Huskers lose to Badgers in final seconds
Story and photos by Benjamin Schoenkin, NewsNetNebraska
Up by one with less than a minute to go, and again the Huskers came away with a loss Saturday in Memorial Stadium. Nebraska lost its season opener to Brigham Young University last month on a Hail Mary pass play. Close losses to Miami and Illinois followed. Saturday, the Huskers fourth gut wrenching loss came on a 46-yard field goal by Wisconsin.
The game remained scoreless through the first quarter. In the second quarter, Wisconsin scored a touchdown and went up by seven. A few plays before the 7- yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joel Stave to tight end Troy Fumagalli, Stave threw toward wide receiver Alex Erickson, the ball fell to ground and a referee threw a flag. The referees called a pass interference penalty on safety Byerson Cockrell and Wisconsin went from the Nebraska 11-yard line to the 2-yard line.
The Huskers responded on the following drive and tied the game up. Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. ran into the end zone from 7-yards out.
Nebraska took the lead going into halftime by scoring in the final minute of the half. Armstrong threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Alonzo Moore.
In the beginning of the third quarter, Nebraska attempted a 52-yard field goal to go up by 10, but kicker Drew Brown missed.
In the final minutes of the third quarter, Wisconsin cut Nebraska’s lead to four with kicker Rafael Gaglianone kicking a 45-yard field goal. The Badgers then took the lead in the beginning of the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Alec Ingold. Wisconsin later in the quarter went up by six with a Gaglianone 42-yard field goal.
With a little over three minutes left in the game, fullback Andy Janovich scored a touchdown with a 55-yard run and the crowd in Memorial Stadium cheered.
Wisconsin attempted a 39-yard field goal on the next drive, but Gaglianone missed. After the miss, Nebraska ran the ball on three straight plays in an attempt to run out the clock, but did not pick up a first down and punted.
With a little over a minute left, Wisconsin drove from their 30-yard line to the Nebraska 28-yard line. Only seconds left in the game, Gaglianone kicks, and the football goes through the uprights.
After the game, Nebraska Head Coach Mike Riley said the offensive side of the ball was a problem.
“What we missed today was sustaining much offense for any period of time, especially when we had some momentum, had the wind in the third quarter, which I was hoping we would capitalize on,” Riley said. He also mentioned defending against long passes as a problem as well.
Armstrong said in a press conference after the game, “We just didn’t play the whole game like we wanted to and it costs us the game.”
In the final minutes, Huskers fans in Memorial Stadium went from thinking they were about to beat Wisconsin to leaving the stadium and knowing that their Huskers were now two and four on the year.