If you wondered whether Nebraska’s start to the 2018 season was historic, the answer is a resounding “yep.”
First, though, the in-game particulars.
Nebraska entered Saturday night’s game against No. 16 Wisconsin in Madison as a three-touchdown underdog. They exited it covering the spread but still coming out on the wrong end of a 41-24 score, extending its school-record losing streak to nine in a row.
For the Blackshirts, they had no answer for Jonathan Taylor, who ran for a game-high 221 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries. It was the second time the sophomore had rushed for 200-plus yards this season, and the fifth time in his career.
All told, the Badgers averaged 7.7 yards per attempt in rushing for 370 yards as a team.
In a losing effort, true freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez — mark it down: he’s going to single-handedly win a game for the Cornhuskers this season — passed for a career-high 384 yards. It was Martinez’s second straight 300-yard passing performance.
JD Spielman caught nine of Martinez’s 24 completions for 209 yards.
With the loss, the Cornhuskers fell to 0-5 on the season. It matches their worst record through five games since 1945; a loss to Northwestern next weekend would, at 0-6, be the worst start in the 129-year history of the storied program.
While there’s still a lot of football left to be played, the Cornhuskers will very likely be underdogs in all but one of their last eight games — they play FCS Bethune-Cookman Oct. 27 — and could very well surpass the 1957 team for the worst record in school history. That squad finished 1-9, beating Kansas State in its third game before reeling off seven straight losses to close out the year.
Nebraska’s remaining schedule, outside of the FCS game that was spawned by the canceled season opener, that could send them to a program?
- at Northwestern — 2-3, but coming off an upset of No. 20 Michigan State
- Minnesota — 3-2, losers of two straight
- at third-ranked and unbeaten Ohio State
- Illinois — 3-2, coming off first Big Ten win since 2015
- Michigan State — 3-2, could be back in rankings come mid-November
- at Iowa — 4-1, could be ranked come regular-season finale