Wisconsin lost arguably their best overall player in the second half of Saturday’s win over Nebraska when edge rusher Nick Herbig was ejected after a questionable targeting call.
With the targeting ejection, Herbig would be required to miss the first half of Saturday’s game against Minnesota. The Badgers made their plans to appeal the call clear after Saturday’s game, and the verdict is now in.
Interim head coach Jim Leonhard believes Herbig was actually trying to avoid contact with Nebraska quarterback Casey Thompson:
“He was committed to making a tackle and did everything he could to avoid contact, as far as rolling off. It’s unfortunate that it was called that way and hopefully, we can get it changed, but I don’t know what the likelihood of that will be.”
Here is a look at the play:
Nick Herbig caught some rough breaks today and was effectively “phased out” of the game by the refs for playing with passion. One could maybe argue the penalties were just but disqualification is extremly harsh and unnecessary. We stand with @nickherbig_ pic.twitter.com/A9OUkadX2k
— IKE Badgers Podcast (@IKE_Badgers) November 19, 2022
What Jim Leonhard said:
Nov 12, 2022; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Wisconsin Badgers interim head coach Jim Leonhard looks on from the sideline against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
“We have started that process of appealing the call and we’ll continue to push. I don’t agree with the call, so we want to get some clarity on one was the call correct and two how can we train our players better to avoid those situations?”
What Herbig thought about the play:
Nov 12, 2022; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Nick Herbig (19) sacks Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Spencer Petras (7) during the first quarter at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
“I saw him [Casey Thompson] break the pocket and I didn’t think he was going to slide. I thought he was going to try to make a statement. He went down at the last second and I did everything in my power to avoid him. I really did.”
#Badgers’ appeal on Nick Herbig denied. He must sit out first half vs. Minnesota.
— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) November 22, 2022
Unfortunately, the appeal was denied. Herbig will miss the first half against Minnesota.