6. December 1st, 2012 vs #12 Nebraska
Wisconsin wins the Big Ten in dominating fashion
Similar to the previous game on this list, this win came at a potential crossroads for the program. Bret Bielema had the team 7-5, and third in the ‘Leaders’ division, coming into the Big Ten championship after starting the season ranked in the top 15. Wisconsin was given the spot in Indianapolis since Ohio State and Penn State were both on postseason bans. Already having lost to Nebraska earlier in the year, this one wasn’t looking good for the Badgers. Considering Bielema would leave for Arkansas after this game it’s even more of a surprise how dominant this performance was.
The game wasn’t over after the first quarter, but Nebraska had its work cut out for them. The score was 21-10 with big plays happening everywhere for both teams. Little did we know they wouldn’t be happening for the Cornhuskers beyond that point. Wisconsin won the second quarter 21-0. At that point, it was safe to say the Badgers would be headed to their third-straight Rose Bowl.
The backfield trio of Montee Ball, James White, and Melvin Gordon accounted for 527 of Wisconsin’s 539 rushing yards on the day. Ball and Gordon each broke the 200-yard mark, and James White had more than 100 himself, plus a passing touchdown in the game.
Final score: Wisconsin 70, Nebraska 31
This game wasn’t the last time Wisconsin has played in Indianapolis, but it’s the last time it won there. This game kick-started the series of events that eventually got Paul Chryst back to Madison as the head coach and re-affirmed Wisconsin as a dominant rushing offense.