World-Herald sports columnist Tom Shatel offers his key observations from Nebraska’s 30-13 loss to South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl.
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The media covering this shindig voted for the MVP. However, I didn’t get a vote. I sure wouldn’t have picked South Carolina junior receiver Alshon Jeffery. As big as his impact was, he was ejected from the game for trading swings with Alfonzo Dennard. You don’t get thrown out of a game and win the MVP award. How silly is that?
B FOR BECK
Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck will take his shots from the peanut gallery, and some are deserved. But Nebraska had a good game plan, especially in the first half. Beck strayed a couple of times, like early in the third quarter after Taylor Martinez ran to the South Carolina 8-yard line, and two of the next three plays were passes when NU was running it down SC’s throat. Some of us agree that Beck needs to get his young playmakers on the field, but when you see Ameer Abdullah lose the ball like that, you understand the reluctance. And Beck has a quarterback who makes decisions in the passing game that drive you nuts, but you have to pass the ball. Just win, Tim. And develop a backup quarterback who can play.
John Papuchis and the defense will get lost in this game, but they did well. The coverage was terrific, for the most part, and helped quarterback Connor Shaw get sacked four times. The Huskers could have blitzed on the Hail Mary, but really, how often do those things work? Oops. I liked Papuchis’ energy. He bounces around a lot, high-fiving and encouraging and yelling, if it’s required. Gotta work on takeaways. South Carolina had no turnovers.