¼ - of the student section was full --- two hours before kickoff. The crowd was electric all night and much of that energy came directly from the student section. The crowd noise directly affected several plays (see below) and the overall atmosphere just might have helped in recruitment.
ONE - As in ‘Audience of One.' Several Badgers players wore this phrase on a black sweatshirt during warm-ups. It is difficult to say if the choice of color was supposed to send a message (probably not as not every player wore the sweatshirt), but the message comes from a religious ministry that counts several Badgers footballers as participants. Overall the team was very loose before the game. That didn't directly come from choice of sweatshirt but from well-founded confidence.
SECOND chances. Jared Abbrederis fumbled the ball during a punt return early in the game to give Nebraska good field position and momentum. But rather than being benched, the Badgers had Abbrederis switch places with James White for the ensuing kickoff to a position that increased the likelihood the Abbrederis would return the kick. Head Coach Bret Bielema was asked about it during the post-game press conference. Bielema said it wasn't an effort to build confidence for No.4. Instead, it was part of setting up a play that Abbrederis had a better chance to execute. As it was Abbrederis manufactured his own confidence boost and switched the momentum on the second play of the Badgers' possession following his fumble. He scooped in a pass from Russell Wilson and turned it into an 18-yard gain, moving the Badgers out of the shadow of their goalpost to the 29-yard line, setting the tone for the drive, which ended in a touchdown, and for the night. Abbrederis and Nick Toon hauled in 9 passes for 189 yards and two TDs. Abbrederis ran for an additional 23.
THREE deep. With Shelton Johnson sitting out the game with a bruised leg and Dezmen Southward nursing an injury for a few plays, Josh Peprah saw meaningful action at Safety for this first time in his career.
Fourth and 1. There has been some chatter that perhaps the 2011 Badger O-Line isn't as proficient in straight ahead run blocking as was the 2010 version. Against the Huskers on Saturday night the Badgers, after an Antonio Fenelus interception, were facing a fourth-and-1 at the Nebraska 12-yard line. Rather than kicking a field goal, Bielema decided to run the ball. Nebraska called a time out, stacked the line and then gave up 3 yards to a straight ahead running game lead by the Badger O-line. They made it look easy. The Badgers scored on the next play and the route was on.
V is for victory.
SIX - ABC set up six microphones for the TV broadcast in front of the section set aside for Nebraska fans. The unusual effort was wasted as this turned out to be one of the quieter sections of the stadium.
SEVEN Bowl representatives were counted on the sidelines, including two from the Rose Bowl.
EIGHT – The eight officials for the game were from Bill Lemonnier's Big Ten crew. Lemonnier is regarded as one of the conference's better officials. He calls a clean game and generally draws the more important games. Incidentally, it was with Lemonnier that Bielema had his difficulties in East Lansing in 2008.
NEIN – The Badgers sideline cheered Nebraska's timeout before the final play of the game. With 12 seconds left in the game the Huskers stopped play, trying to punch in a final, face-saving touchdown. Instead of being disappointed by the prolongation of the game, the Badgers defensive players cheered the challenge before them and stuffed the Huskers at their own 1-yard line to end the game. Nein. Nyet. No way.
TEN yard penalty. Last week BadgerNation's From the Field blog noted that Louis Nzegwu had his best game in 2010 against Michigan and its mobile QB Denard Robinson. Against Nebraska Nzegwu turned in a similarly solid effort, effectively containing his end of the line and allowing UW to brilliantly execute its defensive game plan. Part of the success came from forcing a holding infraction against Nebraska, negating a nice run with the 10-yard penalty.
DOZENS of tickets were available on the street prior to kickoff. Some of them may have been real, as plenty of reports surfaced of out-of-staters trying to pass off counterfeit passes.
13 – The victory over Nebraska was the thirteenth straight at Camp Randall for the Badgers, dating back to 2009.
14-7 was the score in Nebraska's with 8:00 remaining in the second quarter. From there the Badgers out-scored the Huskers 41-3.
15 yards of false start penalties. Add in another five yards for a delay of game and you get the measure of how effective the crowd noise was at Camp Randall. While it never reached the crescendo that accompanied David Gilreath's opening kickoff return for a touchdown against Ohio State in 2010, the crowd at the Nebraska game surpassed the noise from the OSU game on 3rd and 4th down defensive stands.
XVI – RusselMania!
Shiep – ch'il is Korean for seventeen. Seung Hoon Choi is a native of South Korea and saw playing time with Nebraska's offensive line. Approximately 1% of NCAA football players are of Asian heritage.
18 wheeler. Nebraska named its equipment truck after Jared Crick, whom the Badgers effectively neutralized. Insert your own joke here.
19 That's the age of UW true freshman linebacker Derek Landisch. Landisch previously played on special teams but saw his first meaningful action on defense against Nebraska. He was used on passing downs when the Badgers moved to a more flexible 4-2-5 lineup. Landisch, Mike Taylor, Chris Borland and Ethan Armstrong played linebacker and rush ends. The Badgers moved in and out of blitz looks from this set, showing a new formation to Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez. Landisch was on the field when Mike Taylor moved out of a blitz look, fell back into coverage and made a big interception. Kevin Claxton is a senior, Taylor a junior, Borland and Armstrong sophomores. Jake Keefer and Derek Watt are redshirting as freshmen and Vince Biegel is a 2012 recruit. The position looks solid for the future.
Twenty thousand. That was one estimate of how many Nebraska fans would be inside Camp Randall. Time to re-figure. While Nebraska had a strong showing, it maxed out at eight thousand or so, which would be a few thousand more than a good Iowa travelling party.
21 million dollars. That is the estimated annual take per school from the various Big Ten television contracts. Bo Pelini ignored his contractual obligation to participate in a half-time interview with ABC.
Twenty-Second This is Barry Alvarez's 22nd season at the University of Wisconsin. The football record for those years is 172-99-4. Alvarez got a huge reception when he was introduced as an honorary captain for the game.
Twenty-three thousand dollars is annual the out-of-state undergraduate tuition for the University of Wisconsin. There has been some recent discussion about starters Jared Abbrederis and Ethan Hemer continuing as walk-ons and the process for awarding them full scholarships. Not mentioned in the discussion is fellow-starter Ethan Armstrong. Abbrederis and Hemer are from Wisconsin, Armstrong is paying out-of-state tuition as a walk-on from Illinois. Something to consider when the discussion resumes.
24 - minutes and 45 seconds was the amount of time Nebraska had the ball, not good for the high-powered offense it brought in expecting to put up a ton of points. It also didn't help that Taylor Martinez, who proclaims he's solid at reading defenses, threw three awful interceptions that killed any type of momentum.
That's it for this week.