Several Husker defenders had big nights, including senior linebacker Sean Fisher, who had seven tackles in Saturday’s 30-27 victory against Wisconsin at Memorial Stadium.
Fisher’s career has had its ups and downs, but defensive coordinator John Papuchis said, “Tonight was an up."
"Sean’s a lot like Alonzo Whaley," Papuchis said. "He’s suited for (playing) this type of offense. It’s hard to tell until you watch film, but at least on the surface, he played well.”
Strong night for Maher
Senior kicker Brett Maher drilled the 41-yard field goal that turned out to be the game winner for the Huskers.
Maher was 3-for-4, with field goals of 26, 38 and 41 yards, and a miss from 52. Six of his seven kickoffs turned into touchbacks, and he averaged 46.7 yards on three punts. So it was a strong night for the kicker from Kearney, capped by the boot with 9:41 left that ended up winning it for NU.
“I was just trying to take in the opportunity and just take advantage of it and just put a good hit on the ball,” said Maher, now 7-for-11 on field goals this season. “I had confidence in the snap and the hold, and they were perfect like they were all night.”
Maher’s 26 career field goals are tied with Greg Barrios for fifth on NU’s all-time chart.
While the team sported a flashy, modern look, NU assistant Joe Ganz went old school Saturday night with red-and-black plaid pants, a tribute to Tom Osborne, who announced his retirement as athletic director last week.
“For our leader who’s going to retire here, when he had style back when he was coaching here,” Ganz said. “I was going to wear the all red that he wore, but I think I rock these, though. These are actually in style. Now I have an extra pair of golf pants.”
Ganz said head coach Bo Pelini recently talked about wearing red pants for a game. He asked Ganz what he would do in that instance.
“I’d quit,” Ganz said.
On a roll on the ground
Nebraska rushed for 259 yards, giving the Huskers at least 250 rushing yards in each of the first five games this season. The last time NU had five games or more in a row like that was in 2002, when the Huskers did it in seven straight games.
Martinez leaving his mark
With 181 yards passing Saturday, Taylor Martinez increased his career total to 4,779 yards, good for fourth place on the school’s career passing list (ahead of Jerry Tagge’s 4,704). With 107 rushing yards, he had his 10th career 100-yard rushing game and put his total at 2,137 yards, which is third on the Husker chart. He is now 436 yards behind No. 2 Jammal Lord.
Review pays off for NU
Wisconsin thought it had a 25-yard gain to midfield on a pass play from Joel Stave to Jacob Pedersen late in the second quarter, but the NU staff wanted a review, and it turned into a reversal and an incompletion. All of that happened after a HuskerVision replay on the big screen made it pretty clear it was a no-catch. But it’s worth noting that the officials have to use other sources (like the ABC replays) to change a call instead of the home team’s camera work.
NU junior cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste got an earful from Pelini after a roughing-the-kicker penalty early in the second quarter. Wisconsin received new life on a stalled drive when Jean-Baptiste ran into punter Drew Meyer. It was a clear-cut case, and the 15-yard penalty gave the Badgers a first down at the Nebraska 44-yard line.
Wisconsin turned the break into a touchdown a few players later, on a 29-yard pass from Joel Stave to Jared Abbrederis.
Rome makes appearance
Chase Rome was out there on the fourth-and-1 stop.
A penny for his thoughts?
"On the nose on a fourth-and-1 against Wisconsin, it was do-or-die," Rome said. "I was nervous. I'm not going to sit here and say I wasn't. But I think we all did a good job of doing our job and not trying to play off ourselves. Everybody hit what they were supposed to hit. It went in our favor."
The sophomore defensive tackle saw his first action since coming back to the team after a brief departure earlier in the season.
Rome talked briefly about that after the game.
"There's nothing like Nebraska," he said. "I'm sure you guys have heard all kinds of stories about what's going on. You know how that goes. That's all I'm really going to say about that side of it. But it was great (to play). It really was. I'm excited."
— Brian Christopherson contibuted to this report