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Wisconsin Football: Unlikely Comeback vs Nebraska Seals Bowl Eligibility

Wisconsin football showed resilience against Nebraska on Saturday.



Wisconsin Badgers Football vs Nebraska
Nov 18, 2023; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers safety Preston Zachman (14) celebrates with defensive end Ben Barten (68) following the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin football team, reeling from a three-game losing streak and a demoralizing defeat against Northwestern, faced another grim start against Matt Rhule and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. 

Slow starts had plagued the Badgers all season, and the first quarter against one of the nation’s worst offenses seemed like another disaster in the making — going down 14-0 in the blink of an eye. 

However, something shifted after a pivotal 4th-and-1 stop. The momentum shifted completely — and for the first time since the Illinois game — the Badgers showed they wouldn’t go down without a fight. 

Wisconsin Football Didn’t Pack It in When Times Got Tough Against Nebraska

Wisconsin football, on the brink of a four-game skid, displayed resilience. 

Despite a shaky start, a strong defensive adjustment after halftime and Tanner Mordecai’s leadership propelled Luke Fickell and the Badgers to victory over the Cornhuskers 24-17 in overtime.

“Tonight we started out not good enough, and we did the exact opposite of what I said was the number one thing we had to do. We had to come out, and we had to start fast,” Coach Fickell acknowledged.

“They showed me that there was something deeper down inside… They had to dig a lot deeper tonight. We all had to dig a lot deeper tonight because of the way we started and just the way things have gone the last few weeks.”

With Saturday’s win, the Wisconsin football program improved their record to 6-5 and will now go bowling for the 22nd consecutive season. In an otherwise disappointing season — this felt like a huge step in the right direction — and looked more like the teams of years past. 

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Trevor Lovec is a freelance sports writer, correspondent, and a diehard Northern Iowa fan. He covers Wisconsin football & basketball, plus a little Badgers recruiting for