LINCOLN, Neb. — No. 14 Wisconsin earned its seventh straight win over Nebraska with a 37-21 win at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Offense: Jonathan Taylor
His longest run was just 19 yards, but the junior found enough room to run for 204 yards and two touchdowns. It was the third time he’s put up at least 200 yards on Nebraska — the first time a Wisconsin back had done that against any opponent. Taylor’s most impressive runs were when there wasn’t a ton there, yet he found just enough daylight to get some momentum and then carried guys for extra yards.
Taylor now has 1,463 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns this season.
Defense: Zack Baun
Wisconsin’s defense had its second-worst effort of the season by giving up 493 yards and a lot of big chunk plays. But the senior outside linebacker made several significant plays in key situations, including the second of three fourth down stops.
The Badgers led by 13 early in the fourth quarter when the Huskers faced a fourth-and-4. After not seeing anyone open initially, quarterback Adrian Martinez attempted to scramble for a first down, but Baun had been spying him the whole way. Martinez tried a little shake and bake but Baun wasn’t fazed. He stood his ground and dropped the quarterback two yards short.
Baun finished the day with four tackles, two sacks and a pass breakup.
Special Teams: Aron Cruickshank
Cruickshank had been so close this season to breaking a long return and he finally was able to breakthrough. After Nebraska took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, the sophomore returned the ensuing kick 89 yards for a score. Only two guys had a chance at him after he got through the line initially — the kicker and one other guy. Neither was able to get him on the ground. It was a big time answer by the Badgers special teams.
Jonathan Taylor is going to get tired from all the sprinting, really dumb strategy
— Faux Pelini (@FauxPelini) November 16, 2019
What he said 🤷🏽♂️ pic.twitter.com/ovdx2O4QH8
— Zack Baun (@zackbizzaun) November 16, 2019
— David Moorman (@DMoorman68) November 16, 2019
Can’t say how much it means to have you guys leading the way 🗣💯 https://t.co/TXzKswMshi
— Jonathan Taylor (@JayT23) November 16, 2019
Aron Cruickshank's fast.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 16, 2019
A.J. TAYLOR 💪
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 16, 2019
Cruickshank on getting past the kicker on his kick return for a score
“They led me in there and I just had to beat the kicker. That’s one job you have to do.”
Chris Orr on watching Taylor run the ball:
“You want to hurry up and keeping giving him the ball. You just see him not getting stopped. You see him breaking tackles, carrying people. Looking at the defense get up, hands on their hips, heads down, somebody might be rolling their shoulder a little bit. I’m like, ‘yeah, keep feeding him.’ When we go out there on defense we’re trying to hurry up and get the ball right back to him because that’s demoralizing.”
In Case You Missed It
— Safeties Reggie Pearson (arm) and Eric Burrell (arm) were both injured in the first half. They both eventually returned.
— Lincoln-native Bryson Williams did not play due to injury but the Big Ten did allow him to travel and not count against the roster limit imposed for road game.
— With the win, the Badgers held onto the Freedom Trophy. They have won all six games since the trophy was first introduced in 2014.
Inside the Numbers
10 — That’s how many sacks Chris Orr has this season. It’s tied for the 8th-most in school history.
5,634 — That’s how many yards Taylor has run for in his career. It’s the second-most in Big Ten history and the most by any running back in his first three seasons.
2,533 — That’s how many yards Wisconsin has run for during its seven-game winning streak over Nebraska. That amounts to 361.9 yards per game and an average of 8.0 yards per carry.
273 — That’s how many yards rushing Nebraska had on the ground. It’s the first time since 2012 that the Huskers have topped 200 yards against Wisconsin.
482 — That’s how many yards Wisconsin had, 11 fewer than Nebraska. It’s the first time they’ve been out-gained and won a game since beating Michigan State in 2016
Wisconsin (8-2, 5-2) will host Purdue (4-6, 3-4) in its home finale next Saturday.