Nobody expected Saturday’s showdown between Ohio State and Nebraska to be particularly close. One side has a Heisman candidate in Justin Fields and a championship-level coach in Ryan Day, and the other boasts Adrian Martinez and Scott Frost. This outing was decided before either team took the field.
What was a bit surprising, however, was the way the game ultimately went. On multiple occasions, fans and broadcasters were left divided on whether the Huskers were playing dirty or the referees were just picking on them.
This dynamic was encapsulated in a sequence that occurred with 10 minutes left to play in the fourth, when broadcaster Joel Klatt took issue with a targeting call against Nebraska.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 24, 2020
Tough pass interference call against Nebraska on a seemingly uncatchable ball that Ohio State immediately turned into a touchdown pic.twitter.com/5pkxk25uAO
— Bad Sports Refs (@BadSportsRefs) October 24, 2020
Defensive back Deontai Williams’ ejection marked the second one of the day for the Huskers.
Needless to say, fans had some reactions.
Hey, Fox crew, you are embarrassing yourselves. Nebraska is cheap-shotting. Stop apologizing for Scott Frost.
— Dennis Manoloff (@dmansworld474) October 24, 2020
.@Target the Nebraska football team loves u guys.
— Fake Urban Meyer (@FakeUrban) October 24, 2020
Nebraska’s game plan for today pic.twitter.com/1HkK5iyqKN
— Buckeyes22 (@sad_rockets_fan) October 24, 2020
I’m certainly not saying that anyone on Nebraska is doing anything intentional, but it does feel like there’s been a lot of hits around the head of OSU players, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you see some increased intensity from the Buckeye defense.
— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) October 24, 2020
Nebraska hitting a little high today against Ohio State pic.twitter.com/AWSJAsPAgk
— Chrispagan (@chrispagann216) October 24, 2020
Ohio State is better than Nebraska. I’m not going to dispute that. There was just some egregious officiating today and we take that personally given how things have played out. @ all national media
— Samuel Hahn (@daHAHNi) October 24, 2020
There is not a widespread conspiracy against Nebraska sometimes refs just suck
— Christopher Heady (@heady_chris) October 24, 2020
90 penalty yards for Nebraska and 5 for Ohio State…I see you Big 10 refs…
— Brendan Johnsen (@brendan2366) October 24, 2020
There is nothing I can say that Joel Klatt is not. He’s absolutely correct. What are the defenders supposed to do? This is not just because it happened to Nebraska. It’s another example of why this rule is flawed.
— Nick Handley (@NickESPN590) October 24, 2020
— megan svehla (@megsvehla) October 24, 2020
Here’s how you avoid targeting if you’re Nebraska and the commentators bitching, DON’T LEAN WITH THE HELMET AND USE YOUR GOD DAMN ARMS TO TACKLE!!
— CLE Sports Twist (@CleSportsTwist) October 24, 2020
Nebraska: plays football
Kevin Warren to the officials: pic.twitter.com/D4XbcKxs5C
— Wiley Jones (@wiley_jones) October 24, 2020
The refs coming to the rescue when Ohio State is struggling with Nebraska pic.twitter.com/dhFULJa2yF
— CFB Pylon (@TheCFBPylon) October 24, 2020
So were the Huskers playing dirty against Ohio State? It seems to be a matter of individual opinion.
Ultimately, the Buckeyes walked away with a 52-17 victory.