Tom's Takes: Still plenty left to play for; poor tackling dooms Blackshirts; why keep throwing?

Ohio State's Curtis Samuel finished with 178 yards of total offense and a pair of touchdowns.

Three quick takes by World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel following Nebraska's 62-3 loss to Ohio State on Saturday.

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Plenty still on table

It’s hard to know who will play quarterback next weekend against Minnesota, but it won’t matter if we see another effort like this one. Wisconsin has the inside track on the Big Ten West now, but there’s still plenty for NU to play for these last three weeks. A double-digit win total and a shot at a New Year’s Day-type bowl would ease the pain from these last two weeks. None of the remaining three are exactly gimmes, and I especially don’t think a loss to Iowa would sit well.

NU a no-show

The sure sign that this team did not come to play Saturday night was the poor tackling and coverage. Ohio State’s offense looked like it got well, but much of that was the Blackshirts’ lack of execution. So much arm tackling, grabbing around the shoulders. And Buckeye receivers open all night. Polar opposite of that defensive gem last weekend at Wisconsin. How does that happen?

Why not run ball, clock?

It’s hard to call plays when the execution and effort are so poor — and the starting quarterback gets hurt — but it looked like NU’s game plan was to throw deep and hope for a play or a flag. Continuing to throw while down 40 and 50 in the second half? At some point, run it and get out of town. It was that kind of night.

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