Nebraska came back from a 14-0 deficit to beat the Wisconsin Badgers in Lincoln on Saturday night. The Huskers pulled off a 30-27 win. The Huskers struggled early, with turnovers and penalties. It took a lot of heart and determination, and the emergence of a couple seniors to pull off the win. Here is how each position group graded out in their first Big 10 game.
Redshirt junior quarterback, Taylor Martinez finished the day completing 17 of 29 passes. Martinez threw two touchdown passes. Martinez most impressive stats came on the ground. He rushed 13 times for 107 yards, and a touchdown.
Martinez looked nervous at times. The opening play of the game he fumbled the snap, deep in his own red zone.
Running Backs B+
Senior Rex Burkhead did get the most carries of any Nebraska I-Back on Saturday. Rex carried the ball 18 times for 86 yards. Sophomore Ameer Abdullah carried it just 10 times for 70 yards. No Nebraska running back reached the end zone on the ground Saturday. Abdullah was 2nd on the team in receptions with 3, for 22 yards. Burkhead had 2 catches, one for a 2 yard touchdown. Sophomore Braylon Heard carried the ball 2 times for 1 yard. 6-foot-2, 220 lb. Imani Cross did not get a carry against the Badgers.
Tight Ends A-
Seniors Ben Cotton, and Kyler Reed only accounted for 4 catches against Wisconsin, but they were four of the biggest catches of the night. Cotton caught a 24 yard catch on crucial 3rd and 7. Kyler Reed averaged 10 yards a catch. One of his receptions was a 10 yard strike from Martinez for a touchdown.
Wide Receiver C-
Eight Huskers caught a pass against the Badgers. Redshirt sophomore Kenny Bell led all Nebraska receivers with four catches for 57 yards. One of the mysteries around this team is the lack of involvement of sophomore wide receiver Jamal Turner. The Texas native had 1 catch for 27 yards. Offensive Coordinator Tim Beck needs to find a way to get him more involved in the offense.
Offensive Line A
The offensive line led the way for 259 yards rushing. Although Taylor Martinez was the only Husker to rush for a touchdown on Saturday, the Huskers put in work on the ground, all night long against the Badgers. Taylor Martinez was not sacked once against Wisconsin. Aside from the opening drive, Nebraska’s offensive line controlled the entire game.
Defensive Line A-
I honestly would have never thought this group could ever earn an “A” the way this season has gone. Nebraska held Wisconsin to an average of 1.6 yards a carry. The Huskers recorded 3 sacks on freshman quarterback Joel Stave.
Senior linebacker Will Compton led the Huskers in tackles with 10. He had 3 tackles for a loss, and 1 sack. Fellow senior Alonzo Whaley had a great “bounce back” game with 8 tackles, 2 for loss, and 1 sack.
Defensive Backs D
There were several plays where Nebraska defensive backs were burnt on deep passes. Sophomore Joshua Mitchell struggled early, but had a great 2nd half. He was 3rd on the team in tackles with 8. One play Mitchell got in the back field and took down Wisconsin running back James White for a loss. Senior Daimion Stafford struggled for most of the game.
Special Teams C-
Nebraska had several missed blocking assignments on the opening on the kick off. The Huskers were forced to start the beginning of the game deep in their own territory. Nebraska turned the ball over, and dug themselves a deep hole. Turnovers where the main reason for the 14 point swing at the beginning of the game. Brett Maher’s struggles continued on Saturday. He missed a 52-yard field goal in the first quarter. He finished the day 3-1.
By Jimmie Allen
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