The Badgers boast an elite offensive line and the Big Ten's leading rusher and showed why they deserve their reputation as a top ground-and-pound unit.
James, who wore a walking boot on his left foot Monday, has played a key role on passing downs for UW, and graduate transfer Rachid Ibrahim will try to take advantage of more opportunities if James remains sidelined. Spielman has 20 receptions for 275 yards and a touchdown so far, and he is coming off season highs against Wisconsin with six catches for 79 yards.
So, no, this wasn't just another game. Nebraska moved the ball effectively on its second drive, before it stalled at the Wisconsin 39.
The Badgers stay undefeated after their 28-17 win over Nebraska Saturday night. Nebraska will host Ohio State.
Offensively, the Huskers ran only 19 plays in the second half, 11 passes and eight rushes. The Blackshirt defense held the Badgers to a field goal on their first offensive possession. With a change at athletic director in Lincoln and the football program trending in the wrong direction, Riley will have to prove something in the second half to make a case to keep the job in 2018.
The offense definitely fizzled out in the second half, which was very much a concern, but the o-line paved the way to a pretty impressive first half with 313 total yards before halftime. 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. Nebraska trails 10-7.
But the Huskers weren't done yet.
With 24 carries for a career-high 112 yards against Wisconsin, the junior running back has now posted three straight 100-yard rushing games, the first time a Husker has done that since Ameer Abdullah in 2014. Aaron Williams picked off a poorly thrown ball in the right flat by Alex Hornibrook and returned it 15 yards to tie the score at 17 with 10:53 remaining in the third quarter.
With the momentum in hand and the Badgers buried at their own 7, the Memorial Stadium crowd was at a fever pitch, but visiting Wisconsin found an answer.
Some of Jonathan Taylor's finest work Saturday night came when the University of Wisconsin football team needed it the most.
Wisconsin ran 34 plays after the Hornibrook interception. Hornibrook was also sacked once for a six-yard loss and did not attempt a rush in the game.
Despite trailing on the scoreboard, Nebraska went to the fourth quarter with a 364-341 edge in total yards. Next time they ran on all 10 plays as they went 80 yards, with Taylor bulling in from the 2.
The 93-yard touchdown drive was followed by two more-80 yards in 10 plays after a Nebraska punt and 40 yards in 10 plays after linebacker Ryan Connelly recovered a fumble forced by cornerback Derrick Tindal. Taylor, Rachid Ibrahim and Bradrick Shaw each took turns pounding away between the tackles. "When you have a guy like that that gets back and might be OK on Friday afternoon, if you can get by without playing him, he's going to be better off for it and so will your team probably". The Badgers as a team, finished with 353 rushing yards.