And that’s the ballgame. Wisconsin wins 70-31 in a Big Ten Football Championship blowout, the Badgers second title game win in as many years. We’ll have more coverage up here soon, including column form Dienhart and more video. Thanks for joining us. This concludes the live blog.
The :jet sweep” works all night for the Badgers. Just looking faster all night than Nebraska.
Ball leaves with 202 yards rushing.
During the timeout they tried to shoot shirts up into the stands. It didn’t work, as shirts just fell to ground. Luckily, Bucky was there to throw them up to the crowd.
Why wasn’t that a penalty on Borland for slamming Martinez?
That was a wrestling tackle there by Borland.
Last time Wisconsin won a Rose Bowl was vs. Stanford after 1999 season. So there you go.
Man, Howard Griffith doesn’t look too impressed in that photo. No Chris Fowler reax, that’s for sure.
Another impressive photo, this one from Brian Spurlock of US PRESSWIRE.
Is it still only the third quarter?! Geez!
Who knows, maybe Wisconsin would be beating Ohio State right now. They played a close game earlier this season, when the Badgers didn’t look like this.
Three–count ’em THREE—Badger backs over 100 yards rushing.
Watching this I wonder: How badly would the Buckeyes be beating the Huskers? OSU hung 63 on Nebraska this year.
Is there a mercy rule in college football? Someone check the rulebook, please.
It’ll be interesting to see how Nebraska rebounds from this. It could lead to a flat bowl performance.
Nebraska’s Kenny Bell laid a big block on Wisconsin’s Devin Smith in the third quarter of the Big Ten Football Championship game. The hit was ruled a penalty and nullified a touchdown for Nebraska.
I think it could be kind of entertaining, no?
I’ll just say this: I’m glad I’m not sitting by Bo on the plane ride back to Lincoln. This. Defense. Is. Embarrassing.
This is an absolute clinic. Make a tackle!
Montee Ball has such nifty feet, which compensates for his lack of blazing speed. And he is so tough.
Nice TD for Huskers. Now the tough part: stopping the Badgers. Can they do it?
“He went low and late, Coach!” yells the official over the PA system.
Don’t know about you, but when I see Martinez scramble around, I worry about a bad throw.
That’s what they call in the biz a “de-cleater”
Devin Smith is up after that big block from Kenny Bell.
That was a gigantic block. Maybe too powerful.
I guess this is when Bo will find out who really wants to play. Gotta keep fighting.
Not a surprise. Not sure we’ll ever see it again.
Best to my knowledge, a 5 loss team never has gone to Rose Bowl.
As that interception happened, I was typing “all” Huskers need to win is five TDs and no Badger points. That should do it.
Second half couldn’t have started any worse for #Huskers.
With 3:30 left in halftime, the Huskers come out of the locker room. Badgers had been out for several minutes. Wonder what Pelini said to his team.
There’s opening up the playbook and what the Badgers are doing tonight. After that Indiana game, which sealed Wisconsin’s berth in this game, it was like Bielema and company went as vanilla as possible. And now this.
Did someone say something earlier about emptying the playbook? Wisconsin’s James White passes to Sam Arneson for a 3-yard touchdown against Nebraska in the second quarter.
Sit down for this: 391 yards for Wisconsin with 290 coming on the ground.
Here’s that interview with Penn State’s Bill O’Brien from a little earlier.
I hope the paint in the Huskers locker room is EXTRA strength, because Bo is gonna peel it with his halftime speech. 42-10 Badgers, halftime.
Well, I’m stunned. Absolutely stunned.
Another trick play from Wisconsin’s bottomless bag of trick plays.
Lots of good coaching instructional video being produced tonight by Nebraska on how NOT to tackle.
After that run, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bo Pelini makes a tackle tonight. He must be TICKED.
Not going to happen. Do Badgers go for more or kneel and go to half? It’s Bielema, so I say they go for more.
Yes, Brent. That is a massive understatement.
You get the feeling Nebraska needs a score here – no matter what it is – just for momentum going into the half, too?
Just think of this: Nebraska’s only TD has come on a broken play, crazy run by Martinez. That’s it.
Wisconsin has one win over a plus-500 team this year (Utah State, 10-2). This would be its best win by FAR.
Wisconsin’s James White scores from nine yards out.
Does Nebraska miss Baker Steinkuhler THIS much on the inside of d-line? Huskers getting manhandled up front.
Those “Fumble Blues” strike Nebraska again. Huskers entered game with Big Ten high 20 fumbles lost.
Nebraska’s Achilles heel (turnovers) strikes again.
If Wisconsin holds on, I’m sure Bielema will have even more new wrinkles in Pasadena.
What is Stanford thinking watching this game? No doubt, they’re seeing all the new wrinkles Wisconsin is debuting.
When Wisconsin won at IU 62-14, it had only 24 halftime points. It has 35 now.
And there’s Montee Ball’s first touchdown. Bet it’s not his last tonight.
If Bo Pelini chews his gum any harder, he’s gonna shatter his teeth.
Just a reminder: We’ll post BTN’s earlier interview with Penn State’s Bill O’Brien right here at halftime. Now, back to the track meet …
Question: Is Bo Pelini more ticked at his defense right now or at UCLA?
In case you are wondering, and I know those in Madison are, the Badgers’ season high was 62 points at IU.
Wisconsin players on sideline were asking for fans to get loud on that 3rd down play, and it worked. Martinez sacked; Maher to punt.
Badgers already have exceeded their point total in loss at Nebraska earlier this year (27).
Nebraska may have used up its magic in those 4 other comeback losses.
Nebraska rallied from 17 points down in the season’s first meeting. We’re at 18 right now.
I’m starting to think NOT!!!
OK, Tom, we’ve talked so much about Nebraska’s ability to rally this season – can they do it again tonight?
4 Wisconsin TDs….. none by Ball…..
Are you having fun yet? I am! This play calling is delicious!!
Bielema is pulling out all the tricks tonight.
Wisconsin should throw the ball to James White in the flat 5-10 times a game. He is so fast in space.
According to press box, Wisconsin DB Darius Hillary out for game with head injury.
Hey, Nebraska DOES have a punter!!
Last year, Badgers led Spartans, 21-7, after one quarter.
Something I just realized: Gordon’s 56-yard scamper for game’s first score matched Badgers’ final rushing total at Nebraska earlier this season.
340 yards of combined offense in first quarter….
End of the first quarter in Indy. Someone get me a towel and some oxygen. Badgers 21, Huskers 10. Whew!
Yep, you’re here, you need one win to get to the Rose Bowl, so you’re more likely to do a trick play and stuff like that.
The conditions probably help, but I also think teams play these games with nothing to loose, meaning they take more risks. Open up the playbook, try new formations, do crazy things.
I think conditions help. But I think it’s more teams “not holding back.” This is it. Now or never Play loose. Play fast. Have fun.
Wisconsin is emptying its playbook, apparently. Will we see Husker run Fumblerooski????
Question for Tom and Brent. Are these first two Big Ten Championship games loaded with offense because it involves two teams that come in from the cold and get to play in ideal conditions? It must be like being on vacation in that dome.
Never thought Gordon and White would score before Montee!!!
Here’s a great shot from US Presswire’s Richard Mackson of that amazing run by Martinez.
Don’t think I’ve ever seen a formation like that one. Almost looked like what teams do prior to a PAT, before they come back into a normal formation.
Bret Bielema went to page 259 in his playbook for that one!
You may be right. Could take 40 to win this….
At some point, the defenses will get their footing. Right? I don’t know, maybe 32.
How many points is it gonna take to win this, Brent?
Taylor Martinez scrambles and then runs 76 yards for a touchdown against Nebraska in the first quarter of the Big Ten Football Championship game.
Nebraska fans love him a lot. That guy will go down as one of the program’s all-time faves.
So good to see Rex Burkhead being …. Rex Burkhead. Love the guy. You should, too.
Looks like defense is “optional” tonight.
Wisconsin’s Marcus Cromartie intercept’s Taylor Martinez in the first quarter and runs it in for a touchdown.
Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon scored a quick touchdown in the first quarter. Here’s the highlight, the first off, well, a few scores here in the first quarter. More video to come ….
If Keith Jackson was calling this game, how many “Whoa, Nellies!” would he have already chortled?
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why they call him “T Magic.”
The way this is going, I wouldn’t be surprised if Huskers go with onside kick.
Yes, Brent. Both were good run by T Magic. But this was better.
Last year, the Big Ten title game was 42-39. We may be in store for another barn burner.
Better than his UCLA run? You liked that one a lot, too.
I’m gonna go ahead and call that the “Run Of The Year.” Has to be.
Huskers need something. At the very least, move the ball a bit to flip field position.
If there is such a thing as a “crucial” first quarter drive, this is it for the #Huskers.
Yes, 5 Badgers losses were by a combined 19 points. Three in OT.
Bret Bielema talked a lot Friday about how his team is better than its record. Sure looks like the case early on.
Think Bo Pelini would like to push the restart button?
This wasn’t in the script. 14-0 after pick six by Cromartie. Well, at least Nebraska is used to coming back, right? Right?
Wisconsin’s up 7-0 before most fans have finished their first brat … or hot dog … or veggie burger.
The Huskers, it would seem, are more comfortable coming from behind.
Nebraska has Wisconsin where it wants it!
Oh, Melvin Gordon is the THIRD team RB……
I think it’s vital for #Badgers to get a lead, as they aren’t a great comeback or passing team. BINGO!!
Who had Melvin Gordon with the first touchdown tonight? No one, that’s right.
Not a good start for Husker D.
Wisconsin will do what Wisconsin will do … run. No. Matter. What.
“28 Ball, the ball carrier,” the press box PA guy says. We better get used to it.
Here is Curt Phillips. This time last year, he was rehabbing a knee!!
I’ll go with two. Scored three in first meeting this year.
How many TDs tonight for Montee? I say at least one.
Uh yeah, definitely favor Maher over French. Maher is one of Big Ten’s best. Just got off to a slow start this season.
Expect a bunch of Montee Ball, yes?
Wisconsin wins toss and opts to receive. Hmmmm. I likey. Take it to ’em!
To be clear, the boos came when the Big Ten was introducing this year’s individual award winners at midfield. Miller took in stride, with a big smile.
If this thing comes down to someone having to make a big kick, I like Nebraska’s Brett Maher better than Wisconsin’s Kyle French.
Lucas Oil Stadium greets Braxton Miller with boos.
And only one coaches at his alma mater. Funny how things work out.
Bo Pelini (Ohio State) and Bret Bielema (Iowa) are two of the three Big Ten coaches who are Big Ten alums. The other is Firz, who coaches his alma mater at Northwestern.
Interesting. If Burkhead is 100 percent, as Bo Pelini says, I’d feel comfortable taking Nebraska’s duo. Abdullah could be Big Ten’s best next season – as long as Cross doesn’t poach all of his TDs.
Great matchup of running backs tonight, with Montee Ball/James White vs. Ameer Abdullah/Rex Burkhead. Which tandem is better? It’ll take the Badger duo.
Nice stat, Tom. But Indiana and Purdue aren’t exactly Nebraska. Am I right?
The weather conditions are freezing in the press box, to the point where I’m blowing in my hands.
Fun fact: Wisconsin has not lost a game in the state of Indiana since 2002. Under Bielema, the Badgers are 8-0 in the state of Indiana,
Fun fact: Nebraska’s first bowl trip ever was to the Rose Bowl after the 1940 season. Its foe? Stanford…..
Guys, what are the weather conditions like at the game? But we kid.
Taylor vs. Johnny Football would be fun.
We all know the winner will go to the Rose Bowl to play Stanford. But where would each team go if it lost? I think Nebraska would go to the Capital One and play Texas A&M. I think Wisconsin would play in the Gator vs. Mississippi State if it loses tonight.
I think James White has to have a big game. Ball does well against Huskers, but White didn’t do much in Sept game, the one where Huskers limited Badgers to 50-something rush yards.
It’s going to be really tough to pass against this Nebraska defense. There are none better at defending the pass.
Key players? For Wisconsin, it’s gotta be QB Curt Phillips. The guy has to show he can pass if Nebraska commits to stopping the run. For Nebraska, it’s Cameron Meredith, who will play inside and outside on the d-line. He must be a force vs. the run and bring some heat.
Very valid point. One thing to keep in mind is that the team who has scored first in this game the last two times has lost. Will it happen again?
Kickoff is drawing near. I wonder how Wisconsin will react if it gets off to a slow start? I think the Badgers may have a fragile psyche having lost three of their last four games….
Tom and Brent will be joining us in a little bit.
Our Dave Revsine noted the crowd cheered as Bill O’Brien was introduced on the BTN set, and O’Brien cracked, “That might be a sympathy cheer.”
Penn State’s Bill O’Brien up next on BTN. We’ll clip the interview and post as soon as possible.
1 hour, 13 minutes to go. Helmets on for warmups …
For Nebraska, Mark Pelini will get the start at center for the injured Justin Jackson..
Here’s a pregame picture of Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez … taking a pregame picture.
Just a few guys having a casual game of catch … before the biggest game of their season so far.
Rex Burkhead looks intense…
1:47 to kickoff…
We’re doing double duty here tonight, too. If you haven’t checked out http://www.BTN.com/connect this season, give it a look. It tracks Big Ten trends on Twitter and spotlights tweets, photos and more. Good stuff.
Cool shot today from the guys behind “The Journey 2012″ Instagram account (http://instagram.com/btnjourney):
In case you missed it earlier today, the crew form “#BTNLive” had a few guests on (video below). Don’t forget that our pre-game show starts at 6:30 p.m. ET. And they’ll be back after the game to cover it all, too.
It’s late Saturday morning and we’re just getting thing set up for tonight. If you’re reading this now, hope you can join Tom and Brent tonight during the game. Here are few nuggets about tonight’s game, courtesy of Stats.
Nebraska leads this series, 4-3, all-time.
Nebraska has held its opponents to a 45.5 percent completion percentage this season, lowest in the FBS, though Wisconsin was one of only two teams to complete more than half of its passes against Nebraska this season, completing 53.6 percent of its passes.
Nebraska is one of nine FBS teams with two players with 800 or more rushing yards this season (Ameer Abdullah — 1071, Taylor Martinez — 833) and welcomed back its leading rusher from last season, Rex Burkhead, against Iowa last week. Martinez (107), Burkhead (86) and Abdullah (70) combined for 263 rushing yards on 41 carries against Wisconsin earlier this season
Wisconsin has committed 11 turnovers this season, tied for fewest in the Big Ten, while Nebraska has committed 29 turnovers, second most in the conference. However, Wisconsin has forced just 12 turnovers this season, tied for fifth fewest in the FBS.
The Badgers have lost their last two games and have not lost three consecutive games since October 2008. Four of Wisconsin’s five losses this season have come by a field goal, and its other loss was by a touchdown.
Montee Ball has rushed for at least 100 yards in six of his last seven games. Ball is seventh in the FBS in rushing yards this season (1528).