This is the Wisconsin we all expected at the beginning of the season. The last three games, the Badgers have outscored foes 107-41 and outgained them 1,485 yards to 781. Those offensive line troubles are ancient history and the defense has played well all season long. Where do the surging Badgers land on my latest Power Rankings? See my Week 9 Power Rankings in this post.
Before we turn our attention to Week 9, we need to review how BTN.com fans, Tom Dienhart and yours truly did with our Week 8 predictions. Everyone involved went 4-2, meaning Dienhart remains on top, one game ahead of BTN.com fans.
Taylor Martinez threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns and Nebraska rallied to beat Northwestern 29-28 on Saturday. The Cornhuskers (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten) rallied from 12 down in the fourth, taking a one-point lead when Martinez hit Ben Cotton with a 7-yard pass with just over 2 minutes left, and hung on when a 53-yard field goal attempt by Northwestern’s Jeff Budzien barely missed wide right with 1:10 remaining.
Thanks to a mean rushing attack, Northwestern now leads 23-16. The Wildcats rushed for 98 yards in the third quarter. The Wildcats expanded their lead to 21-10 thanks to a four-play, 93-yard drive that ended when Venric Mark ripped off an 80-yard touchdown run.
Nebraska’s Kenny Bell caught a 37-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, but the margin is still four, as Northwestern leads the Huskers, 14-10. Trevor Siemian’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Tony Jones finished off an eight-play, 50-yard drive and gave Northwestern its halftime advantage.
In the first quarter, Northwestern’s Dan Vitale stood out. He caught two passes for 14 yards and one touchdown, and the Wildcats lead 7-3 at the end of the first quarter. Nebraska struck first when Brett Maher drilled a 27-yard field goal, the final play of a seven-play, 65-yard drive.
And here we were thinking Northwestern was just wearing an all-black uniform for today’s big-time Legends Division battle with Nebraska. As it turns out, the Wildcats also have a new matte back helmet, which features a massive Wildcat. Here’s the team’s usual helmet.