives,” Frost said. “And, there is nothing we can do but work at it and try to get better at it.
“We are where we are and we need to get better in a lot of ways.”
Martinez led the Huskers with 81 yards rushing, but the Nebraska managed just 47 yards passing for the game.