Published Saturday, November 23, 2013 AT 7:21 PM / Updated at 11:37 PM
Game Replay: Nebraska 23, Penn State 20 (OT)
Dirk Chatelain Omaha World-Herald

Bad call: Bad isn’t a strong enough word for the personal foul flag on Sam Burtch during Ameer Abdullah’s go-ahead touchdown run. I know the block wasn’t necessary, but it also wasn’t flagrant. Let the players play.

Peculiar play: Penn State punter Alex Butterworth looked a little shaky catching long snaps early in the game. Then, midway through the second, he finally muffed one. He picked up the ball and got a foot on it, but Nebraska’s Brandon Reilly blocked it, giving NU the ball at the Penn State 48.

What was that? Tim Beck had some unusual play calls. On third-and-1 at its 49 late in the second quarter, Nebraska threw a screen that lost 3 yards. But the stranger decision came on the last drive of regulation when NU threw the ball twice after facing second-and-25 with 36 seconds left. Take two knees and get it to overtime.

Noticed: How can you not notice Nebraska’s punt return ineptitude? In the first half, Penn State twice left five or six defenders unblocked, forcing a Jordan Westerkamp fair catch or short loss. For the game, Westerkamp netted minus-3 yards on returns. He’s now averaging 2.2 yards per return for the season. To put that in perspective, NU played at Penn State in 2002 with a returner named DeJuan Groce. He averaged 18 yards per return that season.

Rave review: Redshirt freshman LeRoy Alexander’s open-field tackle on a first-quarter jet sweep stopped Allen Robinson for a 7-yard gain. That was good, but not as impressive as Alexander’s fourth-quarter stick on Zach Zwinak.

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