The No. 22 Nebraska Cornhuskers needed their second-biggest comeback in school history to stave off an upset by the Big Ten rival Wisconsin Badgers.
After star Badgers running back bobbled the handoff and ultimately lost the ball on a 4th-and-1 with less than two minutes, all that was left was for the Cornhuskers to lock in the 30-27 road victory was three consecutive knees from Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez to run out the clock.
That was an outcome that 25-football minutes earlier seemed improbable.
Wisconsin jumped out to an early lead, and there were several moments where it felt safe to start marking down a win for the Badgers.
With still over seven minutes remaining in the first quarter, Montee Ball rushed in for a one-yard touchdown to give the Badgers a 14-0 lead.
They extended that lead to 20-3, which they held until Nebraska finally found the end zone with just over three minutes remaining in the first half when Taylor Martinez found Rex Burkhead for a three-yard pass and score.
The touchdown gave Nebraska some much-needed momentum heading into the locker room, but Wisconsin needed less than five minutes in the second half to add another touchdown and go up 27-10.
At that moment, it seemed like any chance Nebraska had to come back was gone.
The ESPN Big Ten Twitter account shared by Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett had this to say:
My goodness, Wisconsin. 27-10 now at Nebraska. Feels like old times.— Rittenberg/Bennett (@ESPN_BigTen) September 30, 2012
However, Martinez was keeping plays alive, and most importantly, he was making good decisions. And his team fed off his momentum. He finished with 181 yards passing, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also added 116 yards on the ground and another touchdown.
This fan was impressed by the turnaround, and it turned what must have been a bleak expectation for Nebraska's season into a decent one.
This is definitely not the same NEBRASKA team that was playing in the first half. These guys look like they could win 3 or 4 more games.— Scott Skiba (@ScottSkiba) September 30, 2012
This was the first conference opener for both teams, and with the win, Nebraska improves to 4-1 on the season, and Wisconsin falls to 3-2.
And let us all not forget that this simply caps off what has been a frustrating week for football fans in Wisconsin. WFAW Sports' Shane Sparks sure didn't need any reminders.
Cheer up, Cheeseheads and Badgers, it can only get better from here.