Just about everybody in the Big Ten could take one look at No. 9 Wisconsin’s schedule and see that their most difficult road game of the year would happen on October 7th at Nebraska. For a half at least, the Cornhuskers helped live up to that early billing on Saturday night.
But slowly and surely, the Badgers’ fearsome rushing attack plowed over their opponents to run away with the game 38-17 and secure the pole position in the Big Ten West race with little resistance.
All told Paul Chryst’s team wound up with 353 yards on the ground, most of which were racked up by budding superstar tailback Jonathan Taylor (249 and two scores to finish the game). While you thought early on there might be a time where Alex Hornibrook — 113 yards, one TD, one pick — might have to win a close game with his arm, that was not the case as he handed off time after time down the stretch and let his backs do the rest of the work behind that big offensive line.
Not everything went smoothly for the Badgers in the game however, as the defense allowed their first points in the third quarter all season. They did at least balance that out with a first quarter pick-six from linebacker Chris Orr that went 78 yards the other way to the end zone.
That interception return was a bit of tone-setter for the night for Cornhuskers’ QB Tanner Lee, who finished with 262 yards and a touchdown pass as well but failed to get things for an offense that never seemed to click outside of a handful of big plays. Running back Devine Ozigbo added another 112 yards on the ground but there was just not much there on either side of the ball outside of a fun few minutes going into and coming out of halftime for a disappointing Nebraska team.
On a day where two top 10 teams suffered upsets at the hands of unranked opponents, there were a few moments where it looked like Wisconsin might be in position to join them as the Cornhuskers were threatening and Big Red was making plenty of noise. Calmly and coolly however, the Badgers just pulled away and ground out yet another victory to stay perfect on the year. While the schedule remains tricky the rest of the way, they did pass their biggest road test and look more and more like a potential undefeated team heading into Indianapolis for the conference title game given how they ran the football and played defense on Saturday night in Lincoln.