For the sixth straight season, Wisconsin Football took down Nebraska and maintained possession of the Freedom Trophy.
There were plenty of negatives to go with the positives for Wisconsin on Saturday night against Nebraska, but nonetheless the Badgers were able to keep the momentum going and pull out their second straight win, continuing their domination of the Huskers at Camp Randall.
Wisconsin was in the driver’s seat for most of the contest, but Nebraska deserves credit for not allowing the Badgers to blow the game wide open throughout the night. Ultimately, though, Scott Frost’s defense simply could not stop Wisconsin on the ground and the result was a 41-24 loss.
In a surprise to absolutely no one, Jonathan Taylor was unquestionably the player of the game for the Badgers, torching Nebraska for the second straight season. He rushed for 221 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries, including this career-long 88-yard scamper to the end zone.
However, Taylor wasn’t the only Badger with a big day on the ground. Taiwan Deal chipped in 74 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, while Garrett Groshek had another strong performance with 9 carries for 73 yards. All in all, Wisconsin’s ground game gashed the Nebraska defense all game long and finished with 370 total yards.
The Wisconsin passing attack was fairly impressive as well, though the Badgers were having so much success running the ball that it was rarely needed. Hornibrook finished 13-24 passing for 163 yards and a touchdown to tight end Jake Ferguson, a connection that continues to get stronger with each passing week.
While there is very little to knock the offense on, the Wisconsin defense had a night to forget, particularly in the secondary. Martinez threw for 384 yards and two touchdowns, one of them being to Spielman, who absolutely torched the Badgers to the tune of 209 receiving yards on 9 receptions. Nebraska had 518 yards of total offense. However, we should give a shout out to T.J. Edwards, who contributed 2 sacks and tied fellow linebacker Ryan Connelly for a team-high 7 tackles.
In addition to its poor play, there were several ominous developments throughout the course of the game for Paul Chryst’s defense.
Safety Scott Nelson was ejected for targeting in the second half and will now be forced to sit out the first half of next weekend’s showdown with Michigan. Injuries also decimated the Wisconsin secondary tonight. Cornerback Deron Harrell, starting in place of injured starter Caesar Williams, left the game with a head injury and did not return. In addition, safeties D’Cota Dixon and reserve Eric Burrell both sustained injuries of an unknown severity late in the fourth quarter.
Overall, the Taylor and the Wisconsin rushing attack made up for the defense’s poor showing by controlling the clock and keeping Nebraska’s offense off the field, ensuring the Huskers would be unable to put up points quick enough to mount a comeback.
Wisconsin has no shortage of adjustments to make before facing Michigan next weekend at the Big House. The offense should be extremely proud of its performance tonight, but the defense, specifically that banged up and under-performing secondary, must be ready to step it up against the talented Wolverines.
All stats courtesy of ESPN.com