MADISON — Dare Ogunbowale scored on an 11-yard run in overtime, and No. 11 Wisconsin held on to beat No. 7 Nebraska 23-17 on Saturday night to hand the Cornhuskers their first loss of the season.
The Badgers (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) stopped Nebraska on fourth-and-8 from the 23 after defensive back D’Cota Dixon swatted away a pass to the end zone from Tommy Armstrong Jr. intended for Stanley Morgan Jr.
Dixon’s giddy teammates rushed from the sideline to meet the safety in the end zone to celebrate. Tested Wisconsin picked up its third victory over a Top 10 program.
Nebraska (7-1, 4-1) gained respect after coming back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Drew Brown’s 35-yard field goal with 3:43 left tied it at 17.
Wisconsin had a chance to win it with 1:43 left, but Andrew Endicott’s 45-yard field-goal try went wide left. Endicott also missed the extra point following Ogunbowale’s touchdown.
But a tough-as-nails defense bailed out the Badgers again.
Armstrong finished 12 of 31 for 153 yards. He ran for 39 yards on 13 carries, including a 2-yard score with 13:45 left in the fourth quarter to draw Nebraska within 17-14.
Needing just 11 yards to go over 10,000 in total offense for his career, Armstrong set the mark in the first quarter to become just the 11th player in Big Ten history to reach that milestone.
But he also threw two interceptions in the first half, including one on a pass tipped by lineman Alec James . It set up Endicott’s 44-yard field goal with 6:53 to go in the second quarter for a 10-7 lead that Wisconsin would hold through halftime.
Nebraska: The Cornhuskers played well against a top team after being doubted by pundits for a slate of less-than-impressive wins. But that’s probably little consolation to coach Mike Riley’s crew. Regardless, the game will look good on Nebraska’s postseason resume.
Wisconsin: The Badgers shuffled offensive-line combinations again and gave backup quarterback Bart Houston several series, including the game-winning drive in overtime. They had trouble early getting traction in the running game, except for Bradrick Shaw’s 21-yard touchdown run up the middle in the first quarter to give Wisconsin a 7-0 lead. The Cornhuskers fell for a fake jet sweep on that play. Corey Clement had just 15 yards on eight carries in the first half, before finishing with 82 for the night. Wisconsin may want to see what transpires next week by sticking with one combination for a while.
Nebraska: The trip to Camp Randall Stadium was just a warm-up act for the Cornhuskers, who travel to the Horseshoe to face No. 6 Ohio State next week.
Wisconsin: Visits Northwestern next week. The Badgers in recent years have had trouble at Ryan Field.