James White was part of a Badgers ground game that tallied 539 yards and eight scores. (Getty Images)
Quick hits from the Championship Saturday action. For more on Week 14, check out our Friday Snaps, coverage of Louisville-Rutgers, Oklahoma-TCU and the epic clash between Alabama and Georgia, plus our complete Top 25 review.
• Wisconsin 70, No. 14 Nebraska 31. This game wasn’t even as close as the final score indicates, which is really saying something. The Huskers were down 42-10 at the half — Wisconsin scored its final touchdown of the second quarter on a trick play with 20 seconds left on the clock, because Bret Bielema enjoys reminding folks he’s Bret Bielema — and scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter after the Badgers had already crossed the 60-point mark.
“We kind of set our minds before the game that this is our game,” Monteé Ball said afterward. “The running backs were going to set the tempo.” Offhand, with 539 yards gained on the ground alone, we would venture to suggest they succeeded in their efforts.
Fun tidbit: Ball rushed for 201 yards on 21 attempts and three touchdowns, and was neither the leading scorer nor the leading rusher for the Badgers. Melvin Gordon rang up 217 yards on nine carries with one score, while James White added four touchdowns and 109 yards on 15 carries. Lost in all that: Taylor Martinez doing this Family Circus touchdown run. Don’t forget that Taylor Martinez did this, because it was awesome.
Wisconsin trailed Nebraska 3-4 in the series before tonight’s cannon show. Has a series ever been leveled with such gusto? And what will a defense of Stanford’s caliber make of these five-loss Badgers, who wouldn’t have even been in position to claim the Big Ten title and earn a Rose Bowl berth if not for other programs’ sanctions? “It’s OK to get there,” said Bielema of the Rose Bowl, “but you need to win it.” They’ll get their shot on New Year’s Day. [BOX | RECAP]