Huskers Stage Big Comeback to Beat Wisconsin

In a game that was reminiscient of the outing against Ohio State a year ago, the Huskers staged a big comeback to beat Wisconsin on homecoming night 30-27.  Taylor Martinez was maligned going into the game by Badger defensive end David Gilbert.  For a while, Gilbert seemed prophetic.  By the end of the game though, Martinez had made a number of big plays to lead his team to victory.

 

It was a familiar refrain for the Huskers in the first half.  Sloppy play that included turnovers allowed the Badgers to jump out to a 20-3 lead.  This included fumbles and key penalties.  Montee Ball wasn't running all over the field, but he did manage three touchdowns, including one that put Wisconsin up 27-10 early in the third quarter.

A heavy dose of rushing by Martinez, Ameer Abdullah and Rex Burkhead (particularly in the second half) allowed NU's offense to get on track.  The defense similarly dialed in, stuffing running plays behind the line and getting enough pressure on passers to keep U-Dub from scoring in the last 25 minutes of play. 

No Martinez didn't have a hyper-efficient or wildly productive passing day.  But he was solid enough to make some big throws, including two touchdown passes.  He rushed for 100 yards and a score.  Brett Maher bounced back from a long field goal miss to nail three clutch treys which ended up being the final margin. 

Early in the third quarter it seemed like the season, not just the game, might be slipping away.  Now, the Huskers remain in the hunt for a division title going into a touch matchup at Ohio State.  This game wasn't as easy as some predicted, but you won't hear head coach Bo Pelini complain about the outcome.  Another one to remember under the lights in Lincoln.

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Comments 21 comments so far

I’m in shock!

2nd best part of the game? No Mussburger or Buckeye Boy! (I wonder if he’s still miffed at LPD?)

GBR!

Bob

I just am never sure which Husker team is going to show up for each game. That inconsistency is disconcerting but I love the team that came out of the locker room after the half. God love those guys for reaching down deep and pulling character out. Hope they didn’t use all the gas up tonight. A little nitty gritty next week in are own version of winning the swing state. Enunwa got robbed big time!!

Wisconsin reminded me of the huskers last year, inconsistent, uninspired play. The predictable coaching and lack of adjustments doomed the Badgers. We should be happy about this win, but I am happer with the fact that it was not Nebraska who gave this game away and all facets of the team earned this with the second half efforts.

Was it that abdula ( I know mispelled)  had more playing time.than rex bc of wisc def line or that Rex had rough start? Abdullah obviously our future. This only game is rather see him than Rex play

Husker Haiku

Huskers’ Lesson Learned:
Best to beat the other team
Rather than yourselves.

I don’t know. I’d say last night’s comeback was more implausible than last season against the Buckeyes. Once Miller was hurt, Martinez and David just took over and made it a bum rush.
The whole of the Badgers saw this, even at the end, the backup QB was the starter, just a week ago.
Key parts of the team won this, right when it looked like it would be a defensive breakdown and mistakes by the offense, too big to overcome. Plus, a huge break when the ball nicely rolled from Abdullah to T-Magic.
It was the linemen on both sides, who made the difference. They met Wisky, pounded and prevailed. I don’t put that fumble by Martinez, on them. Taylor should’ve recognized the pressure on the weak side. Maybe, next time.
This team is flawed, but, so were all Nebraska teams, that didn’t win a title. You can say though, that this team does have a really good run game. A strong run game. With the best passing component since ‘08 and their 5th year QB and receivers. I think you can also say the defense made a breakthrough, struggling with Pelini’s complicated D. They got coached up at half time and had the game experience to make the adjustments. Next week, if healthy, Miller’s going to be a handful.
Oh, the Badgers D admitted that, yeah, Nebraska’s fast, obviously.

Forgot.
I liked Wisky’s unis better. Espicially the helmets. The black helmet doesn’t work. I’d rather see a big, honkin’ N, which, actually Nebraska once had in the ‘60’s, like their W last night, than that black helmet. Ug.
White and red, period.

I loved the camera shot of Montee Ball when he saw Whaley coming at him on the last Wisconsin play where he lost concentration and fumbled.

Loved this win, but does anyone else think burkhead deserved maore carries?  Abdullah handled the load fantastically,  it burkhead could have made every run he did and has worked his tail off for 4 years to get to this point in his career.  I hope they had a good reason behind his low number of carries.  Love this win though!

GBR

@HUSKER MATT - When watching Abdullah run, I felt as though he was one step away from breaking the big one.  I hope he gets his (and soon).  I think that’s why the coaches kept him in.  I don’t think Rex cares where he sits on the IB rotation (yes, rotation and not depth chart; all of the backs are capable) as long as he gets a chance to contribute (and he did with that great stiff-arm run). 

The uniforms may be a one-time deal, but I sure did love seeing those black towels being waved around.  I hope that stays.

I agree with OldSalt… Enunwa got robbed.  I thought the ground could not cause a fumble in college football.  Great character to come back but would rather see better handling and domination from the get go.  This could have and should have been an easier win.  OSU will be a different test with a mobile QB, but the defensive effort of the second half gives me hope going into Ohio.  Go Big Red!

@WyHuskerFan
You’re right the ground can’t cause a fumble but the ground can cause an incompletion. Unfortunately I think it was the right call.  I was really encouraged by the defense in the second half they started to really fly around and make plays.  I hope they can do the same thing next week or it could be a long game.

RE: Beck and predictability, how about that Cotton catch?

First, Enunwa is about to get his due. Huge potential. Instead of hoping a WR goes down when getting piled on for fear of a strip I am just waiting for Enunwa to pull a Tommie and rip away from everyone.

Second, bravo on winning the halftime coaching adjustments for once. Grain of salt though, won that battle against a very raw group of new coaches…

Third, great resiliency. Grain of salt, Bo did appear to be losing it as the cameras were spending more time on him screaming at the side judge. He needs to show the supposed feeling they were going to come back he mentioned after the game.

How many wanted to puke when Gilbert got to TM and the strip as predicted? That would have been hard to live with had we lost. Hoping to find some video of Gilbert after the game. Anyone?

Can someone please explain the Enunwa no-catch to me?  I’ve been told that the ruling is different in NCAA then NFL.  What rule is different and why would that make this not a catch?  Just trying to understand.

I cant find video to look at it again, but from what I saw live and on the one replay at the game, it looked like Enuwa may have caught the ball, but you couldnt tell, but I dont think it was a catch.

If you are going to the ground while making a catch, you have to maintain possession the whole time, and if you come down and hit the ground and lose possession, it is an incomplete pass. If he had established possession by taking a step or two and was reaching forward to the goal line, then the ground cannot cause a fumble by reaching forward.

In this case I dont think he had established complete possession before reaching the ball forward, and when his arm hit the ground he lost it. He did not really take any steps, it was more of in the act of trying to make the catch he reached the ball forward he hit the ground and lost it, not maintaining it to the ground

It looked like Enunwa had the ball actually tucked in his hand/forearm in a controlled (and fundamentally sound) fashion. The ball was DEFINITELY secure, but he made the mistake of trying to stretch out for the goal line as he fell to the ground, giving the refs the opportunity to make a bad call.

Blown call on Enunwa’s catch…that’s all, move on.  Look at the video again and you’ll see his rear is on the ground just after the catch is made, with possesion.  The more egregious one, which thankfully was overturned, was the spot on the third down run.  It was pretty funny when they did overturn the call, and had the camera on Bo and the Ref that blew the spot, when the reversal came down, Bo was in his ear saying ” I told you so!”.  Classic!

@Greg - I loved the black helmets. That was my favorite part of the entire uniform.

As a whole, I loved our uniforms for this game. I thought they blew Wisconsin’s uni’s out of the water. I thought it looked like Wisconsin had high school uniforms on with that silly oversized W on the side. The black helmet is intimidating. I didn’t think I would like the glossy finish but it was perfect.

On the game itself: like the players said pregame, we can only beat ourselves. Once they stopped turning the ball over, blowing coverages and committing penalties the Huskers dominated this game. Hands down Nebraska was the better team, they just had to settle in. Let’s hope for a fast start next week at Ohio State!

Actually, Nebraska’s unis reminded me of a HS team, too. The Lincoln High Links.
For a tradition like Nebraska’s, it’s a wholly contrived look.
Now, black and white, like the Lincoln Northeast Rockets, looks better than red and black.
At the moment, I’m not going to worry about what the Corn’s future unis look like. When the time comes.
Btw, from ‘67-69, Nebraska sported a huge NU, on their helmets. Took up the whole side.

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