Ross's Wisconsin Preview and Prediction
Welcome back to the college football season.
After another bye week, the Huskers return to Memorial Stadium to host 15th-ranked Wisconsin. It has been a long and frustrating two weeks for this Nebraska football team, that had so many high hopes at the start of the season. The Huskers were picked by many to win the Big Ten West Division.
Now it's down to Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The Huskers are just hoping to go to a bowl game. They need two more wins in their final three games, against Wisconsin, Maryland, or Iowa.
Look out for the Badgers! The Wisconsin defense ranks among the best in the nation. The Badgers allow only 230 yards a game, which is 2nd in the country in total defense. They can stop the run and rank 5th in rushing defense. They can also stop the pass, where they rank 3rd in passing defense. Wisconsin does it with a 3-4 scheme and a talented group of linebackers. Outside linebacker Zack Baun is quick and look for him to blitz the quarterback. The Wisconsin offense will run the clock and take long drives. The Badgers lead the nation is possession time. Wisconsin has a 9-4 advantage in the series, with wins in the past six meetings.
Taylor loves to play the Huskers. Over the past two years, the junior running back has run right through the Blackshirts. This year Taylor has rushed for 1,259 yards and averages over six yards a carry. He currently ranks 4th in the nation in rushing. Stop Taylor and you win the game.
Nebraska's leader in the defensive line Darrion Daniels is not expected to play. This is the one game, where the Huskers really need him up front against the Badgers huge offensive line.
Nebraska wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson is a question mark. He has a "pulled hamstring" that he got in the Purdue loss.
I asked Coach Scott Frost about his status on Thursday. Frost said "He has a good chance to play, but we're going to have to wait and see." Robinson was just named one of four finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, which is given to the nation's most versatile player.
Quarterback Taylor Martinez is still wearing a knee brace, so you have to wonder he is at 100 percent.
Wisconsin is favored by 14 points on the road. 51 total points.
On Oct. 19, Illinois upset Wisconsin 24-23 in Champaign. The Fighting Illini did it by keeping the game close into the 3rd quarter. Then the Badgers made some mistakes. Taylor fumbled and Illinois responded with a touchdown. Then Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan threw an interception, which allowed Illinois to kick the winning field goal as time expired.
Nebraska needs the same game plan. Try to keep it close and force some turnovers. The best way to beat Wisconsin is through the air. Big challenge for the Big Red.
Prediction: Wisconsin 31 Nebraska 17
Kickoff is at 11 a.m. Saturday in Lincoln. Be sure to follow our liveblog during the game. You can find the link at