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GAME NOTES: No. 15 Wisconsin 35, Nebraska 28

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The Badgers defense struggled for the first time all season, but Braelon Allen and the offense were there to bail them out.

Nebraska v Wisconsin Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

NOTABLE QUOTES

  • Graham Mertz on the team’s 1-3 start and how it has improved.

“There’s a special place when no one thinks you can do something, and people are throwing dirt on your name and your backs against the wall,” Mertz said. “I’d say the only things is the love that this team has for each other, the true love that we have for each other, I can’t even explain it.”

  • Stephan Bracey on what he thought as he broke his initial tackle on his 91-yard return touchdown.

“It was just keep my speed, increase my speed, don’t get caught,” Bracey said. “I know I’m fast enough, but you know, it was very exciting once I crossed the finish line, or should I say the touchdown, it was just a very exciting moment for me, seeing my hard work pay off in the best way.”

  • Collin Wilder on the challenge that Nebraska presented.

“It was a huge challenge, I mean we knew it was going to be a huge challenge coming in, I guess with Nebraska’s offensive staff not being there anymore, we didn’t know what Scott Frost had up his sleeves and obviously he is an offensive genius,” said Wilder. “We knew it was going to be a challenge today, we knew that we were going to have to adjust throughout the game, I’m proud of the guys in the way we adjusted, it wasn’t pretty, but we found a way to win the game and at the end of the day that’s what matters.”

“Nebraska’s record does not reflect the team that they have, and I will say that over and over, that team is so close to being undefeated. I’m proud of the way we responded tonight, it wasn’t a pretty win, but we found a way.”

  • Matt Henningsen on Braelon Allen.

“He’s a minor, can’t even buy a lottery ticket.”

  • Leo Chenal on the team’s resolve this season.

“It feels really good, fighting through adversity, being able to take the hits and continue pushing forward,” Chenal said. “It could have been easy for us to say screw it, we’re down right now, whatever, let’s just get through the season, a lot of guys, a lot of leaders stepped up and everybody followed them, saying like alright, we can do this, let’s run this and we built a lot of confidence over the last few weeks and we have to continue it for next week.”

  • Paul Chryst on the win, making jokes at his own expense.

“Certainly proud of the effort and resiliency and perseverance that our guys showed and I know a lot of what I say, I say a lot of... that’s not my fault,” Chryst said. “But it does take a lot of guys to win a game and once again, I think that this was a great example, a lot of contributors.”

  • Braelon Allen on getting to meet today’s honorary captain, Melvin Gordon.

“It surreal for me, growing up with him really being my idol, a guy that I looked up to, wanted to be like, it was just crazy for me to finally see him in person and shake his hand and everything, it was really cool,” Allen said.

Game Notes, courtesy of the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department

TEAM NOTES

Today’s captains: senior TE Jake Ferguson, senior CB Faion Hicks and senior ILB Jack Sanborn.

Today’s attendance: 67,888 (Editor’s note: yikes.)

  • Paul Chryst improved to 64-22 (.744) in his seventh season as Wisconsin’s head coach, ranking fourth on UW’s all-time wins list and the fourth coach in school history to win 60 games:

WINS AS WISCONSIN COACH, ALL-TIME

Coach (Years) Wins

1. Barry Alvarez (1990-2005)* 119

2. Bret Bielema (2006-12) 68

3. Phil King (1896-1902, ’05) 65

4. Paul Chryst (2015-present) 64

5. Milt Bruhn (1956-66) 52

* Also served as coach in two bowl games (2012, 2014)

Under Chryst, Wisconsin is:

6-0 (1.000) vs. Nebraska
32-7 (.821) vs. the Big Ten West Division
43-15 (.741) in Big Ten Conference play
20-4 (.833) in the month of November
36-8 (.818) at Camp Randall Stadium

  • UW won its seventh straight game, the team’s longest win streak since opening the 2019 season 12-0.
  • The Badgers have won six consecutive Big Ten games for the first time since posting a perfect 9-0 conference record in 2017.
  • Wisconsin won its eighth straight over Nebraska and improved to 7-0 vs. the Huskers since the introduction of the Freedom Trophy in 2014.
  • The Badgers are 9-1 vs. the Huskers since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011, including a 5-0 mark at Camp Randall Stadium.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Nebraska at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • The Badgers have won 25 of their last 28 games with a traveling trophy on the line vs. Iowa (Heartland Trophy), Minnesota (Paul Bunyan’s Axe) and Nebraska (Freedom Trophy).
  • With a pair of interceptions by senior S Collin Wilder, the Badgers have recorded 18 takeaways in their last five games, and 19 over the course of their seven-game win streak.
  • Nebraska’s first-quarter touchdown marked the first points allowed by the Badgers on an opponent’s opening possession this season.
  • Wisconsin rushed for at least 250 yards for the third straight game and sixth time this season.
  • UW did not turn the ball over for just the second time this season (also no turnovers vs. Iowa).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Sophomore QB Graham Mertz finished the game 12-of-18 for 145 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 152.7.
  • Freshman RB Braelon Allen carried 22 times for a career-high 228 yards and three touchdowns, surpassing the 100-yard mark for the seventh-straight game and posting his third multiple-touchdown game of the season.
  • With 1,062 yards this season, Allen became the No. 19 player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and joined Ron Dayne (1996), James White (2010) and Jonathan Taylor (2017) as the only players to do so as true freshmen.
  • Allen topped the 150-yard mark for the second consecutive game, and second time in his career.
  • Allen is the first Badger to rush for more than 200 yards since Jonathan Taylor ran for 222 yards in the 2019 home finale against Purdue (11/23/19).
  • The first UW freshman with seven consecutive 100-yard games, Allen’s streak marks the longest at UW since Jonathan Taylor opened the 2018 season with seven straight 100-yard games en route to winning the first of consecutive Doak Walker Awards:

CONSECUTIVE 100-YARD GAMES (UW)

Player Consec. Games Year

Brent Moss 11 1993

Melvin Gordon 10 2014

Ron Dayne 8 1998

Jonathan Taylor 7 2018

Braelon Allen 7 2021

  • Only Anthony Davis (10), Jonathan Taylor (10) and P.J. Hill (eight) have more 100-yard games as a freshman than Allen:

100-YD RUSHING GAMES, FRESHMEN (UW)

Player Games Year

Anthony Davis 10 2001

Jonathan Taylor 10 2017

P.J. Hill 8 2006

Ron Dayne 7 1996

Braelon Allen 7 2021

James White 5 2010

  • Allen is the seventh Wisconsin running back to log a 100-yard game vs. Nebraska.
  • Senior WR Kendric Pryor caught two passes for 45 yards, pulling in his third touchdown catch of the season, and the seventh of his career, on a 17-yard pass from Mertz in the third quarter.
  • Senior TE Jake Ferguson caught eight passes for a career-high 92 yards (his previous career-high for yards was 77 vs. Illinois on Oct. 19, 2019).
  • Ferguson has caught at least one pass in each of his 45 career games, a school record, and extending the nation’s second-longest active streak:

CONSEC. GAMES WITH RECEPTION, FBS (ACTIVE)

1. Justin Hall, Ball State (WR) *54

2. Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin (TE) *45

3. Emeka Emezie, NC State (WR) 42

4. JD Spielman, TCU (WR) *40

5. Jahan Dotson, Penn State (WR) 39

* Every game played in career

  • Ferguson’s 1,558 receiving yards place him No. 16 on UW’s career list, and third among tight ends all-time at Wisconsin:

CAREER RECEIVING YARDS, TIGHT ENDS (UW)

Rk. Player Years Yards

5. Travis Beckum 2006-08 2,149

13. Troy Fumagalli 2014-17 1,627

16. Jake Ferguson 2017-pres. 1,558

18. Garrett Graham 2006-09 1,492

21. Jacob Pedersen 2010-13 1,394

  • Junior ILB Leo Chenal led the Badgers with 11 tackles, his second consecutive double-digit tackle game and fourth of the season.
  • Senior S Collin Wilder put together his second multi-takeaway game of the season, picking off Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez twice, including a third-quarter INT that set up a UW touchdown. (Wilder had an interception and fumble recovery at Purdue on Oct. 23)
  • WIlder is the first Badger with multiple interceptions in a game since S Joe Ferguson had two picks at Indiana on Nov. 4, 2017.
  • Wilder now has three interceptions on the season and has accounted for four of Wisconsin’s 19 takeaways during their seven-game win streak
  • Sophomore WR Stephan Bracey returned the opening kickoff — his first touch of the season — for a touchdown covering 91 yards.
  • The touchdown, which came on the seventh return of Bracey’s career, was the first score of his career.
  • Bracey’s score marked the first kickoff return touchdown for Wisconsin since Aron Cruickshank’s 95-yard return TD vs. Oregon in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2020.
  • The score marked the first game-opening kickoff return TD for the Badgers since David Gilreath went 97 yards on the opening kickoff in UW’s 31-18 win over No. 1-ranked Ohio State on Oct. 16, 2010.