The Huskers took the opening kickoff and raced into the Wisconsin red zone before a huge momentum swing. It was the first time Nebraska lost a game against a MAC opponent, and it included two pick-sixes thrown by Tanner Lee in a putrid display of offense.
To start the second half, Wisconsin was tasked with continuing their winning brand of football.
What’s most perplexing is how Wisconsin manhandled this Nebraska team. The team was honored on the field during the Huskers’ matchup against the Wisconsin Badgers. Drew Brown capped it with a 32-yard field goal as time expired to keep the Huskers within one score going into the locker room.
Not to be outdone, Wisconsin’s defense stymied a Nebraska running game that had been effective in the first half. Following the longest touchdown it’s allowed all season, Wisconsin needed another big play. Nebraska trails 10-7.
For the Badgers, Tionna Williams led her squad in both kills (17) and blocks (three), and also hit.696; Lauryn Gillis had 16 kills and a solo block, and Kelli Bates had a match-high 14 digs to go with seven kills.
But the Huskers weren’t done yet.
Nebraska, however, finished the half with a key scoring drive.
The two teams exchanged unproductive drives to start the third quarter, before a 57-yard punt by Caleb Lightbourn pinned the Badgers at their own 12 with 11:28 left in the period.
Wisconsin was able to quiet the crowd temporarily with a Chris Orr touchdown on an interception return on Nebraska’s first possession, but the house was brought down in the third quarter when the Cornhuskers returned the favor with a pick-six of Alex Hornibrook to tie the score at 17.
The blackout at Memorial Stadium had all the elements created to make it appear to be a special night for Husker football.
Then of course there’s true freshman Jonathan Taylor who has surprised many this season.
Nebraska’s run defense: The Badgers didn’t attempt a pass over the final 19:56 because they were having no trouble moving the ball on the ground.
Safety Antonio Reed hurt his knee, and Riley said he’s questionable, leaning towards doubtful heading into Saturday’s game against the Buckeyes. Hornibrook found Quintez Cephus for a 31-yard gain to get the Badgers into scoring position.
After seeing an opportunity to potentially change the course of its 2017 season fly out of Memorial Stadium in Saturday night’s 38-17 loss to Wisconsin, Nebraska once again faces a critical juncture as it enters this week of practice.
Despite trailing on the scoreboard, Nebraska went to the fourth quarter with a 364-341 edge in total yards. Taylor rattled off runs of 7, 15 and 10 yards to flip the field. The Badgers offense continues to click and averages a little over 37 points a game.
Time and again, Johnathan Taylor and Wisconsin’s cadre of tailbacks took the ball and pounded into the line, wearing down Nebraska’s defense. Dare Ogunbowale had 100-yard games the last two years against Nebraska. Tanner Lee is completing 54 percent of his passes for 1,406 yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. But Lee worked with what he had, connecting with JD Spielman on multiple third downs for six catches and a career-high 79 yards.
Now Lee is back to pass and he finds Stanley Morgan.