Instant analysis: Nebraska 30, Wisconsin 27
September, 29, 2012
By Mitch Sherman | ESPN.com
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska mounted a furious comeback, rallying from 10 down at halftime and 17 in the third quarter to beat Wisconsin 30-27 and avenge an ugly defeat last year.
Here are some quick thoughts:
It was over when: Nebraska stuffed Montee Ball and forced a fumble on fourth-and-1 from the Badgers’ 49-yard line with one minute to play. Wisconsin, with Danny O’Brien back in charge at quarterback in place of Joel Stave, mounted a final drive after blowing a 17-point lead, but it fell short after officials overturned a first-down spot on an O’Brien-to-Jordan Fredrick completion before Ball’s fumble.
Gameball goes to: Taylor Martinez. The junior QB had every reason to melt under the pressure, but responded by leading Nebraska on five scoring drives over six possessions from the second quarter into the fourth. Martinez contributed big runs and throws -- none more important than a 10-yard TD strike to Kyler Reed that brought the Huskers within three points.
Stat of the game: Wisconsin scored three touchdowns on the ground, runs of 2, 1 and 2 yards by Ball. Ball has scored seven touchdowns in two games against the Huskers over two years. More unusual, Nebraska had not allowed a rushing touchdown in four games before Saturday. When it mattered most, though, Ball was bottled up.
What it means: First, that Nebraska remains above water at the start of a treacherous stretch in which it plays at Ohio State, Northwestern and Michigan State and at home against Michigan over the next five weeks. For the Badgers, a third straight trip to the Rose Bowl looks like more of a long shot now than ever.
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
11:00 AM ET Nevada Louisiana-Lafayette 2:20 PM ET Utah State UTEP 3:30 PM ET 22 Utah Colorado State 5:45 PM ET Western Michigan Air Force 9:15 PM ET South Alabama Bowling Green
6:00 PM ET Marshall Northern Illinois 9:30 PM ET Navy San Diego State
12:00 PM ET Central Michigan Western Kentucky 8:00 PM ET Fresno State Rice
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State