It was a cold kickoff--26 degrees, but the Huskers started hot. That did not last as the Big Red fumbled again and again, couldn't complete very many passes and saw the defense shredded by the dreaded jet sweep. They gave up over 400 yards rushing to Melvin Gordon IN 3 QUARTERS. Ameer Abdullah was valiant in effort, but clearly not himself.
Here is your postgame reaction thread. This sucked and it was embarrassing. However, we still have site rules. Avoid name calling and personal attacks and don't feed trolls.
Nebraska won the toss and deferred. The Badgers took the opening kick and Jonathan Rose rocked the returner. 2 plays later Greg McMullen forced a fumble recovered by Zaire Anderson on the Badger 29. After one first down, the drive stalled and Drew Brown connected on a 32 yard field goal. Huskers up 3-0. After a 3 and out, a bouncing punt was fumbled by the Huskers and recovered by Wisconsin. Replay showed it had hit a Badger first and Nebraska was in business at the Badger 43. After a false start penalty, some nice gains by Tommy Armstrong and Ameer Abdullah got the ball down to the 12. Tommy threw--touchdown Kenny Bell. Kenny passed Johnny the Jet Rodgers for career receiving yards and Nebraska led 10-0. Wisconsin responded and behind a Melvin Gordon 46 yard run got down into the red zone. After a Tanner McEvoy fumble was recovered by the Badgers, they had first and goal. The Blackshirts held and forced a field goal. 10-3 Huskers. This was followed by a Husker 3 and out. On the ensuing drive, Wisconsin fumbled again recovered by Zaire Anderson. The Huskers drove down to the 6.
With first and goal, Tommy kept the ball on a designed run and run in untouched behind some great blocking by the receivers. Huskers up 17-3. Joel Stave completed an 11 yard pass on 3rd down and took a hard shot. Wisconsin called a timeout to check on him. The very next play Gordon took it to the house in a tremendous 62 yard run. Huskers 17 Badgers 10. Shortly after, Nate Gerry forced a Gordon fumble. In the offensive possession Abdullah came off the field looking tender and Imani Cross carried the ball a couple times. Then, on his first carry of the game, Terrell Newby fumbled. The Badgers drove down the field and a score by Clement tied the game at 17. Clement was hurt on the play. Ameer came back in but the Huskers still had a 3 and out. After a good punt by Foltz, the Badgers rode Melvin Gordon back down the field. Nate Gerry earned his scholarship as he was having to run Gordon down all over the place. A short pass by Stave resulted in a touchdown on 3rd and goal. Badgers took their first lead 24-17 with just under 4 minutes remaining. The Huskers went 3 and out or so it seemed. Foltz ran the fake to perfection and gained the first down. A stupid unsportsmanlike penalty did not negate the first down but pushed the Huskers back. A couple of sacks and couple of defensive penalties were traded and the Huskers went nowhere. Tommy was 1 of 10 passing in the first half. The Huskers gave up 238 yards of offense in the 2ND QUARTER.
Halftime: Badgers Lead 24-17
The first possession opened with a false start penalty (this one on the tight end rather than the line). At 3rd and 13, Ameer converted the first down on a screen pass. On the very next play, Tommy threw an interception. Ughh. The Blackshirts forced a three and out with a sack by Collins. It was fortunate the line got the pressure because the Badgers had a receiver running wide open. De'Mornay Pierson-El fielded the punt at the 50 and then stepped out at the 38. He got hit late out of bounds, but it was not called. On the first play Ameer fumbled and Wisconsin recovered on their own 42. Two plays later Gordon took a jet sweep down to the 1. Gerry again was the one who chased him down. Gordon had 293 on the ground and made it 294 on the next play. Badgers up 31-17 with 8 minutes left in the 3rd. On the first offensive play Ameer fumbled again, recovered by Wisconsin on their own 27. Replay overturned the fumble and the Huskers kept the ball. Between the fumbles and troubles in pass protection looked like Ameer's knee was bothering him more than anyone expected. The refs spotted the ball 5 yards too far down field and gave the Huskers 2nd and 1. Two consecutive runs for loss forced a punt. The offensive line and tight ends were having a lot of trouble picking up the Badger blitz. The first play for Wisconsin Gordon carried for 66 yards and was AGAIN chased down by Nate Gerry short of the goal line. It was all for naught as Gordon took it in for 7 the next play. Badgers 38-Huskers 17. Gordon was up to 369 rush yards. After a short Husker possession, the Badgers ran effortlessly down the field. /Wisconsin scored again. 45-17 Badgers with a minute left in the 3rd quarter. On the next series.../Nebraska fumbled again. Sigh. The quarter ended on a Melvin Gordon run for a touchdown. Badgers up 52-17. Even worse, Randy Gregory went down with a knee injury. Gordon was up to 408 yards rushing--an NCAA record.
On the Huskers first possession, there was a completed pass, but it was short of the first down--another Husker 3 and out. The snow started to fall heavily, which matched the mood of Husker fans. Corey Clement took over for Gordon in the 4th and the Huskers forced a 3 and out. A poor punt (24 yards) gave the Huskers good field position. A short gain followed by two fumbles, the first recovered by the Huskers and the second by the Badgers gave them the ball at midfield. The Badger's 3rd running back, Dare Ogunbowale, ran in chunks and added insult to injury with another touchdown with 4 minutes left. Badgers 59 Huskers 17. There was another fruitless Husker possession ending in a 70 yard net punt by Foltz that died at the one yard line. A fumble by Wisconsin was recovered by the Huskers on the five. Ryker Fyfe handed off to Newby for a quick touchdown. Badgers 59 Huskers 24.
Well, I guess Husker fans won't be surprised by our drop in the polls this week. The annual embarrassment on the big stage probably puts any chances of going to Indy out of the equation. Now, this team needs to pull together and regroup before facing a solid Minnesota squad at home next week.