Nebraska vs. Wisconsin Recap

By johnarnost
Oct. 31, 2016

Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

10/29/2016 -- FINAL SCORE/OT: UW 23 NEB 17

In a game in which neither team could afford a loss, it was the Badgers who prevailed in a hard fought overtime game in Madison, WI. Nebraska still controls their own destiny in the B1G West, however, the loss against the Badgers puts them in a must-win scenario next week as they travel to Columbus to take on (currently) no. 6 OSU. A hard task to accomplish against an OSU team that has lost just five games total with Urban Meyer at the helm. 

Recap by quarter:

1st quarter: Both defenses came out to a hot start with each offense going three-and-out to start the game. The play of the quarter was Corey Clement's 24 yard punt return that gave the Badgers great field position in which they scored two plays later on a 21 yard Bradrick Shaw touchdown run.

2nd quarter: Nebraska scored to tie the game 7-7 on the third play of the quarter on a 1 yard Devine Ozigbo run. With Wisconsin's offense struggling mightily (only gaining 11 yards on the three drives following the touchdown), it was up to the Badgers defense to make a play. The play of the quarter would be D'Cota Dixon's interception off an Alec James deflection that would again set Wisconsin up with great field position. They would eventually kick a 44 yard field goal, and the half would end with Wisconsin up 10-7

3rd quarter: Coming out of halftime, Wisconsin lead a beautiful drive capped off by a 9 yard touchdown pass from Alex Hornibrook to Robert Wheelwright. However, the play(s) of the quarter would be the Wisconsin defense's inability to get Nebraska off the field on third down. At the end of the quarter the Badgers would still lead 17-7, but the Huskers would convert three third downs on a drive that would eventually score in the beginning of the fourth quarter. 

4th quarter: In an eventful fourth quarter, the Badgers nearly cost themselves the game, twice. The plays of the quarter would be both of the Badgers quarterbacks tossing interceptions to Nebraska safety Nathan Gerry. Both throws should never have been made with Hornibrook throwing into triple coverage, and Houston throwing into double coverage. Thankfully the Badgers defense held strong and only allowed three points off of the turnovers. Regulation would end with the teams tied at 17.

Overtime: Nebraska won the toss and chose to go on defense first. Wisconsin ran the football four straight times ending in an 11 yard run by Dare Ogunbawale. Endicott however, would miss the PAT giving the Badgers just a six point lead instead of seven. Again, leaving the door open for Nebraska to win. The Huskers would only gain 2 yards on four plays. The most important play being D'Cota Dixon's pass break-up in the endzone on fourth down sealing the Badgers victory 23-17.

During the game on Saturday night, Nebraska squandered several opportunities against a Wisconsin team that could not figure out how to close the door against the Huskers. Tommy Armstrong had a typical Tommy performance through the air against a team he continues to struggle against going just 12-31 for 153 yards and 2 interceptions. Not to mention the five passes that were deflected at, or near the line of scrimmage. He did manage 39 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Though Armstrong's stat line was less-than-stellar, Wisconsin's quarterbacks put on mediocre displays of their own going just a combined 14-23 for 114 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 (awful) interceptions. Aside from the first drive of the third quarter, without a short field the Badgers could hardly manage any yards on offense. The defense continues to be elite, and the offense continues to be predicable for the Badgers who for so long could run the football with their eyes shut.

It doesn't get any easier next week for this Badgers team who travels to Evanston to take on a (4-4) Northwestern team that is as hot as any team in the country right now, and took the Buckeyes to the wire this week in Columbus. Keep in mind that Wisconsin has not won in Evanston since 1999; Ron Dayne was a senior that year. 

Kickoff is at 11 am on ABC.