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FULL RECAP: No. 14 Wisconsin shucks Nebraska, 37-21

Wisconsin is now 6-0 all time in Freedom Trophy games.

@B5QPhotos; Matt Fleming

The No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers (8-2 overall, 5-2 B1G) shucked the Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-6 overall, 2-5 B1G) on Saturday afternoon, 37-21 behind a historic day from Jonathan Taylor.

Early on the Badgers and Cornhuskers played a back-and-fourth game, with the Cornhuskers striking first, following a Wisconsin misstep.

A Taylor fumble, which came off of a one-handed catch, led to a 6-play, 63-yard scoring drive for Nebraska, which was capped off by a direct snap to Dedrick Mills, who took it in from 12 yards out.

Mills finished the game was 17 carries for 188 yards, to go along with his touchdown.

However, Nebraska did not have the lead for long, as Aron Cruickshank returned the following kick-off 89-yards to even up the score.

Entering the game, Cruickshank was 25th in the NCAA, with an average of 24.42 yards per return.

This was the first time Wisconsin has returned a kick for a score, since Natrell Jamerson did so on a 98-yard return against Maryland in 2015.

Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez re-gained the lead for Nebraska, following a Collin Larsh 31-yard field goal. Martinez took a quarterback keeper in from two yards out, to cap off a 5 plays, 73-yard drive.

Wisconsin then went on a 24-0 run.

Jack Coan hit A.J. Taylor in stride and Taylor did the rest, going 55 yards for the score, his second of the season.

Coan finished the game 13-21 for 162 yards and the one passing touchdown and distributed the ball to seven different receivers, while A.J. Taylor led the team in receiving with two receptions for 65 yards.

@B5QPhotos; Matt Fleming

Wisconsin’s defense then gave the offense a short field, as Chris Orr broke up the Martinez pass and the ball found its way into Jack Sanborn’s hands. Sanborn then returned the interception to the Nebraska 21-yard-line.

This was Sanborn’s second interception of the season.

Three plays later, Jonathan Taylor scored his sixteenth rushing touchdown of the season.

Right before halftime, Larsh kicked his second field goal of the day, this time from 24 yards.

Nebraska was driving down the field on its opening drive of the second half, when Zack Baun sacked Martinez for a 20-yard loss.

That was Baun’s second sack of the game. Earlier in the game, Orr and Baun each recorded sacks on back-to-back plays.

Provided Baun is able to record at-least half of a sack through the rest of the season, Wisconsin will have two players with double-digit sacks in a single season for the second time in program history.

Orr currently has 10 sacks and Baun currently has 9.5 on the season.

The sack was too much to overcome and Nebraska was unable to connect on a Ben Pickering 41-yard field goal.

On the ensuing drive, Taylor scored his second rushing touchdown of the game and 21st overall (17 rush, four receiving), on an 11-yard rush.

Martinez and company, ended Wisconsin 24-point swing, late in the third quarter when Martinez found JD Spielman wide open in the end zone, for a 23-yard score.

Spielman, who recorded 209 receiving yards against Wisconsin in 2018, was held to a modest 71 yards, on four receptions.

In the fourth quarter, Taylor passed Herschel Walker to become the NCAA All-Time leading rusher, through a junior season. Walker’s record of 5,596 was broken on a four-yard rush.

However, that was not all that Taylor did during the game.

@B5QPhotos; Matt Fleming

Taylor finished with 25 carries for 204 yards and two touchdowns. In the effort, Taylor passed Archie Griffin (5,589), to become the B1G second all-time leading rusher. He now only trails Ron Dayne, who has 7,125 career rushing yards.

Taylor now has 5,634 career rushing yards.

This was also Taylor’s 30th career game with 100-plus rushing yards and only trails Dayne (33) in school history. This was also Taylor eleventh 200-plus yard rushing performance, which tied Dayne, Ricky Williams and Marcus Allen for the most in FBS history.

Speaking of 200-yard rushing performances, Taylor also became the only player in Wisconsin history to rush for 200-plus against the same opponent three times.

Later in the drive, Larsh added his third field goal of the game, this one coming from 30 yards out.

Wisconsin stopped Nebraska on fourth-and-goal with a 2:11 remaining, ending a 12-play, 74-yard drive and the Cornhuskers hopes of winning.

This was the third time in the game that Wisconsin thwarted Nebraska on fourth down. Wisconsin also held Nebraska to 6-12 on third down conversions.

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Even though Wisconsin won the game, Nebraska was able to out-gain Wisconsin, with 493 total yards, compared to Wisconsin’s 482.

The same happened when the two met in 2018 when Wisconsin won 41-24, with Nebraska out-gaining 533-518.

With the win, Wisconsin improved to an 8-1 record against Nebraska, since the Cornhuskers joined the B1G and 6-0 in games where the Freedom Trophy is up for grabs.