Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 12/3/12
In an article I wrote earlier in the week, I picked the Nebraska Cornhuskers to beat the Wisconsin Badgers, 28-24, in the Big Ten Championship Game. Clearly, I was wrong. Wisconsin took Nebraska behind the woodshed en route to a Big Ten Championship Game victory. (Image credit: Brian Spurlock, US PRESSWIRE via USAToday.com) On Saturday night, the Wisconsin Badgers brutally dismantled the 12th-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers, 70-31, to win their 2nd straight Big Ten Championship game and clinch a 3rd consecutive trip to the Rose Bowl. And while this game was memorable for Wisconsin fans, it was a far cry from last year’s Wisconsin-Michigan State, down-to-the-wire classic. Wisconsin would strike first less than 2 minutes into the game on freshman Melvin Gordon’s 56-yard touchdown run. Then, on Nebraska’s first offensive play, Marcus Cromartie would intercept Taylor Martinez’s pass and run in 29 yards for the pick 6. Then and there it looked like it was going to be Wisconsin’s night, but Nebraska wasn’t done yet. On their next drive, the Cornhuskers faced a 3rd and 11, when Martinez would strike with a sensational run. It looked like he would be brought down well behind the line of scrimmage, but he weaved his way through defenders, found a seam, and he was gone on a 76-yard TD dash. A 32-yard field goal later in the 1st quarter would pull the Cornhuskers within 4. But after that, it was ALL Badgers. Montee Ball, James White and Melvin Gordon would combine to form a three-headed monster in this game that was reminiscent of when Ball, White and John Clay dominated defenses just a couple years ago. Wisconsin’s running back corps went through Nebraska’s defense like a hot knife through butter. The Cornhuskers were at the mercy of these 3, heck White even had a TD pass in the 2nd quarter. Even when Wisconsin took a 28-10 early in the 2nd quarter, I couldn’t help but think back to the 1st meeting this season between these teams, when the Badgers held a 17-point lead in the 2nd quarter and went on to lose. But there would be no such comeback this time around for Nebraska, as Wisconsin would put the pedal to the floor and didn’t look back. By halftime, they had a 42-10 lead and the game was essentially in hand. The 2nd half wasn’t much better for the Nebraska D, as Wisconsin continued to run right over them. The Badgers continued to pile up points, which Wisconsin is no stranger to under coach Bret Bielema. Bielema has been criticized in the past for running up the score, but that was not the case in this game. The Badgers didn’t even attempt a single pass in the 2nd half, and the Badger running backs aren’t going to take any knees. Staying on the topic of the Wisconsin backfield trio, they had a historic game on Saturday. For the 1st time in Wisconsin history, 3 players rushed for at least 100 yards, and 2 played rushed for 200+ yards (Gordon, Ball). They also combined to rush for a total of 539 yards, the 4th-highest total in school history. And the 70 points the Badgers scored? That tied a conference championship record for most points scored, matching Texas’ performance in the 2005 Big 12 Championship Game. But it wasn’t just a historic night for the team; Montee Ball reached some individual milestones as well. Ball broke Travis Prentice’s Football Bowl Subdivision record for most career rushing touchdowns, bringing his total to 79. He also tied Prentice’s record for most career games with multiple touchdowns at 25, reached 5,000 rushing yards, and was named the MVP of the game. The running backs aren’t the only ones who deserve credit for the blowout; I have to give props to the coaches also. Offensive coordinator Matt Canada has had a rough first season, replacing Paul Chryst, who was an offensive mastermind during his time in Madison. The Badger offense had been painfully inconsistent throughout the season, but they came to play on Saturday. Canada was able to concoct an offensive gameplan that the Nebraska Cornhuskers simply had no answer for. However, the emphatic win wasn’t enough to convince some people that the Badgers belong in the Rose Bowl, and their criticisms aren’t without merit. Wisconsin will be the 1st team with 5 losses to reach the Rose Bowl, plus many felt they didn’t belong in the conference championship game. They went 4-4 in conference play, only making it to Indianapolis because Penn State and Ohio State were ineligible for postseason play. But quite frankly, the Badger coaches and players don’t give a damn what they think. The look of sheer joy on the faces of the Wisconsin sideline told the entire story. Bret Bielema was doused with Gatorade, and had an enormous smile as he celebrated with his players and athletic director and Wisconsin coaching legend Barry Alvarez. They know that they played one hell of a game, and feel that they without question have earned their trip to Pasadena. Still, their work is far from finished. They now look ahead to their Rose Bowl opponent, the Stanford Cardinal. Stanford’s season has been spectacular, as they’ve shrugged off the loss of Andrew Luck and managed to make their way to Pasadena, something Luck never accomplished during his impressive college career. The Cardinal have a defense that will pose a much bigger challenge for the Wisconsin offense. Matt Canada will have to dial up something special again if they want to have success against the Stanford D. Wisconsin is the first Big Ten team since Michigan (1976-78) to advance to 3 straight Rose Bowls, but they’ll try to avoid meeting the same fate as those Wolverines, who lost all 3 games. The Badgers will be major underdogs when they go up against the Cardinal, but they certainly won’t mind. The critics will all say they don’t belong in Pasadena, but that will just provide more inspiration for this team. So many doubted them (myself included) in the week leading up to the Big Ten Championship, and you could see they played with a chip on their shoulder. They’ll have to play with the same mindset if they want to finally give Bielema his first Rose Bowl victory. There will be plenty of people who will be dismissing the Wisconsin Badgers and not giving them a chance of winning against a much higher-ranked team. But this time, don’t count me among the doubters. The post Wisconsin Steamrolls Nebraska in Big Ten Championship Game appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tony Dungy coaches his way into Canton

Top eight takeaways from NFL Honors awards

Report: Austin Rivers out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

Brett Favre Hall of Fame discussion took less than 10 seconds

WATCH: Pop wishes Kobe well in heartfelt message

Eric Berry named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cam Newton to be named NFL MVP

Ezekiel Elliott hung out with Jim Brown

Rickie Fowler taunted by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Sacramento Kings seriously considering firing George Karl

Another star confirmed for Super Bowl 50 halftime show

WATCH: Wayne Simmonds loses his cool, earns match penalty

Winners and losers from 2016 Hall of Fame vote

Brett Favre, Tony Dungy headline Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Terrell Owens says he was not elected to Hall of Fame

Bruins prospect hit in throat with puck, taken to hospital

WATCH: Mavs rookie laughed at for trash talking Spurs bench

Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker