for this game

Wisconsin destroys Nebraska in Big Ten battle

Oct 2, 2011 - 5:24 AM Madison, WI (Sports Network) - The Big Ten opener certainly didn't go according to plan for the Cornhuskers. It did for the Badgers.

Montee Ball rushed for 151 yards and four touchdowns, landing No. 7 Wisconsin to a 48-17 blowout of eighth-ranked Nebraska.

Russell Wilson completed 14-of-20 passes for 255 yards and a pair of scores for the Badgers (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten), who won their 13th straight home game.

The Badger offense came into Saturday night's showdown at Camp Randall Stadium as one of the nation's most balanced units and had rolled up more than 530 yards per game. Wisconsin had 486 against the Cornhuskers.

Nebraska had more than 300 yards on the ground in its last two games, against Washington and Wyoming. But on this evening, the Cornhuskers were held to 159 yards rushing.

Taylor Martinez was victimized for three interceptions and completed half of his 22 passes for 176 yards. Rex Burkhead and Martinez each ran for scores for the Cornhuskers (4-1, 0-1), who led 14-7, but then gave up 34 straight points.

Nebraska took advantage of a fumbled punt return to keep the ball midway through the first quarter and turned that into a Martinez one-yard TD run.

The Badgers came right back with a Ball one-yard score with 1:27 remaining in the quarter, but Burkhead scored on a one-yard plunge, shortly after Martinez found Ben Cotton for a 28-yard gain.

"It was early in the game and we knew we were going to face some adversity, and that's what we talked about all week," Wilson said. "So we knew there were going to be some ups and downs, and we just had to keep working at weather the storms. And that's my job as a quarterback, in terms of offense, just let the guys know, keep playing with confidence, keep believing in what we're doing, keep executing and we'll see where it goes."

Wisconsin then turned it up a notch offensively with Ball scoring on a three- yard run on the ensuing possession. Philip Welch's extra point attempt was blocked by Jared Crick.

Martinez was picked off by Mike Taylor with nearly five minutes left in the half, and that led to Wilson's 36-yard TD strike to Jared Abbrederis.

Aaron Henry picked off Martinez on the next possession, and Wilson connected with Nick Toon on a 46-yard scoring pass, a bomb down the middle of the field with 32 seconds left in the half.

"We went into the game saying that we were going to be aggressive, and we didn't," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. "One, obviously we shouldn't have turned the football over. Two, if they did get the football, you better be able to get off the field. And we weren't able to do either. That was a big turning point in the football game, I thought."

Brett Maher's 50-yard field goal try near the end of the half was wide right, and the Badgers dominated the third quarter, holding the ball for nearly 11 minutes and gaining 101 yards on the ground in the stanza.

Wilson scored on a 10-yard run, just after Ball converted a 4th-and-1 from the 12.

Nebraska then punted on its first possession of the half, and the Badgers marched 81 yards in 14 plays, capped by Ball's four-yard run to the end zone and a 41-14 margin.

Maher made a 32-yard field goal early in the fourth, but only after the Badgers held on a 1st-and-goal from the seven.

The Badgers then sealed the dominating win by driving 73 yards in 13 plays, taking better than eight minutes off the clock. Ball ended it with a 15-yard TD run.

Game Notes

Saturday marked the first matchup of top-10 teams at Camp Randall Stadium since Nov. 24, 1962 when the No. 3 Badgers defeated No. 5 Minnesota, 14-9...The Badgers have scored at least 40 points in seven of their last eight regular-season games...Bret Bielema is 25-0 in regular-season non-conference games. That is the second-best start by a Big Ten coach, trailing only Fielding Yost, who started 41-0 at Michigan from 1901-06.