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Nebraska vs. Wisconsin Recap: The Huskers Fall to the Badgers 23-17 In Overtime

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It was a valiant effort and a controversial finish, but the Huskers cannot break through their Camp Randall curse.

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

First Quarter

Wisconsin won the toss and elected to defer. Tre Bryant kneeled the kickoff in the end zone and the Huskers got the ball at the 25. Both teams traded three-and-outs, with Marcus Newby knocking the ball out of Try Fumigalli’s hands to force the punt.

Nebraska’s second possession started with a nice return by De’Mornay Pierson-El out to the 29. Tommy had his second pass knocked down on second down. His third down scramble was short of the sticks and the Huskers punted again.

Nebraska’s terrible punt return defense showed up as Clement appeared to break 20 tackles to return the ball almost to midfield. Hornibrook dropped back to pass and immediately hit a 30 yard bomb to Fumigalli (Dedrick Young in coverage). On the next play Bradrick Shaw rumbled 21 yards for the Badger touchdown, with Young and Josh Banderas biting on the jet sweep fake. The kick was good.

Wisconsin 7 Nebraska 0

The Huskers started on the 25 after the Wisconsin touchback. Nebraska continued to try and open up the middle with both Newby (first two series) and now Ozigbo. On first down, Tanner Farmer went down after getting bent over backwards. He was carted off and Corey Whitaker came in at right guard. Tommy’s scramble netted four, bringing up third and four.

Armstrong’s pass to Reilly was complete, giving the Huskers their first first down. That pass put Tommy over 10,000 yards of total offense for his career. Two Ozigbo runs netted six. On third down, Tommy’s pass went over Reilly’s head and the Huskers punted. Lightbourn pinned the Badgers just inside the 10 yard line.

Banderas and Gerry limited the Badgers’ first two runs to 1 and 2 yards respectively and Hornibrooks third down pass fell incomplete as the Blackshirts forced a three-and-out. DPE fielded the punt and managed a short return. The Huskers took over at their 40-ish yard line.

Tommy launched a well-thrown deep ball for Reilly that was perfectly broken up by the Badger defensive back (Tindal). Tommy’s run on second down netted nine to bring up third and short. The outside run by Tommy converted the first down when he rolled over Terrell Newby and was not down until after he made the line to gain. The play was reviewed and upheld. Then “bad Tommy” made an appearance. He overthrew Moore and Wisconsin’s Sheldon reeled in the INT. The Badgers took over on their own 10 yard line.

The Husker rush defense held tough and the Huskers only gave up a completion to Fumigalli. Three and out Badgers. De’Mornay returned the ball past midfield to the Badger 42. A short run and incomplete pass brought up third and eight. Tommy rifled a pass to, who else, Jordan Westerkamp who took it down to the four yard line. First and goal Nebraska. Westy limped to the sideline and threw his helmet, obviously angry. He was shown after the commercial break getting his foot or ankle taped.

Second Quarter

Tommy’s run took it down to the one yard line. Ozigbo was stuffed for no gain on second down but rumbled in on the next play. TOUCHDOWN NEBRASKA! Drew Brown’s kick was good.

Nebraska 7 Wisconsin 7

The kickoff was a touchback and the Badgers started on their own 25. Wisconsin went to the air and went incomplete pass, loss of one, and incomplete pass. Three-and-out for the Blackshirts. DPE fair caught the ball at the Husker 40 yard line. Bart Houston was seen warming up on the Wisconsin sidelines.

Devine Ozigbo and then Tommy Armstrong both ran the ball to set up third and one. Tommy then looked like he was going to convert the first down easily but Wiscy’s linebackers closed fast and and Tommy went out of bounds barely past the marker, right at midfield.

Then disaster struck again when Armstrong’s pass was tipped up and intercepted by D’Cota Dixon.

The Badgers took over at the 50 with Bart Houston under center. On third and two, Paul Chryst called timeout. There was 9:02 left in the half. Houston hit Fumigalli for the first down (33 yard line). It was their first first down since the same point in the first quarter.

Chris Jones then dumped Clement after a six yard gain which was followed by a one yard Clement run up the middle. One third and two, Houston’s pass was nearly intercepted by Nate Gerry and forced the field goal attempt. The 44 yard kick was good.

Wisconsin 10 Nebraska 7

Trey Bryant ran the kickoff out of the end zone to the 19 yard line. Some really nifty running by Ozigbo and Newby (and nice blocking by Foster and the o-line) moved the ball quickly past midfield. The drive stalled at the 39 and Lightbourn kicked the coffin corner punt that was downed at the Badger three yard line.

It looked like the Huskers would stuff the Badger third down run but they broke it loose for a run out to the 20. Houston hen started carving up Lockdown U to move the ball to the 40. The d-line broke through and Stoltenberg sacked Houston. The Badgers gained the yardage back on a delayed handoff on second down. Before third and seven (with a little over a minute left in the half) Paul Chryst used a timeout.

Enter stage left one Carlos Davis with the big sack of Houston forcing the punt. The short punt took a nice Husker bounce and Nebraska took over at their 32 yard line with 52 seconds left in the half.

Tommy scrambled out of the pocket to hit Westerkamp on the sidelines for the first down. Armstrong was sacked on the next play (the holding penalty on Utter was declined) which gave back much of the yardage. Terrell Newby found some running room on the next play but the clock was allowed to expire.

Halftime

--Senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. accounted for 77 yards of total offense in the first half. He now has 10,066 yards of total offense in his Nebraska career and is the 11th player in Big Ten history with 10,000 career total offensive yards. Armstrong is 178 yards from passing Taylor Martinez for the Nebraska school record for total offense. Martinez had 10,233 yards of total offense from 2010 to 2013.

--Nebraska’s defense limited Wisconsin to 2-of-8 on third-down conversions in the first half. The Huskers entered the game ranked 23rd nationally in third-down defense at 32 percent. The Nebraska offense was 5-of-9 on third downs in the first half. The Huskers entered the game 12th nationally in 3rd down conversion percentage at 49 percent.

--Jordan Westerkamp caught two passes in the first half to increase his career total to 144 catches, moving him past Johnny Rodgers (143 receptions) into third place on the Husker career receptions list.

Third Quarter

Clement brought the ball out the 28 yard line. Fumigalli converted the first down (but he really did not but Riley did not challenge the spot). Hornibrook then took a hard hit as he let one fly that went over the heads of everyone.

A delayed handoff to Ogunbowale netted a first down. The Husker stuffed a run but then Hornibrook found Wheelwright for a first down as he was getting hit. He went back to Wheelwright on the next play for a short gain. After a stuffed run, the Blackshirts forced third and seven. Ogunbowale again raced past several Huskers for the first down. Carlos Davis had to be helped off the field after an injury timeout. The Badgers were inside the red zone with under 10 minutes to go in the third quarter.

Ogunbowale gained six on a run to the left followed by a two yard run up the middle. On third down and two yards, Hornibrook found Wheelwright for the wide open touchdown. Wisconsin was holding Ross Dzuris (an obvious one too) but it wasn’t called. Touchdown Badgers. The kick was good.

The drive took almost half of the third quarter.

Wisconsin 17 Nebraska 7

Tre Bryant ill-advisedly ran the kickoff out of the end zone and was stopped at the 14 yard line. Two Newby runs netted seven bringing up third and three at the 21 yard line. It looked like McNitt had caught the third down pass but it was (correctly) ruled incomplete. The Badgers incited a false start on the punt. Lightbourn’s kick went out of bounds at the 42 yard line. After the series, Armstrong went to the trainers to have some treatment on his back while ESPN’s cameras caught third-string quarterback Patrick O’Brien warming up on the sideline.

The Blackshirts forced a three-and-out. The punt was fielded by DPE who managed a short gain to the Husker 25.

A short gain by Newby was followed by offsides on the Badgers.

A zone read to Newby converted the first down at the 41. Tommy’s first down pass intended for Sam Cotton fell incomplete and an Armstrong keeper netted three. T.J. Watt was being shown going to locker room. On third and seven, Tommy found Brandon Reilly for the first down. Ozigbo gain one on first down followed by an incomplete pass (was it tipped?). On third and eight Armstrong hit DPE on the screen and #15 shaked and baked his way to a first down at the 32. Tommy overthrew Alonzo Moore in the end zone. One third and seven with 8 seconds left in the quarter, Tommy found Westerkamp along the sideline for the first down.

Jump Around.

Fourth Quarter

Fourth quarter mode. Activate.

Tommy kept the ball on first down and took it for another first. One first and goal, Ozigbo gained one and lost the ball trying to reach for the end zone (he was down before it came out). Tommy kept it on the next play - TOUCHDOWN NEBRASKA. Drew Brown’s kick was good.

Wisconsin 17 Nebraska 14

The kickoff came out to the 21 yard line.

Hornibrook rolled out to find Peavy for a nine yard gain on first down. Bradrick Shaw converted the first down with a gain of two.

The next play was a welcome sight for Husker fans at Nate Gerry picked off the pass and returned it to the 46 yard line. Wilbon’s carry went nowhere followed by an incomplete pass to Pierson-El. On third and 10 Wisconsin DB Shelton knocked down the pass and the Huskers couldn’t take advantage of the Badger turnover. The punt was downed at the 10 yard line.

Bart Houston entered the game at quarterback for the Badgers. Wisconsin kept the ball on the ground and the delayed handoff to Ogunbowale on second down went for a huge gain (like they had all night) and moved the ball past midfield.

Clement came back in and was brought down after two yards. The clock went under 10 minutes.

On the next play Houston bootlegged out to his left and Nate Gerry snagged his second INT of the game. Nebraska took over on their 30 yard line. Newby gashed the heart of the Badger defense for seven yards followed by two more. One third and one, the dive converted the first down.

Tommy ran for four yards followed by a pass to Stanley Morgan for the first down across midfield. The inside run did not fool any Badgers and it was stopped for no gain. Another completion to Stanley Morgan went for a big gain as he was brought down at the 21. Newby was stuffed on first down for no gain. The end-around to Westerkamp lost a yard. This Wisconsin defense closes fast. The third down run gained four to set up a 35 yard Drew Brown field goal which was GOOD!

Nebraska 17 Wisconsin 17

Houston came out to QB the Badgers starting at their 25. Clement took the ball and burned the Blackshirts for a huge gain to the Husker 36. The next play went for naught followed by a six yard gain. Ogunbowale was met at the line of scrimmage by Josh Banderas. The Badgers brought out Endicott for the 48 yard attempt. The ball went JUUUUUST wide left.

Nebraska 17 Wisconsin 17

Nebraska’s first down was a nine yard completion to Morgan. Morgan caught the second down pass as well but didn’t go out of bounds. The clock stopped for the first down. The pass to Cotton was incomplete, stopping the clock. The swing pass to Newby gained nothing bringing up third and 10 at midfield. Tommy overthrew Brandon Riley bringing up fourth and 10 with 16 seconds left. Lightbourn punted and it went into the end zone. The clock showed :08.

The Badgers took a knee and we get bonus football.

Overtime

The Huskers won the toss and elected to go on defense. Clement carried a couple times for a first down. With the ball on the 13, the Badgers went back to Clement for two and then they brought back Ogunbowale who rumbled in for a Badger touchdown. The extra point was NO GOOD!!!

Badgers 23 Huskers 17

Terrell Newby got stuffed on the first two runs, putting Nebraska in a third and eight setting up the controversial [no]call of the night. Tommy Armstrong threw towards Jordan Westerkamp, who was sent to the turf by T.J. Watt and the pass was nearly picked off.

On fourth down, Armstrong was pressured and threw short to Stanley Morgan in the end zone, with the ball falling harmlessly to the turf as Badger fans began to celebrate.

Husker fans will no doubt be complaining about the third down non-call all week long as Nebraska falls to 7-1 on the season.