Notes: A Bad Skip

After calling out Taylor Martinez, Wisconsin junior defensive end David Gilbert is forced to own up to his words after the Badgers fail to contain the junior quarterback in the second half.

LINCOLN, Neb. -Three days before the conference opener, David Gilbert gave the Cornhuskers some bulletin material to focus on. Quoted as saying Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez ‘looks like he's skipping rocks out there. He can't throw,' Gilbert ate those words with Martinez throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for another in Wisconsin's 30-27 setback against No.22 Nebraska.

"I was real excited for this game having broken my foot last year before it but that's no excuse," said Gilbert, who was benched for the first series for his comments. "It's uncharacteristic of me those things that I said but it was mostly due to the excitement that I felt from the game."

With what Gilbert said about Martinez, Gilbert knew he had to back up his words with his play. Gilbert finished the game with three tackles and a sack that forced a fumble in the third quarter, which Wisconsin turned into its final seven points in the third quarter.

"There was a lot of pressure on me to back up my words and I don't think I played as well as I could have," Gilbert said. "But it's back to the drawing board for me and see where I can improve and come out next week prepared."

It's natural that the Cornhuskers offense would bring up what Gilbert said on the field but Gilbert was prepared for it.

"It came up a couple of times but that's the spirit of the game when you say something like that going into the game," Gilbert said. "You have to expect a response and I'm fine with that I would've done the same thing."

No one would have blamed Gilbert's teammates if they got upset with him about his comments, but they showed that they were a tight knit group and got behind Gilbert.

"My teammates have my back and I have there back no matter what so I don't think that was an issue," Gilbert said. "We did lose and that's never a good feeling but were not pointing any fingers and were just trying to get better."

Even though Gilbert didn't have his best game, he was complementary of the Cornhuskers team and offense after the game.

"I give a lot of respect to there football team, they played hard and they came back, they played like they had something to prove and they proved it," Gilbert said.

Despite the Badgers second half struggles on defense, the Badgers defense came out strong to start the game, holding Nebraska's high-powered offense to 10 points and 143 total yards at halftime.

"We were executing well, we were playing with a lot of energy we just let it slip away from us and let the momentum shift and we couldn't get it back in time," Gilbert said.

Kicking Struggles Continue

Leaving four points on the field due to a missed extra point and a missed field goal, true freshman Jack Russell was understandably frustrated with his continued struggles in the kicking game.

"I rushed the extra point I didn't follow through enough with it," Russell said. "For the field goal I thought I hit the ball well, it felt good after I kicked it, it tailed at the end. I'll just have to see what happened."

Russell has missed both of his field goal attempts on the year, both coming from the right hash marks.

"I see it as every kick as the same, it's a straight kick every single time. It shouldn't really affect the way I kick it," Russell said.

After Russell missed his extra point and field goal, Kyle French came in and took over those responsibilities with Russell remaining on the kickoff team.

Both French and Russell have seen their struggles with different parts of the kicking game so far this year. Bielema might have to go with both kickers for the rest of the season - Russell handling kickoffs and French taking care of PAT's and field goals. Whatever happens the Badgers are going to have to figure out soon because they can't let the kicking game to continue to struggle like this.

"It is very big, but they all are," Bielema said. "We know that every play matters and the kicking game has been a little up and down. Both of our guys have shown really good things, making it difficult to go with one guy. You would like one of the guys to stand up and take control, but it hasn't been able to happen for us yet."

Taylor continues to have Success

Senior Mike Taylor finished the game with a game-high 15 tackles, including one tackle for loss. Taylor has recorded 13 or more tackles in 10 of his last 15 games dating back to last season.

Taylor was happy with how the defense played in the first half but he knows the defense didn't put together a complete game.

"They are a good offense," Taylor said. "Obviously, they can run. The defense, for the most part, played well, but they had some big plays on us, with a little bit of poor tackling on our part. Like I said, they are a good team. They can score; they can run."

With two losses on the year so far the Badgers will have to try and figure out a way to overcome it and Taylor is confident him and the Badgers can.

"You just have to move forward," Taylor said. "Just have to continue to get better and see where we made mistakes just have to have a short term memory. But it's a long season and it comes down to conference wins and our goal is to get back to the conference championship and you just have to move forward."

Extra Points: Montee Ball had the 20th multiple-touchdown game of his career and the first of the season. The NCAA record for career multiple touchdown games is 25. For Ball it was the 12th time in his career he has scored at least three touchdowns… Ball now has 67 career touchdowns, tying him for fifth in NCAA history. He needs 12 touchdowns to break the NCAA record. He also has 61 career rushing touchdowns; good for sixth in NCAA history… Robert Burge wore number 84 during the game and started as an extra tight end in the Badgers jumbo package… Borland recovered the fourth and fifth fumbles of his career; they were Borland's first fumble recoveries since his first career start verse Purdue in 2009.

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