Every Saturday night during the college football season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hands out his weekly Big Ten game balls. The series is called “U.S. Marines Corps: Leaders of the Week,” and it’s designed to spotlight the Big Ten’s top individual performances. Who took home the honors from Week 5? Find out in this post.
Taylor Martinez guided four straight scoring drives against a tiring Wisconsin defense in the second half to lead No. 22 Nebraska’s comeback from a 17-point deficit to defeat the Badgers 30-27 on Saturday night. Martinez scored on a 38-yard run, threw a 10-yard TD pass to Kyler Reed and set up Brett Maher for the tying and go-ahead field goals. Maher’s 41-yarder with 9:41 left gave the Huskers (3-1, 1-0) their first lead in the Big Ten opener.
Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez threw for 82 yards and one touchdown and ran for 44 yards and one touchdown in the quarter, and the two teams are tied 27-27 at the end of the third. The Cornhuskers have scored 17 straight points.
It came in a losing effort, but Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland ‘s tackle on Nebraska’s Rex Burkhead Saturday night may go down as the defensive play of the year. Hyperbole, you say? Yes, we’re only one week into the Big Ten season, but the violent hurdling tackle was that great. And the fact it came against one of the Big Ten’s elite running backs makes it all the better. Do yourself a favor and watch the tackle now. You won’t regret it.
Wisconsin’s Jared Abbrederis led the offense in the second quarter. He caught three passes for 47 yards and one touchdown, and the Badgers now lead 20-10. Wisconsin added to its advantage when Joel Stave tossed a 29-yard touchdown to Abbrederis, polishing off a nine-play, 66-yard drive to give the Badgers the lead, 20-3.
No. 23 Wisconsin stifled No. 20 Nebraska’s offense, giving up just 38 total yards in the first quarter and the Badgers lead 14-3 at the end of the first quarter. Wisconsin sniffed out the Cornhuskers’ rushing attack in the quarter, holding Nebraska to 21 rush yards. The Badgers scored when Montee Ball ran two yards to paydirt to clinch a five-play, 71-yard drive, giving Wisconsin the game’s first lead. The key play on the Badgers’ drive was Joel Stave’s 54-yard pass.