Huskers Wilt Down the Stretch
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Huskers Wilt Down the Stretch, Fall to Wisconsin 38-17

October 08, 2017

No. 8 Wisconsin (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) bullied its way to a 38-17 victory over Nebraska (3-3, 2-1 Big Ten) on the back of freshman tailback Jonathan Taylor.

On a day when the Huskers honored the 1997 national championship winning team, it was Wisconsin, led by 249 yards and two scores from Taylor, that stole the show and snapped a 20-game home winning streak for the Huskers during night games.

The day started eerily similar to a Sep. 16 home loss to Northern Illinois, with the Huskers moving the ball well on their opening drive of the game and taking it deep into Wisconsin territory before quarterback Tanner Lee was picked off by cornerback Chris Orr and returned 78 yards for a touchdown.

The Nebraska offense moved the ball well all game long – the Huskers had over 300 yards at the halftime break – but was never able to finish. Eight of the Huskers’ 12 drives in the game ended in Wisconsin territory but the Nebraska offense produced just 10 points.

The Blackshirts, led by stellar games from safeties Aaron Williams and Joshua Kalu and energized by a blacked out Memorial Stadium, were good enough until the Badgers’ bruising style of play just wore the front line down as the game dragged on. The Wisconsin offense ran over 60 plays and controlled the time-of-possession battle 36:41 to 23:19.

The Badgers scored on two of their final three possessions, drives that consumed 10 plays and over five minutes of clock apiece.

Taylor became just the 14th Nebraska opponent in program history to gain over 200 yards on the ground and the Wisconsin ground game as a whole produced at a 7.2 yards-per-carry clip on 49 carries.

Wisconsin should have theoretically had more opportunities to score, but consistently suffered silly mistakes resulting in penalties. The Badgers were flagged eight times for 78 yards (and could have been called for two or three more penalties) on the day.

Wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. topped 100 yards for the third time this season with 114 yards on four catches, including an 80-yard touchdown that tied the game in the second quarter. Running back Devine Ozigbo set a new career-high for rushing yards with 112 yards on 23 carries. With his third-straight 100-yard outing, Ozigbo became the first Nebraska tailback with such a stretch since Ameer Abdullah did it in 2014.

The Huskers will now turn their attention to an Ohio State (5-1, 3-0 Big Ten) squad that held Maryland under 100 yards of total offense in a 62-14 victory Saturday. The Buckeyes will meet Nebraska in Lincoln on Oct. 14.

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