UW football: Tom Oates grades the Badgers vs. Nebraska

2011-10-02T00:15:00Z 2012-05-23T17:57:29Z UW football: Tom Oates grades the Badgers vs. NebraskaTOM OATES | toates@madison.com | 608-252-6172 madison.com

Columnist Tom Oates assesses the University of Wisconsin football team's performance against Nebraska on Saturday in its Big Ten Conference opener at Camp Randall Stadium.

Offense: A-

The blitz baffled UW early, but Russell Wilson's quick feet and more rollout calls minimized the damage. Wilson was a third-down machine. Montee Ball gained some tough yards against a strong defensive front.

Defense: A-

Nebraska's no-huddle hurt UW early. Once the Badgers forced Taylor Martinez into throwing situations, interceptions followed. Picks by Mike Taylor, Aaron Henry and Antonio Fenelus turned the game around.

Special teams: D

Jared Abbrederis' fumble on a punt return handed Nebraska seven points. The blocked extra point looked very costly at the time. The kickoff coverage on Ameer Abdullah was subpar, but at least he didn't break one.

Overall: A-

With the whole world watching, UW overcame some early punches to the mouth to dominate Nebraska. Offensive coordinator Paul Chryst's game plan was brilliant. The defense stymied Nebraska's vaunted running game.

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