Published Saturday, November 10, 2012 AT 7:30 PM / Updated at 9:47 PM
Nebraska-Penn State: Game Replay
Dirk Chatelain Omaha World-Herald

Noticed: Bo Pelini used all three first-half timeouts on defense. It not only eliminated any chance to challenge a call, it removed any hope of Nebraska’s offense executing a scoring drive in the final minute.

Peculiar play: On Nebraska’s first touchdown drive after halftime, Taylor Martinez tried to hit Quincy Enunwa on a crossing route. A Penn State linebacker got a hand on it, deflecting it over Enunwa’s head. Fortunately for NU, Kenny Bell was there for a 22-yard catch.

Strategy adjustment: Penn State averages three fourth-down attempts a game. So it’s no wonder Bo Pelini accepted a holding penalty on the Nittany Lions after a Matt McGloin incompletion on third-and-3 in the first quarter — declining it would’ve given Bill O’Brien a chance to go for it. Pelini’s decision backfired when McGloin connected with Allen Robinson for 30 yards on third-and-14.

Strategy adjustment II: Bill O’Brien had an important decision to make at halftime. He could take the wind in the third quarter or the fourth quarter. Typically, you want it in the fourth. But O’Brien, sitting on a 14-point lead, preferred to put immediate pressure on Nebraska. O’Brien’s decision backfired when Nebraska scored two touchdowns in the first 6 minutes.

Questionable call: Once again, a critical call went in Nebraska’s favor. This time it came at the goal line in the fourth quarter. Tight end Matt Lehman fumbled inches from the end zone and Daimion Stafford recovered. Officials reviewed the play, but didn’t overrule it.

Rave review: Ameer Abdullah seemingly had a relatively quiet day — until you look at the stat sheet. The sophomore had 116 yards on 31 carries. He had 10 carries alone in the third quarter.

About Dirk Chatelain

Dirk Chatelain is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football and general assignments. You can follow Dirk on Twitter (@dirkchatelain) or email him at