Taylor's rushing leads No. 9 Badgers past Cornhuskers

09 October, 2017, 15:44 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Nati Harnik

The Badgers went to the run nearly exclusively on three straight scoring drives after Nebraska's Aaron Williams returned an interception to tie it 17-all early in the third quarter. Wisconsin recovered the fumble, but was flagged 10 yards for holding and then flagged an additional half the distance to the goal line for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

The blackout at Memorial Stadium had all the elements created to make it appear to be a special night for Husker football.

"It's on us to flip it", Deiter said, referring to field position and momentum. They were a solid defense, just like we knew they were going to be and I think we played them well. "We have to finish drives with points. That's what we needed".

Lee completed 16-of-32 passes for 262 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Hornibrook finished the drive by finding sophomore receiver Quintez Cephus for a five-yard score, giving the Badgers a 24-17 lead with 4:56 left in the third quarter. Cephus led the Badger receivers with four receptions for 68 yards on the night. It was his last.

They could go into their final stretch - Iowa, Michigan, at Minnesota - with a 9-0 overall record and a 6-0 Big Ten mark.

UW will be looking for more big plays next week as they host the Purdue Boilermakers (1-1, 3-2) at Camp Randall Stadium. They struggled throughout the opening half and, if not for Taylor's late 75-yard touchdown run, the offense would have scored only three points before halftime.

Nebraska drove right down the field on the opening possession - two big plays put NU in the red zone.

"I was running a shoot route", Ozigbo said.

"No", he said with a grin.

"Love it. Makes it feel like it's in our hands".

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In contrast, they've conceded just two goals so far - both of which came in their away draw to Stoke City in September. The players may feel that they're able to kill off any opponent after dispatching of CSKA Moscow 4-1 and Basel 3-0.

The Huskers have worked on finishing games, but it didn't work out this time.

Just one problem: Nebraska didn't score on any of those drives.

Not the way you want to start for Nebraska and Tanner Lee, and @BadgerFootball's @Chris_Guwap housed it.

Taylor started UW's next series with runs of 7, 15 and 10 yards.

"Obviously very disappointed in the loss", Nebraska coach Mike Riley said.

NU star: Quarterback Tanner Lee showed more pocket poise than he has in his brief Nebraska career and found some holes in the Wisconsin secondary to move the ball. It matched the seventh-longest pass play in school history and the longest connection since a 90-yard touchdown pass in the 2013 Gator Bowl. Taylor carried the ball six times for 40 yards, including a 2-yard score that gave the Badgers a 31-17 lead with 9:08 left in the game.

"When we needed to answer we did", Deiter said. Only wins count in this game.

"When you can answer like that and take some life out of a team and the crowd, it is huge". "That's what we're shooting for and that's what we were able to do the second half".

Wisconsin compiled a tenacious drive, Hornibrook and Taylor working in tandem to pick up big chunks of yardage.

Yet in the end, UW prevailed and head coach Paul Chryst learned something about his team. "We threw him an inside fade a little bit later in the game, I think he'll come up with that play". We have to build off of that. "That is the takeaway for me right now".

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He went out late in the game with an ankle injury, but was cleared for a full practice on Thursday. "We have to get it fixed". He had 64- and 57-yard catches in the first half for two of his three receptions of 50-plus yards in his eight-year career.