Huskers fall to Wisconsin in heartbreaking OT thriller, 24-17

Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 11:04 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WOWT) - For the second straight week, Nebraska was battling another 5-5 team and when the game was over it wasn’t the Huskers who were celebrating punching their tickets to a bowl game.

The Huskers watched Big Ten West rival Wisconsin hoist the Liberty trophy and pick up their sixth win after Nebraska failed to find the endzone in overtime.

Chubba Purdy got the start for the Huskers and led Nebraska to 364 total yards, but it still wasn't enough to beat Wisconsin on their own turf.

1st Quarter

Chubba Purdy got the start at quarterback for the Huskers. Just five plays into the first quarter, Purdy took off for a 55-yard touchdown to put Nebraska on the board first, 7-0.

On the Huskers’ next possession, Purdy connects with Westside product Jaylen Lloyd for a 58-yard touchdown. Nebraska takes an early 14-0 lead.

2nd Quarter

After only 12 total yards in the first quarter, Wisconsin put together a nine-play, 66-yard drive that was capped off by a 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tanner Mordecai to receiver Jackson Acker. Badgers get on the board, 14-7.

After the Husker only moved the ball eight yards, a 19-yard punt from Brian Buschini gives the Badgers the ball at their own 48-yard line. Despite the favorable field position, the Blackshirts keep Wisconsin out of the endzone. The Badgers settle for a 35-yard field goal off the foot of Nathanial Vakos to cut the Huskers’ lead to four.

Nebraska tries to respond, setting up kicker Tristan Alvano for a 42-yard field goal attempt with one second left in the half, but the kick goes wide right.

The Huskers go into the locker room up, 14-10.

3rd Quarter

Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen finds the endzone for a 2-yard TD. Extra point is good -- Badgers take a 17-14 lead with 7:47 to go.

Husker DL Blaise Gunnerson departed to the locker room late in the quarter. Badgers hang onto their lead with one quarter left to play.

4th Quarter

Tristan Alvano kicks a last-second 30-yard field goal -- tied at 17 all at the end of regulation.


Braelon Allen runs up the middle to score a Wisconsin TD -- extra point is good. Badgers retake the lead up by 7.

Wisconsin takes down Nebraska, 24-17. The Huskers have one last chance at bowl eligibility Friday, Nov. 24 versus Iowa.

Nebraska seemed to have a bowl game appearance in hand with a 10-7 lead going into the fourth quarter against Maryland a week ago, but the Huskers turned the ball over on their last three possessions of the game, losing 13-10.

The heartbreaking home loss came just a week after another narrow defeat in the form of a 20-17 road falter against a skidding Michigan State team.

So now, for the third straight week, Nebraska has a chance to eclipse the six-win threshold required to qualify for a bowl game in college football.

“We expect, moving forward, that every game we play in the month of November and December to be really important games,” Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule said in his press conference Thursday. “Games with consequences, games where winning and losing means something. We have to become very comfortable with that, almost become inoculated to that pressure.”


  • WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18
  • WHERE: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wis.
  • WATCH: NBC (6 News WOWT)
  • LISTEN: Huskers Radio Network
  • VEGAS ODDS: Nebraska +6, O/U 37
6 News Sports Director Clayton Collier gives his three keys to a Nebraska win over Wisconsin live from Camp Randall Stadium.

Questions at the quarterback position persist for the Huskers, as they have all year. Heinrich Haarberg suffered an ankle sprain and is questionable for Saturday’s game.

Jeff Sims and Chubba Purdy have both been taking reps in practice, but it remains unclear who will start the game under center for the Huskers in Madison. It will be a game-time decision, Rhule said.

Wisconsin is a 6-point favorite at home against Nebraska, as the Badgers look to extend their 9-game win streak over the Huskers on Saturday and keep the rivalry’s Freedom Trophy in Madison for another year.

Last season, Nebraska led for the entire game until Wisconsin scored a go-ahead touchdown in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter to win 15-14.

The Huskers are 1-9 against the Badgers since joining the Big Ten, their only win coming in 2012.