MADISON, Wisconsin–(NU Athletics Nov. 18)–Tristan Alvano sent the game to overtime with his 30-yard field goal with four seconds left, but the Nebraska football team came up short in a 24-17 overtime loss to Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday night.
Nebraska slipped to 5-6 overall and 3-5 in the Big Ten, while Wisconsin improved to 6-5 and 4-4 in the conference.
Nebraska jumped to a 14-0 first-quarter lead only to see Wisconsin score 17 unanswered points. But Chubba Purdy led Nebraska on game-tying final drive in the final 3:37 that resulted in Alvano’s field goal to send the game to overtime tied at 17.
The final drive for the Huskers covered 68 yards in nine plays, nearly all on the ground, after being helped by an initial defensive holding penalty on the Badgers. Emmit Johnscon, who finished with 50 yards on 13 carries, covered 25 yards on four totes while Purdy added 28 yards on two carries.
The Huskers won the overtime toss, giving Wisconsin the ball. Nebraska forced the Badgers into a 4th-and-1 at the 5, but Wisconsin was able to convert. On the next play, Braelon Allen barrelled into the end zone in between the push of the Wisconsin offensive line to give the Badgers a 24-17 lead.
Purdy and the Huskers were unable to convert on their overtime possession, as the game ended with a Wisconsin interception on 4th-and-16 at the 4.
Purdy, a sophomore from Queen Creek, Ariz., making his first start of the season, completed 15-of-23 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown on the night. He also played turnover-free football until the final play in OT. He added a game-high 105 rushing yards on 14 carries, including a touchdown.
Purdy got the Big Red rolling early by leading Nebraska to touchdowns on its first two drives of the game. The Huskers took the opening drive and covered 75 yards on six plays, highlighted by Purdy’s 55-yard touchdown run to give Nebraska a 7-0 lead just 3:27 into the game.
The Blackshirts got off the field quickly and put the ball back in Purdy’s hands. Six plays later, Purdy hit Jaylen Lloyd with a 58-yard touchdown strike to give Nebraska a 14-0 lead with six minutes left in the first quarter.
The defense got off the field again, and the Huskers took over at their own 11 for their third drive of the first quarter. The Big Red closed the first quarter on the move again, pushing the ball to the 33 for the start of the second period. Nebraska pushed the ball into Wisconsin territory and faced a 4th-and-1 at the Wisconsin 33. Johnson was stopped for a one-yard loss.
Wisconsin took the momentum from the stop and turned it into a sustained offensive drive that covered 66 yards in nine plays capped by Tanner Mordecai’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Acker to cut the Nebraska lead in half at 14-7.
The Badgers notched a quick stop on Nebraska’s ensuing drive and started with a short field after a 19-yard Husker punt. Nathaniel Vakos cut the Husker lead to 14-10 with his 35-yard field goal with 1:54 left to cap a six-play, 35-yard drive.
Purdy kept Nebraska moving on its final drive of the first half, marching the Huskers 51 yards to set up a 42-yard field goal attempt for Alvano on the final play of the half. But the kick missed wide left and the Big Red took the 14-10 lead to halftime.
While the Huskers moved the ball well in the first half, yards were tough to come by in the second half until the game-tying drive.
Wisconsin mounted more yardage after halftime, but managed just a two-yard touchdown run by Allen to cap a 10-play, 79-yard drive that took 4:31 and gave the Badgers a 17-14 lead with 7:47 left in the third quarter.
Mordecai led the Wisconsin offensive with 160 yards and a touchdown while completing 18-of-28 passes. The Badger quarterback also rushed nine times for 51 yards. Allen finished with 62 yards on 22 carries, including two touchdowns. Will Pauling led the Wisconsin receivers with eight receptions for 79 yards.
For the game, Nebraska outgained the Badgers 364-315.
Marques Buford Jr. led the Blackshirts with 10 tackles, including nine solos and 1.5 tackles for loss, while Isaac Gifford added eight stops.
Nebraska closes the regular season with its annual Black Friday game against Iowa. Kick-off between the Huskers and Hawkeyes at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln is set for 11 a.m. (CT) with live national television coverage on CBS.