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Wisconsin Badgers Game Day: Nebraska

Eric Francis
Game Day Vitals:
  • Nebraska Cornhuskers (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten/Legends) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (7-5, 4-4 Big Ten/Leaders)
  • Location: Lucas Oil Stadium (70,000), Indianapolis; Sat, Dec. 1, 7:17 p.m. CT
  • TV: FOX
  • All-Time Series: Nebraska leads, 4-3
  • Last Meeting: Nebraska won, 30-27 (Sept. 29, 2012, in Lincoln)
  • Tickets: Wisconsin Badgers Tickets

Opponent Vitals:


Key Players:

LEADING PASSER QB Taylor Martinez (Jr.) 63.3% comp, 2,483 yards, 21 TD, 8 INT
LEADING RUSHERS RB Ameer Abdullah (So.)
QB Taylor Martinez (Jr.)
RB Rex Burkhead (Sr.)
214 car, 1,071 yards (5.0 YPC), 8 TD
156 car, 833 yards (5.3 YPC), 8 TD
63 car, 474 yards (7.5 YPC), 4 TD
WR Quincy Enunwa (Jr.)
WR Jamal Turner (So.)
TE Kyler Reed (Sr.)
44 rec, 789 yards (17.9 YPC), 8 TD
35 rec, 408 yards (11.7 YPC), 1 TD
24 rec, 332 yards (13.8 YPC), 2 TD
21 rec, 325 yards (15.5 YPC), 2 TD
LEADING TACKLER LB Will Compton (Sr.) 98 tackles (6 for loss-28 yards), 3.0 sacks, 3 FR
LEADING SACKER DE Eric Martin (Sr.) 8.5 sacks (47 yards), 51 tackles (16 for loss-57 yards), 2 FF
LEADING INTERCEPTER S Daimion Stafford (Sr.) 4 interceptions (28 yards), 83 tackles (3 for loss-19 yards), 2 FF

2012 Schedule/Results:
  • Last week: W 13-7 at Iowa. The Huskers collected their 10th win in a game that featured two entirely scoreless quarters and only 463 yards of offense between the two teams. Nebraska rushed for 200 yards as four players rushed for at least 41 yards each, while Martinez finished 8-of-14 with 63 yards. Defensively, the Huskers forced two turnovers (though the offense eliminated that advantage with two of its own) and held the Hawkeyes to 92 yards passing and 108 rushing.
  • Biggest win: Week 5 vs. Wisconsin, 30-27. This has to be the one, right? Imagine if Wisconsin had held onto that 17-point lead and entered this Big Ten Championship Game with not only the advantage of playing on this state last year, but also a win over their opponent? Granted, Michigan State proved last year that doesn't completely matter, but its incredible/aggravating/exhausting to imagine how Wisconsin's season might've transpired had it not squandered the Big Ten opener. Martinez led the Huskers on four consecutive scoring drives while the Badgers were left gassed and wondering what happened. Joel Stave was mediocre, throwing for 214 yards and a touchdown but also completing only 12 of 23 passes. He got hurt -- or "pulled" for two-minute guy Danny O'Brien, whichever you prefer -- late in the game, and while O'Brien completed three of his four passes on that last drive, he was unable to give the Badgers the win. Martinez, as you'd expect, was everything for Nebraska: 17-of-29 passing for 181 yards and two touchdowns, 13 carries for 107 rushing yards and one touchdown.
  • Biggest loss: Week 2 at UCLA, 36-30. There are only two to pick from, and I was tempted to go with the 63-38 drubbing at Ohio State that came the week after the Wisconsin game. But the Buckeyes beat everyone this year, and it's intriguing to consider where the Huskers would stand with a perfect non-conference record. In this, a tie-breaking safety on Martinez boosted the Bruins in the fourth quarter. Martinez joined Abdullah with 100-plus yards rushing, though he was just 17-of-31 passing with 179 yards passing and one interception.
  • Outlook: So many people have Nebraska headed to the Rose Bowl that it'd be interesting (and satisfying, of course) to hear how Huskers fans would characterize this season if that doesn't happen. A win over the Badgers gets them there, and a Rose Bowl season two years into its Big Ten membership ain't too bad. The opposite? A Capital One Bowl-ish conclusion to the season, and in the "big picture," not a whole lot of overall improvement from 2011.
Sat, Sept. 1 Southern Miss W 49-20 1-0
Sat, Sept. 8 @UCLA L 36-30 1-1
Sat, Sept. 15 Arkansas St. W 42-13 2-1
Sat, Sept. 22 Idaho St. W 73-7 3-1
Sat, Sept. 29 Wisconsin W 30-27 4-1 (1-0)
Sat, Oct. 6 @#12 Ohio St. L 63-38 4-2 (1-1)
Sat, Oct. 20 @Northwestern W 29-28 5-2 (2-1)
Sat, Oct. 27 #22 Michigan W 23-9 6-2 (3-1)
Sat, Nov. 3 @Michigan St. W 28-24 7-2 (4-1)
Sat, Nov. 10 Penn St. W 32-23 8-2 (5-1)
Sat, Nov. 17 Minnesota W 38-14 9-2 (6-1)
Fri, Nov. 23 @Iowa W 13-7 10-2 (7-1)
Sat, Dec. 1 Wisconsin* 7:17 p.m. CT

* Game to be played on neutral field at Lucas Oil Stadium.