Huskers unable to stop the run in 35-28 loss to #15 Wisconsin

Adrian Martinez became Nebraska's all-time yardage leader in the loss, but special teams woes, interceptions and run defense plagued the Huskers against the Badgers.

MADISON, Wis. (KLKN) – It’s been a theme of the Huskers season: Battle tough against a good opponent only to fall short.

That was the case for the Huskers against #15 Wisconsin.

On the very first play of the game, as Wisconsin’s Stephan Bracey took the kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, giving the Badgers a 7-0 lead.

The Huskers responded to that early score with a 5 play, 74 yard touchdown drive on their first possession. Adrian Martinez completed two passes for 42 yards and 27 yards to Samari Toure get the Huskers inside the Badgers ten yard line.

Shortly after, Husker running back Markese Stepp punched in a one-yard touchdown to tie the game, 7-7.

The Blackshirts were able to contain Wisconsin on the next drive. A ten play Badger drive stalled when Cam Taylor-Britt broke up a Graham Mertz pass to Brady Schipper.

On the Badgers next possession, freshman running back Braelon Allen ripped off a 71 yard touchdown run to put Wisconsin up 14-7.

The Huskers responded by driving down the field to the Badgers six yard line. However, on 4th and goal, Martinez was unable to connect with tight end Austin Allen in the end zone, giving the ball back to Wisconsin.

The Huskers got the ball right back, forcing a Wisconsin three and out, capped off by a Garrett Nelson sack of Mertz.

The Huskers took advantage of a Wisconsin unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that gave them the ball at the Wisconsin 48 yard line. Martinez completed passes to Omar Manning and Travis Vokolek to help the Huskers get to the Badgers four yard line. 

After turning the ball over on downs on their previous possession in enemy territory, Martinez threw a four yard touchdown pass to Toure to tie the game at 14.

The Badgers got the ball to the Husker 15 yard line on their next drive, but were unable to come away with any points, as kicker Collin Larsh missed a 33 yard field goal.

The Huskers went into the half tied 14-14.

Nebraska received the ball after the half with an opportunity to take their first lead of the game. On the third play of the drive, Martinez threw an interception to Collin Wilder who returned it to the Husker 33 yard line.

Four plays later, Wisconsin took advantage of the turnover as Mertz threw a 17 yard touchdown pass to Kendric Pryor to go up 21-14.

Martinez responded to his error with one of his best drives of the season. He went five for six for 63 yards, capping off the 11 play drive with a one yard rushing touchdown to tie the game at 21.

Wisconsin drove right down the field on their next possession, led by Allen, who ran five times for 36 yards and a touchdown on the eight play drive to put the Badgers up 28 to 21.

The Huskers looked like things could unravel on their next drive. Returner Alante Brown recovered his own fumble at the 6 yard line but was ruled down, putting the Huskers in difficult field position.

On the next play, Turner Corcoran was called for a hold, pushing the Huskers back to their own three yard line.

After picking up a first down on 3rd and 1 to give his team some breathing room, Martinez threw his second pick of the game to Wilder.

The Blackshirts gave the offense another chance when linebacker Luke Reimer stopped Badger fullback John Chenal on 4th and 1.

The Huskers took advantage. Martinez connected with tight end Austin Allen three times for 64 yards, including a 38 yard pickup on 4th and 2 to set up Nebraska at the Wisconsin seven yard line. Two plays later, running back Marvin Scott III scored a rushing touchdown for the Huskers to tie the game at 28.

The Badgers reclaimed the lead when Allen ran for a 53-yard touchdown to put them up 35-28. The true freshman ran for 228 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Martinez took the Huskers down the field into Badger territory but the Huskers were unable to score a touchdown. On 4th and 20, he fired a last-gasp pass to Zavier Betts, who was unable to bring it in.

Martinez became the Huskers all-time leader in offensive yardage in the loss. The Huskers fell to 5-19 in one-score games in the Scott Frost era.



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