Big 10 newcomer, the Nebraska Cornhuskers head to Camp Randall in Madison Wisconsin on Saturday to square off against the red hot Badgers to open up Big Ten play. But are the Badgers all they are cracked up to be?
Cornhuskers v Badgers
Venue/Stadium: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin
Time/Date: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 1, 2011
NFL Odds From: Betonline.com
Spread (ATS): Wisconsin -9
The Huskers got off to another quick start in their first road game of the season in Wyoming last weekend, as Rex Burkhead rushed for two touchdowns, and Taylor Martinez ran for one and threw for another to help defeat the Cowboys 38-14.
Martinez once again led the Nebraska offense putting up 157 yards through the air with no interceptions, as the Huskers, who have made it a habit to start slow, finally got it going with 17 unanswered points in the third quarter, spearheaded by Burkhead’s 16-yard score on the first drive of the second half en route to their easy win.
With the Cowboys keenly focused on Martinez, Burkhead was allowed to romp wildly for 170 yards on 15 carries.
Nevertheless, Nebraska continues to struggle to take control early, and have scored 83 of their 131 points over the last three games in the second half. That’s got to have some folks nervous.
Meanwhile, the Cornhuskers’ defense was able to shut down the Cowboys’ spread attack, holding them to just over 300 yards of offense, while making great stands when needed.
Now Nebraska will be facing their first Big Ten team, and it couldn’t get any tougher than the Wisconsin Badgers.
The Badges are coming off another easy win, as they welcomed South Dakota into Camp Randall and then slaughtered them, 59-10.
Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes and Nick Toon had a career-high 155 receiving yards and two scores as Wisconsin finished the last of its non-conference opponents outscoring them 194-34, while putting up at least 35 points in each game.
Wisconsin rolled up a ridiculous 612 yards of offense against the Coyotes, doing what they love to do best–run the football. And they did, rushing for 267 yards on 43 carries with James White leading the way with 95 yards.
The defense wasn’t bad either, all but completely shutting down South Dakota, who only managed just one TD late in the fourth quarter, and 173 yards on the day.
But with all the talk about the Badgers destroying their opponents, one has to bear in mind that their only real competition this season was UNLV, and that wasn’t much.
The Badgers are definitely facing their toughest challenge yet against Nebraska’s vaunted spread offense led by Martinez who can hit you both on the ground and through the air. The Huskers do play very well on the road under head coach Bo Pelini and are an impressive 10-2 SU in their last 12 road games. It will be interesting to see how Pelini plans on defending against Wilson and the Badger offense.
Matt’s Prediction: Wisconsin 45, Nebraska 35- This set to be one of the best games on the Week 5 college football schedule. And while the Badgers have been demolishing their opponents by moving the ball with ease this season, the Cornhuskers will provide their first speed bumps. However, at the end of the day, Wisconsin will get the win, pulling away in the final quarter to cover.