Tom's Takes: A bad, embarrassing night; Nebraska still can't tackle; Ohio State makes a point

Despite the change in defensive coordinator, Nebraska still struggles to tackle.

Three quick takes by World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel following Nebraska's 56-14 loss to Ohio State on Saturday.

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Embarrassing night

A year ago, I was critical of Mike Riley’s choice to keep throwing the ball while down big at Ohio Stadium rather than run out the clock after starting quarterback Tommy Armstrong went down. Riley kept throwing it Saturday night, and while it was Nebraska’s best way to move the ball, it didn’t matter. Tanner Lee threw for over 300 yards and JD Spielman caught 11 passes for 200 yards, but stats and cutting the margin of defeat weren’t going to change the fact that this was a bad, embarrassing night.

Struggling with basics

Effort. Execution. These were the reasons Riley made the change at defensive coordinator at the end of last season. But seven games into the Bob Diaco era, those things haven’t been fixed. Nebraska still can’t tackle. And in the 3-4, NU has struggled to get pressure on quarterbacks. Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett often faced a three-man rush and still found receivers with no defender in sight. Say what you want about how long it takes to change a scheme, but tackling is tackling. The Huskers still can’t do it. And Diaco and the 3-4 haven’t saved the day.

Meyer's mission

Well, you knew as soon as Clemson and Washington State lost on Friday night that Ohio State coach Urban Meyer was going to do what he could to make a statement to the Playoff Committee. Meyer isn’t one to take his foot off the pedal and he didn’t. Next up in two weeks for the Bucks: Penn State at the Horseshoe. If Barrett continues to play with this poise, I like their chances. 

How would you grade Nebraska's overall performance against Ohio State?

The Huskers lost to the Buckeyes 56-14 on Saturday. How would you grade NU's overall performance?

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