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Seeing Red: Luke Mullin's extra points from Nebraska's 15-14 loss to Wisconsin

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Amie Just and Luke Mullin break down Nebraska's loss to Wisconsin on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. 

Nebraska football writer Luke Mullin offers his extra points from the Husker football team's 15-14 loss to Wisconsin on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

It was over when: Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz scored his 1-yard quarterback sneak with 35 seconds left in the game. While difficult against the Badgers' talented offensive line, Nebraska's chances of winning depended upon a goal-line stop. The chances of driving 60-70 yards into the wind in 30-plus seconds for a game-winning field goal are minuscule, so that was the moment to look back on.

Turning point: Nebraska going three-and-out before the game-winning drive. Even picking up one first down would have greatly limited the amount of time Wisconsin had to drive down the field, but two Anthony Grant carries and an incomplete pass resulted in Wisconsin taking over at midfield with 3:11 left to play.

Quotable: Senior tight end Travis Vokolek on Casey Thompson's performance.

"He's a son of a gun; he's got that fire in him."

Game ball: The Wisconsin offensive line. While the Badgers' rushing attack didn't reach its usual heights in the first half, Wisconsin's big men in the trenches went to work as the game stretched on. With 52 of Wisconsin's 70 offensive plays being runs, that strategy doesn't work unless an offensive line is firing on all cylinders.

Game ball: Linebacker Ernest Hausmann. The true freshman from Columbus has impressed recently, and his performance against Wisconsin was his best yet. Hausmann set a new career-high with 12 tackles, beating his former best of 10 he set last week, and was decisive when crashing ball-carriers and receivers. For a young player, that's a sign of catching up to the speed of the game.

Hat tip: To Thompson, who returned from injury despite not having full feeling in his pinky finger. Given Nebraska's offensive struggles without him, it's doubtful the Huskers would have been nearly as competitive if Thompson had been unable to play against Wisconsin. He showed toughness to come back and fight for his teammates.

Deep connection: Passing yards were hard to come by on Saturday, with Trey Palmer's four receptions and 47 yards being the top mark of any receiver. While Palmer was once on track for an 1,000-yard season, he now needs 169 yards against Iowa to reach that mark.

Numbers for the road

9: Consecutive losses for Nebraska against Wisconsin, which it last beat in 2012.

6.3: Yards per play for Wisconsin in the fourth quarter.

2.1: Yards per play for Nebraska in the fourth quarter.

74: Yards that Brian Buschini's third-quarter punt traveled, making it the seventh-longest punt in school history.

31: Nebraska players who walked for Senior Day.


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Husker football/baseball reporter

An Omaha native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate, Luke reports on Nebraska football and baseball. Luke is in his fourth year with the Journal Star and previously covered prep sports.

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