D'Cota Dixon breaks up the potential game-winner in the end zone to lead No.11 Wisconsin to a 23-17 win over No.7 Nebraska

Wisconsin tried multiple times to give it away, but its defense was just too much for No.7 Nebraska. The Badgers register their third top-10 win of the season with a 23-17 overtime thriller.

MADISON – D’Cota Dixon made sure Wisconsin didn’t give away another overtime victory on its home turf.

Despite the Badgers faltering in multiple areas in the fourth quarter and overtime, the Badgers’ junior safety saved the day when he broke up Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong’s fourth-down pass in the end zone to clinch a 23-17 overtime victory in front of 80,833 at Camp Randall Stadium

It was a typical bend-but-don’t-break game for Wisconsin (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten), which was sporadic on offense, inconsistent on third down and couldn’t sustain momentum but found a way to knock off its third top-10 opponent of the season.

Wisconsin’s offense sputtered in the first half with Alex Hornibrook under center, going three-and-out on four of his five drives. That resulted in fifth-year senior Bart Houston getting back-to-back drive for the first time in six weeks, leading UW to a field goal on a 7-play drive and a 9-play drive that stalled near midfield.

Wisconsin averaged 3.3 yards per rush, allowed the Huskers to go 5 of 9 on third down and see Nebraska (7-1, 4-1) have an average starting field position of its own 32, but the Badgers led 10-7 because UW’s defense delivered six pass breakups and two interceptions of Armstrong.

The start of the third quarter was a different story, as the offense – with Hornibrook under center – went 73 yards in 13 yards plays to chew 6:36 off the clock. More importantly, UW converted a touchdown in the red zone with a 9-yard pass to senior Rob Wheelwright.

After going 4-for-8 for 39 yards in the first half, Hornibrook was 5-for 6 for 30 yards on the drive.

Wisconsin was far from out of the woods. Coming it holding opponents to 24.7 percent on third downs (the No.4 mark nationally), Nebraska went 9-for-18 on the critical down, including a perfect 3-for-3 on a 14-play, 75-yard drive that cut the score to three.

Nebraska safety Nathan Gerry intercepted Wisconsin’s two quarterbacks on the next two drives, the second of which helped the Huskers tie the game with a 35-yard Drew Brown field goal with just under four minutes left.

Tailback Corey Clement delivered with a 41-yard run on the next series, but UW appeared to settle for a field goal attempt that kicker Andrew Endicott missed from 45.

Nebraska won the toss and picked defense, so the Badgers chose to go run heavy, leading to a touchdown four plays later. Things got tense when Endicott missed the extra point, but the Badgers’ defense held the Huskers to only two yards in overtime.

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No.11 Wisconsin 23, No.7 Nebraska 17, OT

First Half 

First Quarter

7-0 Wisconsin

2 plays, 51 yards, 0:43 TOP, 9:38 left 

Bradrick Shaw 21-yard run (Andrew Endicott kick)

Key Play: After having a first-down completion broken up to end the last drive, tight end Troy Fumagalli hauls in a perfect throw on his finger tips from quarterback Alex Hornibrook for a 30-yard gain down to the Nebraska 21

Second Quarter

7-7

6 plays, 42 yards, 2:12 TOP, 13:41 left 

Devine Ozigbo 1-yard run (Drew Brown kick)

Key Play: Matched up in one-on-one coverage, Sojourn Shelton was beaten by receiver Jordan Westerkamp on the slant and then whiffed on the tackle attempt, adding 20 extra yards on the play down to the Wisconsin 4.

10-7 Wisconsin

7 plays, 25 yards, 3:18 TOP, 6:53 left 

FG Andrew Endicott 44

Key Play: On third-and-2, Bart Houston completed a 9-yard pass to Troy Fumagalli for a first down to the Nebraska 33.

Second Half

Third Quarter

17-7 Wisconsin

13 plays, 73 yards, 6:36 TOP, 8:17 left 

Rob Wheelwright 9-yard pass from Alex Hornibrook (Andrew Endicott kick)

Key Play: Not only did Wheelwright haul in his first touchdown catch of the season, the senior set himself up by delivering a big 10-yard reception over the middle to the Nebraska 35, as quarterback Alex Hornibrook delivered the throw between two defenders.

Fourth Quarter

17-14 Wisconsin

14 plays, 75 yards, 5:58 TOP, 13:45 left 

Tommy Armstrong 2-yard run (Drew Brown kick)

Key Play: Armstrong went 3-for-3 passing on Nebraska's touchdown drive, including a 16-yard pass to Jordan Westerkamp on third-and-7 down to the Wisconsin 13.

17-17

11 plays, 52 yards, 5:53 TOP, 3:43 left 

FG Drew Brown 35

Key Play: A missed tackle by Lubern Figaro on Stanley Morgan's catch was a big one, as the 25-yard gain got the Huskers into field goal range at the UW 21.

Overtime

23-17 Wisconsin

4 plays, 25 yards

Dare Ogunbowale 11-yard run (kick failed)

Key Play: With the passing game sputtering, Wisconsin kept the ball on the ground and Ogunbowale followed the blockers around the left tackle to the end zone.

Wisconsin Insider Game Thread

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