(14) Nebraska 31

(10-3, 7-1 Big Ten)

Wisconsin 70

(8-5, 4-4 Big Ten)

Coverage: FOX

8:17 PM ET, December 1, 2012

1 2 3 4 T
#14NEB 10 0 7 1431
WIS 21 21 21 770

Top Performers

Passing: T. Martinez (NEB) - 184 YDS, 2 INT

Rushing: M. Ball (WIS) - 21 CAR, 202 YDS, 3 TD

Receiving: J. Turner (NEB) - 5 REC, 63 YDS

Wisconsin whips Nebraska, reaches Rose Bowl

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Wisconsin took the ball and ran away with another Big Ten title.

Montee Ball ran for 202 yards and three touchdowns and the Badgers scored seven touchdowns on their first nine possessions, blowing out Nebraska (No. 12 BCS, No. 14 AP) 70-31 to win their third straight, and most improbable, Big Ten title on Saturday night.

Wisconsin will be the first five-loss team to play in the Rose Bowl and is the first school to represent the league in three consecutive Rose Bowls since Michigan in the late 1970s.

"As my AD tells me all the time, you haven't won one yet," coach Bret Bielema said. "We're going out there to win. That's the mission, and I appreciate all the fans coming out to Madison East."

It was a milestone night for the Badgers.

For the first time in school history, the Badgers had two 200-yard rushers. They finished with the fourth-highest rushing total in school history (539) and tied a conference championship game scoring record. Texas also scored 70 points in the 2005 Big 12 championship game.

And it was a fitting end to a wacky Big Ten season. Wisconsin (8-5, 4-4) only reached this year's because Leaders Division champion Ohio State (12-0) and division runner-up Penn State (8-4) were both ineligible for postseason play.

The Badgers didn't care about what others were saying. They simply advantage of their good fortune and delivered a night to remember.

Ball broke the Football Bowl Subdivision career rushing touchdowns record and was named the game MVP.

Melvin Gordon opened the scoring with a 56-yard TD run and closed the first half with a 60-yard run to set up another TD, rushing for a career-high 216 yards on nine carries. Three different Badgers threw passes, including running back James White who also ran for four TDs.

The defense was dominant, too. In the first half alone, Taylor Martinez was sacked three times, fumbled twice, losing one and having the early pick-six.

Ball matched Travis Prentice's FBS record for most career games with multiple TDs (25), topped the 5,000-yard mark and was named the game's MVP. He also broke Prentice's record for rushing TDs in a career (73) and now has 76.

White added 108 yards and threw his first career TD pass, too.

Wisconsin piled up 639 total yards, and after blowing a 17-point lead against the Cornhuskers in a 30-27 September loss, Bielema refused to let up.

Instead, he emptied the playbook and Nebraska (10-3, 7-1) got run over.

"We failed," dejected Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. "We failed to win a championship and that was the goal coming in and we didn't get it done and apologize for it."

The onslaught came quickly.

Gordon took the ball on an end around, made two cuts and sprinted 56 yards for a 7-0 lead on the fourth play of the game.

On the next offensive play, a falling Kenny Bell tipped Martinez's pass in the air and Wisconsin's Marcus Cromartie picked it off and raced 29 yards. It was already 14-0 after only 2:07 in.

The Huskers finally counterpunched on their second series when Martinez avoided four tackles in his own backfield, found a crease in the middle of the field and stepped over one of his own blockers for a 76-yard TD run. Nebraska settled for a 32-yard field goal from Brett Maher to make it 14-10.

That's when the Badgers opened things up.

With the ball on the right hash, they sent seven players to the left hash and had Curt Phillips throw a pass to Derek Watt on the right. After two more conventional runs, White ran two plays out of the Wildcat formation, finally scooting 9 yards around the right side to give Wisconsin a 21-10 lead with 1:01 to go in the first quarter.

Wisconsin was only getting started.

The next score, a 1-yard run plunge from White again out of the Wildcat, was set up by a 27-yard pass from receiver Jared Abbrederis to Phillips.

And after Ball's record-breaking touchdown dive made it 35-10, Gordon went 60-yards on an end around to put the ball at the Nebraska 3 with 6 seconds left in the half. White again lined up in the Wildcat and this time threw a 3-yard TD pass to Sam Arenson for a 42-10 halftime lead.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini and his players were left shaking their heads as a third league championship game opportunity faded away.

But things got even worse in the second half.

Wisconsin picked off Martinez again on the opening possession, and Ball had a 9-yard TD run on the next play.

Martinez answered with an 11-yard TD run, but Ball scored on a 57-yard run and White followed that with a 68-yard TD run to make it 63-17 with 6:42 left in the third quarter.

The Badgers have felt right at home in Indiana. They are the only Big Ten school with any wins at Lucas Oil Stadium, have won 10 straight in the Hoosier State and in three games this year in Indiana ran for 1,570 yards and outscored opponents 170-59.

But there's still plenty of work to do.

"It's time to win a game, those were his words" Ball said of Bielema's approach to the Rose Bowl.


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2324
Total Yards477640
3rd Down Conversions6-165-9
4th Down Conversions1-20-0

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

TD13:01Melvin Gordon 56 Yd Run (Kyle French Kick) 07
TD12:53Marcus Cromartie 29 Yd Interception Return (Kyle French Kick) 014
TD10:58Taylor Martinez 76 Yd Run (Brett Maher Kick) 714
FG04:46Brett Maher 32 Yd 1014
TD01:01James White 9 Yd Run (Kyle French Kick) 1021
TD11:11James White 1 Yd Run (Kyle French Kick) 1028
TD07:15Montee Ball 16 Yd Run (Kyle French Kick) 1035
TD00:02Sam Arneson 3 Yd Pass From James White (Kyle French Kick) 1042
TD14:13Montee Ball 9 Yd Run (Jack Russell Kick) 1049
TD10:47Taylor Martinez 11 Yd Run (Brett Maher Kick) 1749
TD09:27Montee Ball 57 Yd Run (Jack Russell Kick) 1756
TD06:42James White 68 Yd Run (Jack Russell Kick) 1763
TD12:14Braylon Heard 9 Yd Run (Brett Maher Kick) 2463
TD08:57James White 10 Yd Run (Jack Russell Kick) 2470
TD00:51Imani Cross 26 Yd Run (Brett Maher Kick) 3170

Research Notes

Wisconsin scored 42 points in the 1st half of the Big Ten Championship game last night. The last time Wisconsin's basketball team scored 42 points in the 1st half of a Big Ten game was February 27, 2011 (43 against Northwestern). They've played 23 Big Ten games since then (regular season and Big Ten Tournament games) without matching what the football team did last night. The hoops team has 2 GAMES since then when it didn't score 42 points, and it was held below 70 (the football team's total last night) in 19 of the 23 Big Ten games since then.
Wisconsin has 290 rushing yards in the first half. That's the sixth-highest total in FBS this season, and the highest for the Badgers in the last nine seasons.

ESPN Stats & Information