MADISON - With all the excitement over beating No.11 Nebraska and blocking for a tailback who set the FBS single game rushing mark, senior tight end Sam Arneson had to be reminded that the Badgers – 59-24 winners – had a new trophy to hoist.
“It’s definitely a fun thing,” said Arneson. “It’s a great meaning, the Freedom Trophy, honoring the service men. It was very cool to win it.”
The Freedom Trophy was announced jointly Monday to further enhance a budding Big Ten rivalry between West Division opponents. It features a bronze football stadium with an American flag extending from the center. One half of the outside of the stadium depicts the North section of Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium (built in 1917) and the other half the East side of Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium (1923).
The stadium and flag sculpture sits on top of a wooden base that has dedicated space for future game scores. It’s a base that’s big and heavy enough that linebacker Vince Biegel joked it took a handful of linemen to lift.
“I really didn’t know what was going on with the trophy,” said left tackle Tyler Marz. “It’s always fun, but it’s just another game for us.”
It’s the third straight trophy game for Wisconsin to end the season, playing Iowa for the Heartland Trophy and Minnesota for Paul Bunyan's Axe. Wisconsin currently possesses all of its traveling trophies.
Clement Good to Go
Sophomore tailback Corey Clement is OK after sustaining a stinger following a 17-yard touchdown in the first half, treating the injury with painkillers before coming back in the game.
“He got me pretty good on that (hit),” Clement said. “It was a little drastic fall at the end. I got speared a little bit. I didn’t allow my body weight to shift the way I wanted it to so everything just came down all on my shoulder.”
Clement was a little frustrated with the hit, but was ready to come back into the game.“I was kind of like ‘why me?’” he said. “I’m just like OK one tackle broke, second tackle broke, can I just score easily? No, I’ve got to get hurt at the end.”
Clement is being patient as the No. 2 running back right now, knowing his turn is next. He finished with 22 yards on five carries.
“I see this whole little cycle going. so I’m just like ‘OK, I’m No. 2,’” Clement said. “So everybody’s just telling me to be patient. So that’s what I’m really going to do. I’m just going to sit back, I’ve still got to years left, so you never know what happens in the following year. So I’m just really going to enjoy this year that we’re having and be appreciative.”
Before the snow really starting falling, the Badgers kept kicking around the football. Wisconsin lost three of its four fumbles in the first half and five of six for the game, indirectly leading to 17 Nebraska points.
Coming into the season, Melvin Gordon had only lost one fumble in his entire career, but lost two fumbles against the Cornhuskers, about the only thing that did go wrong on his 408-yard, four-touchdown day performance.
While the Badgers have held teams in check on the scoreboard (14.3 points per game), getting turnovers has been a problem spot for the defense. UW had only forced five interceptions coming into the game. No such problem in this game, as the Badgers forced four fumbles and one interception.
Wisconsin forced five turnovers is the team’s most since creating seven turnovers against Northwestern on Nov. 27, 2010.
“This week, coaches got a tackling circuit,” said linebacker Joe Schobert. “We were ready, we were stressing getting the ball out in practice the whole week and that definitely played a key role in what happened.”
Extra Points: Game time temperature of 26 degrees makes it the coldest game at Camp Randall since Nov. 21, 1964. It was also the 10th-coldest game in which Wisconsin has participated…Wisconsin ran for 591 yards, its second 500-yard rushing game of the season and seventh in school history. The Badgers’ rush total was the most Nebraska has ever allowed, as well…Wisconsin allowed just 62 yards passing—the second time this season the Badgers have held an opponent to 63 yards or less in the air (63 vs. Rutgers)…The Badgers racked up 4.0 sacks and 8.0 tackles for loss, giving them, 32.0 sacks and 71.0 TFLs through 10 games this season.
Erik Lewis contributed to this report