Allen carries No. 19 Wisconsin to 35-28 win over Nebraska

MARK HOFFMAN/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL / USA TODAY NETWORK
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MADISON, Wis.- Braelon Allen rushed for 228 yards and three touchdowns – including a tiebreaking 53-yarder with 3:50 remaining – to help No. 19 Wisconsin outlast Nebraska 35-28 for its seventh consecutive victory Saturday.

Nebraska drove to Wisconsin’s 11-yard line in the final minute but ended up losing the ball on downs at the 21. Faion Hicks broke up Adrian Martinez’s fourth-down pass to Zavier Betts with four seconds left.

The Badgers (8-3, 6-2 Big Ten, No. 15 College Football Playoffs) handed Nebraska (3-8, 1-7) its fifth straight loss and moved a step closer to playing for a conference title.

Wisconsin will clinch its fourth Big Ten championship game appearance in the last six years if it wins its regular-season finale at Minnesota. Wisconsin is tied with No. 18 Iowa for first place in the West but owns the tiebreaker advantage because it beat the Hawkeyes 27-7 on Oct. 30.

Allen, who had 22 carries Saturday, has rushed for over 100 yards in each of Wisconsin’s last seven games. The 17-year-old had totaled 12 carries during Wisconsin’s 1-3 start.

He had a career-long 71-yard touchdown in the first quarter and a 3-yard score late in the third quarter. After Nebraska tied the game with 6:27 left in the game on Marvin Scott’s 3-yard touchdown, Allen put Wisconsin back ahead with one more breakaway.

Allen went through the right side of the line, headed toward the sideline and easily shed safety Myles Farmer’s tackle attempt inside the 30.

Nebraska got a first down from the Wisconsin 11 in the final minute. But after right tackle Bryce Benhart committed a holding penalty that pushed the Cornhuskers back 10 yards, Martinez threw four straight incompletions.

Nebraska coach Scott Frost received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the fourth-down incompletion, perhaps believing Hicks made contact with the receiver before the throw arrived.

Martinez went 23 of 35 for 351 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, both by Collin Wilder. He became Nebraska’s all-time leader in career total offense with 10,792 yards. Tommy Armstrong Jr. had 10,690 yards in total offense with 10,690.

THE TAKEAWAY

Nebraska: In its first game since Frost fired four offensive assistants, the Cornhuskers gained 452 yards, the most Wisconsin’s top-ranked defense had allowed all season. But it still added up to one more close loss against a quality team. Nebraska is 5-19 in one-score games during Frost’s coaching tenure.

Wisconsin: The Badgers had three scoreless trips inside Nebraska’s 35-yard line but still showed their offense is good enough to win games when their defense isn’t dominant.

Wisconsin could move up a few spots but probably won’t get into the top 15.

UP NEXT

Nebraska: Hosts Iowa on Friday.

Wisconsin: Visits Minnesota on Saturday.

Minnesota football players’ discrimination lawsuit dismissed

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by nine former University of Minnesota football players who were accused of sexual assault in 2016 in a case that roiled the school’s football program.

The lawsuit against the school claimed that the players faced emotional distress and financial damage after being falsely accused of being sex offenders. The players, who were identified in the lawsuit as John Does, sought unspecified damages for willful and malicious discrimination.

A woman alleged up to a dozen football players raped her or watched and cheered at an off-campus party in 2016. None of the players were ever charged.

The university found that 10 football players committed sexual misconduct. Five of them were expelled or suspended for violating student conduct codes, and the others were cleared on appeal.

In their lawsuit, the players alleged that the woman initiated the sexual encounters with players and an underage recruit.

U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank dismissed the lawsuit last week, saying the former players did not prove any of their claims, including allegations of bias by university investigators or pressure from Athletic Director Mark Coyle and former President Eric Kaler, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

David Madgett, an attorney for the players, said Tuesday that they are considering an appeal but have to determine if it makes sense financially and in terms of letting the former players get on with their lives. He said it was disappointing that the outcome was determined by the judge’s version of events and not decided by a jury.

“It’s disappointing to see disputes decided in this way,” Madgett said. “That’s the way things are decided more and more these days. … It’s disappointing you don’t get your day in court.”

When the allegations became public in 2016, players threatened to boycott the team’s trip to the Holiday Bowl. But after a graphic report of the investigation was released, the players agreed to play in the game.

University of Minnesota spokesman Jake Ricker said the school appreciated the judge’s decision affirming the actions taken in the case. He said the university would continue its work focusing on sexual misconduct awareness, prevention and response.

Frank dismissed the lawsuit in 2019, but an appeals court reinstated part of it in 2021 and returned it to Frank.

The players, all of whom are Black, also initially claimed racial discrimination, but that claim was previously dismissed.

The only remaining claim alleged Title IX gender discrimination. The former players noted that they never faced criminal charges, but Frank’s ruling said that “is certainly not evidence of a judicial adjudication or that plaintiffs ‘were proven innocent.'”

The men also claimed that an investigator for the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action used “manipulative tactics” with them in interviews and that their accuser helped draft the report. The players also alleged that “prior failed investigations motivated” the the school to punish them.

Frank said all the claims were unsupported by the evidence and “no reasonable jury could find that the University disciplined plaintiffs on the basis of sex.”

Michigan State player who swung helmet gets probation

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A Michigan State football player who swung his helmet at a Michigan player in a stadium tunnel expressed regret Tuesday and said he’s “just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue” on the field.

Khary Crump, a defensive back, was sentenced to probation. He was one of seven Michigan State players charged in a skirmish that followed a loss at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 29.

Crump was the only Spartan facing a felony, but that charge was dismissed in an agreement to plead guilty to misdemeanors. His record will be scrubbed clean if he stays out of trouble while on probation.

“Unfortunately, an exchange of words (took place), I felt attacked and unfortunately I did what I did,” Crump said of the tunnel altercation involving Michigan’s Gemon Green. “I’m not proud of that. I’m looking forward to moving forward.”

Crump was suspended by coach Mel Tucker. In addition, the Big Ten has suspended him for eight games in 2023.

“I had difficulties trying to stomach my actions … on that fateful day, but it happened. I can’t take it back,” Crump told MLive.com after the court hearing. “Honestly, I’m just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue in the future — on the football field, of course.”

At least four other players charged with misdemeanors Will Likely have their cases dismissed in exchange for community service and other conditions. The cases against two others are pending.