After the worst start in school history, Nebraska will take its 0-4 record to Camp Randall Stadium in Wisconsin. Nebraska’s latest loss came at the hands of Purdue with the final score reading 42-28. The Badgers are 3-1 on the year. Their last game came on September 22nd, when the Badgers took down the Hawkeyes of Iowa 28-17.
The man under center will be junior Alex Hornibrook. Hornibrook is a marvelous game manager as he has 800 yards passing, six touchdowns, and two interceptions. His completion percentage hovers around 66% as well. Hornibrook isn’t just a game manger as he has shown this season to be able to sling the ball all over the field.
On the ground the game, Wisconsin boasts Heisman contender Jonathan Taylor. The sensational sophomore has 628 yards and five touchdowns on the season. He also has a 6.2 yard per carry average as well.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Badgers are stout as well. They are allowing just 172 yards passing and 135 yards rushing. A well rounded defense is led by all three levels. Wisconsin runs a 3-4 defense and on the defensive line, the nose tackle position is important and the Badgers have a good man in the middle. Olive Sagapolu is a senior and has 12 tackles from the middle of that defense.
From the linebacker position, T.J. Edwards will play an inside position from the second level of defenders. Edwards has 19 tackles on the season which ranks fourth on his team.
In the the secondary, D’Cota Dixon is a fantastic safety. He leads the team in tackles with 24. He also is solid in pass coverage for the Badgers.
For the Huskers, the game will need to be mistake free for them to have a chance against the 16th ranked Badgers. The Huskers are averaging about 10 penalties a game. Wisconsin is the polar opposite and that is why they have so much success. They don’t make mistakes.
Adrian Martinez will need to be picture perfect in this game. The true freshmen will be utilized in both the run and pass. Look for Martinez to be rolled out of the pocket to throw on the run and give him the option to tuck the ball. Martinez continued to show flashes as he threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 91 yards on 18 carries. The offense led by him totaled 582 total yards, which in most cases results in wins.
Devine Ozigbo has solidified himself as the go-to back after a 17 carry 170 yard performance against Purdue. Ozigbo also found the end zone twice. Ozigbo may not average 10 yards per carry against this tough Wisconsin defense, but he will be vital in controlling the ball.
The offensive line saw some shake-ups this past week as senior Tanner Farmer moves to center. This allows sophomore Boe Wilson to play the right guard position. This game between Nebraska and Wisconsin will be decided on the line.
Right now Nebraska is ranked 116th in points scored with 21.2 a game and 119th with points allowed at 38.8 per game. Those statistical figures are out of 130 teams. So far on the season, the run defense has been improved for the Blackshirts, but they are still allowing 165 yards per game. That facet of the defense will be tested against this Badger team.
More changes have been made to the defensive side of the ball as junior Carlos Davis will be at the nose guard position. Eric Lee Jr. will move into the starting position at corner back over Lamar Jackson. Lee settled in last week against Purdue and made some nice plays. Aaron Williams will be starting ahead of Antonio Reed at safety. Deontai Williams is on the depth chart once again and expect to see him more this week with a solid outing last week recording three big tackles.
Nebraska will have to stop the run best they can and protect against the play action pass. That will be much easier said rather than done.
You can hear the game on Nebraska’s longest running affiliate 880 KRVN and 106.9 FM with pregame starting at 3:30 P.M. and kickoff at 6:30 P.M.