Nebraska vs. Wisconsin previewOctober 1, 2011
by: Scooby Axson
#8 Nebraska (4-0) at #7 Wisconsin (4-0)
Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin, 8 p.m., ABC
Line: Wisconsin by 10.
Why Nebraska will win: Nebraska will bring an estimated 30,000 fans to Madison in what will be this week’s Big Ten Game of the Year. Nebraska has been nowhere near consistent on defense (ranks 46th nationally), but gets leading sack man Jared Crick back in the lineup. He did not play last week against Wyoming. But the Huskers defense is talented and physical enough to stop anyone in the nation. If QB Taylor Martinez and RB Rex Burkhead get the running game going they are tough to stop, but Martinez is going to have to throw the ball efficiently for Nebraska to have a chance.
Why Wisconsin will win: Wisconsin has outscored its opponents 194-34. Nebraska will start three new defensive backs trying to compensate for the Badgers height at receiver. The Badgers also will pound the rock with James White and Montee Ball, who have combined for 663 yards and 12 touchdowns. The key factor is QB Russell Wilson who has been outstanding in his first four games. He is on track to be Wisconsin’s first ever 3,000 yard passer and this season is completing 76 percent of his passes with 11 TD’s and 1 INT. Wilson is usually below a 60 percent passer for his career.
Who will win: Nebraska has a tall order ahead of them. Wisconsin is 34-3 at home in the past six seasons. The three teams that did defeat the Badgers at home during that time (Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa) each went to BCS Bowl games later that season. Expect a heavy dose of Ball and White and some play-action by Wilson as the Badgers will pull away late.
The verdict: Wisconsin 34, Nebraska 17