Nebraska vs. Wisconsin, 11.20

A Nebraska fan smiles after a touchdown in the third quarter against Wisconsin on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis.

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MADISON, Wis. — Home finale, beautiful November day, and most of the seats in Camp Randall Stadium's south end zone sat empty.

This wasn't the north end zone, where Wisconsin's students are notoriously late arrivals thanks to their inclination to imbibe in the neighborhood around the stadium right up until kickoff. By halftime, those sections had largely filled up. And those sections still made the stadium shake during "Jump Around" before the start of the fourth quarter.

But Saturday's game marked the last in a seasonlong trend of Badgers fans leaving plenty of seats open during UW's slow start and eventual push for a Big Ten West Division title.

During last week's 35-7 home win over Northwestern, more than 20,000 Camp Randall Stadium tickets went unscanned, according to data collected by the Wisconsin State Journal.

While numbers from Saturday's game weren't immediately available, the vast majority of the bleachers in Camp Randall's south end zone sat unoccupied. A project to renovate that portion of the stadium is set to take place in the offseason. There also were a couple of open pockets in the upper corners of Camp Randall's west stadium.

All things considered, Saturday's announced attendance of 67,888 wasn't all that bad.

Mainly because Saturday marked the start of something in the state of Wisconsin that many Nebraska fans can relate to themselves — it was the first day of rifle deer hunting season.

Over the past 10 years, according to the Wisconsin State Journal, Wisconsin has had average scanned ticket attendance of 61,629 on the opening weekend of rifle season. That's included games against Ohio State, a ranked Northwestern team and Michigan.

Wisconsin's issues are shared by any number of programs across the country, Nebraska included. A lack of available workers has forced the Badgers to close concession stands and led to long lines at others. Digital tickets (remember when Nebraska tried to do that?) and cashless concession stands have contributed, as have, of course, COVID-19 concerns.

None of those things stopped Camp Randall from getting loud on Saturday, though.

Williams recognized: Wisconsin defensive tackle Bryson Williams, a Lincoln Southeast graduate, was recognized during the Badgers' pregame senior day ceremony.

Williams, a three-star recruit out of high school, signed with the Badgers on Dec. 20, 2017, 18 days after Scott Frost was hired at Nebraska and made a late push to try and get the former Lincoln Southeast Knight to flip his commitment to the Huskers.

It's been a star-crossed college career for 6-foot-1, 291-pounder, who made three starts as a freshman in 2018. After that though, injuries plagued Williams' development in playing time. He appeared in just six games in 2019, and made two tackles in Wisconsin's seven games in 2020. Of his 20 career tackles, 12 came in his freshman season.

Williams will graduate from Wisconsin with a degree in finance, investment and banking, and risk management and insurance.

Domann makes the trip: Senior nickel JoJo Domann traveled with the Huskers to Wisconsin despite undergoing season-ending surgery on his hand last week.

Wearing a large wrap on his left hand, Domann spent the game encouraging his teammates, and had his right arm around head coach Scott Frost as the two walked up the tunnel to the NU locker room about an hour before kickoff.

 

This article originally ran on journalstar.com.

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