Wisconsin 48, Nebraska 17 – Final
The No. 8 ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers begin their inaugural slate of Big Ten play with an epic challenge, traveling to Camp Randall Stadium to square off against the No. 7 ranked Wisconsin Badgers for a night game in front of a pumped-up Badger crowd.
Both teams come into the game at 4-0, yet plenty of question marks abound due to the quality of their non-conference opposition.
Besides that, the two teams haven't faced each other since 1974.
The Badgers' victories, led by senior quarterback and NC State transfer Russell Wilson, have looked more impressive thus far, as they have dispatched their opponents by an average of 40 points.
Wilson has completed 75 percent of his passes, totaling 1,136 yards and 11 touchdowns through the air, and ranks second in the nation in pass efficiency.
His primary target will be Nick Toon, a fifth-year senior who brings a wealth of leadership to the Badgers receiving corps. Toon leads the team with 21 receptions for 353 yards and five touchdowns.
Wisconsin also features a pair of impressive running backs, James White and Montee Ball, led by a monstrous offensive line. The Badgers haven't fumbled yet this season—a problem that has plagued the Cornhuskers.
Defensively, the Badgers rank seventh nationally in total defense and have only allowed an average of 8.5 points per game.
Nebraska has won their games by an average of three touchdowns and their eighth-ranked rushing attack has racked up more than 300 yards in back-to-back weeks.
The Huskers' sophomore signal-caller, Taylor Martinez, has been inconsistent through the air, struggling to complete 50 percent of his passes. Nevertheless, the dual threat Martinez has accounted for 1,068 yards of total offense and 11 touchdowns.
Junior RB Rex Burkhead has been a workhorse in the backfield, rushing for 420 yards and seven touchdowns. The tandem of Martinez and Burkhead rank second and third in conference rushing yards, respectively.
Nebraska's defense has been a disappointment so far this season; currently they are ranked 52nd nationally in total defense and have allowed an average of 22 points per game.
However, this game marks the first time this season that DT Jared Crick, LB Lavonte David and CB Alfonzo Dennard (initially ranked as Rivals.com's No. 1 overall defensive trio) will all play in the same game.
Nebraska holds an edge in special teams as kicker Brent Maher has converted eight of nine field goal attempts and freshman phenom Ameer Abdullah's kick return exploits include a 100-yard return for a TD versus Fresno State.
For the Huskers to prevail, they will need to get off to a quick start, pressure Wilson and limit mistakes. Nebraska cannot afford any turnovers against this solid Wisconsin squad.
This will be a very tall order for the Cornhuskers, as the Badgers have won 12 consecutive home games and 27 of their last 30 games at night.
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, who dusted off the Wildcat formation last week against Wyoming, better have a few tricks up his sleeve. Otherwise, the Badger faithful will have plenty of reasons to "Jump Around."
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