Notes: Smith 'a 10' after Big Hit

Although Wisconsin's barge formation and offensive trickery stole the show, the play of UW's defense went a long way to beating No.14 Nebraska. Senior cornerback Devin Smith was a big part of that success with a third-quarter interception, and didn't let a huge hit by receiver Kenny Bell dampen his mood.

INDIANAPOLIS - Senior cornerback Devin Smith remembers trying to chase down Nebraska's Jamal Turner early in the third quarter, trying to keep Wisconsin's commanding 49-10 lead intact. The next thing he remembers is lying on the Lucas Oil Field turf with a large group of Wisconsin medical staff around him.

Chasing down Turner, Smith was blindsided by receiver Kenny Bell as Smith's head jerked backwards and his body crumpled to the turf. Turner scored on the 55-yard touchdown pass, but Bell was flagged for unnecessary roughness to negate the score.

"I blacked out," said Smith, who walked off under his own power and did not return to the Badgers' 70-31 whipping of No.14 Nebraska. "It wasn't my head that was hurting then. It was more my ribs, my stomach. I was trying to get some air.

"It was a blessing that I am not going out in an ambulance and going to the hospital."

Replays show Bell sizing up Smith for a second or two before delivering the low, one that sent Smith airbone before he awkwardly landed on his back. Smith will have x-rays upon returning to Madison, but was in fine spirits after the game.

"We won," said Smith. "I feel the best."

He only had one assisted tackle, but made his presence known by intercepting Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez on the Cornhuskers first drive of the second half. Returning the ball 22 yards down to the Nebraska 9, Montee Ball scored one of his three rushing touchdowns on the next play.

That extended the lead to 39 and Nebraska never got closer than 32 the rest of the game.

"Coach Ash harped on us before we went out that this first drive was going to make the difference in the game," said Smith. "Don't give them momentum going into the game because they had a lot of comebacks.

"We got great pressure by the d-ends, (Martinez) made a bad decision and I was able capitalize."

Phillips becomes multifaceted

Wisconsin used a lot of trick plays Saturday, something that senior quarterback Curt Phillips was a big part of. The Badgers shifted to many formations, most of which involved Phillips at quarterback. They named one formation ‘zebra', which has many options, most of which the Badgers won't be revealing yet.

"Yeah, and you know I think our coaches did a great job with the game plan," Phillips said. "Everybody has faith that everything they were going to call was going to work every time, so it was nice to see some of those work."

Sophomore Sam Arneson lined up at center and shotgun-snapped the ball to Phillips. The formation lined the entire offensive line was on the far left side of the field. Phillips connected with Derek Watt for a 10-yard pass. The play looked like it could be a screen, but the Badgers went to the short side.

Phillips was also asked to do quite a few different things, including play receiver on an end around pass by junior wide receiver Jared Abbrederis (who was a high school quarterback that looked eerily similar to Montee Ball's 32-yard pass in last year's Big Ten Championship. The pass was a little short so Phillips had to adjust, but he came down with it for a 27 yard gain.

"I'm not going to complain about it because I wouldn't consider myself a receiver so I don't if I'd make that catch if he led me too much," Phillips joked.

Phillips finished completing 6-of-8 pass attempts for 71 yards. Phillips did have a nice throw to Abbrederis for 16 yards and a pass interference on the play tacked on 15 more.

Barge nets four touchdowns

< p >James White carried the ball twice out of the barge on the Badgers' second drive, including a 9-yard touchdown scamper, which was the first of four touchdowns the barge racked up. The Badgers used the barge on the goal-line, and it was effective.

"We practiced some of them for a while, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said about the trick plays. "I know Matt kept talking all along about having an indoor game and there's probably a couple we didn't use either that will remain a secret. James really wanted to be recruited as a quarterback all along so he finally had that opportunity to show up out there today. Our kids were able to have a little fun with it, but it was still the ‘meat-and-potatoes' that got us where we were."

White's threw his second pass of the season from the barge that went for a 3-yard touchdown. The play had been setup since was first used against Minnesota. Sam Arneson lined up on the right side of the offensive line and merely slipped past the Huskers linebackers into the back of the end zone to receive the touch pass. That pass ended up being the last pass of the game for the Badgers because they didn't have to.

Owning Indiana

In three games inside the state of Indiana this season, UW averaged 523.3 rushing yards, 630 total yards per game and outscored teams 170-59. Montee Ball (647), White (394) and Melvin Gordon (392) have combined to rush for 1,433 yards in UW's three games in Indiana this year, as the Badgers improved to 9-0 in the state of Indiana.

Team Notes

• Wisconsin won its 14th Big Ten championship and third in a row.

• For the first time in school history, Wisconsin has won three straight Big Ten titles. It is also the first time in school history the Badgers have gone to the Rose Bowl in three consecutive seasons. The last Big Ten team to make three-straight appearances in the Rose Bowl was Michigan in 1977-79. USC (2006-09) was the last team to go to three straight Rose Bowls.

• Wisconsin will be making its fifth trip to the Rose Bowl in the BCS era, tied with USC for the most of any team during that time span. It will be UW's ninth overall appearance in the Rose Bowl.

• UW's 70 points tied for the second-most in the modern era in school history and the sixth time in the last three years the Badgers have scored at least 60 points. It is the most points for Wisconsin since scoring 70 vs. Northwestern on Nov. 27, 2010.

• UW's 70 points also tied the most for any team in a conference championship game. Texas also scored 70 points in the Big 12 title game in 2005.

• Wisconsin's 21 points in the first quarter were its most in the opening quarter of a game since last year's Big Ten Football Championship Game.

• UW's 42 points in the first half were the most in the first half of a game since scoring 49 against Northwestern on Nov. 27, 2010.

• Wisconsin racked up 391 yards of total offense in the first half. That was better than the total offense in seven games this season.

• UW rushed for at least 400 yards for the third time this season and the 18th time in school history. It is the fourth time in school history UW has surpassed 500 rushing yards. The 539 rushing yards are good for fourth place in school history and are the most allowed by Nebraska in school history.

• UW surpassed 600 yards of total offense for the 15th time in school history.

- Erik Lewis contributed to this report


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