The Wisconsin Badgers return to action following the bye week at home against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Camp Randall Stadium. The last time the Badgers were in action they put forth an impressive effort in a 28-17 victory over Iowa in Iowa City.
The task won’t be as tall this week as the Cornhuskers come into Madison with a very disappointing 0-4 record in Scott Frost’s first season leading the way for his alma mater. The Cornhuskers are 0-2 inside of Big Ten play, with those losses coming by a combined 60 points. Nebraska also lost non-conference matchups at home to both Colorado and Troy as well as having a game cancelled.
Here are three keys for Wisconsin to move to 4-1 on the season:
Contain Nebraska’s offense
The Cornhuskers haven’t looked like a typical 0-4 team to this point in the season, at least according to a couple of Wisconsin defensive starters. Nebraska has been able to look solid at times on the offensive side of the ball with Adrian Martinez leading the way at quarterback. Just last week against Purdue the offense put up nearly 600 yards of total offense in a 42-28 loss in Lincoln.
Despite the fact that Wisconsin has struggled to create pressure on the quarterback at times and is still figuring out how to replace the seven lost starters from the 2017 unit, the defense has been pretty good.
The Nebraska offense will create a unique challenge for the Badgers, but it’s one they shouldn’t have a ton of problems with, either.
Big play offense
This season for Wisconsin, outside of maybe parts of the first game against Western Kentucky, the Badgers have struggled to create big plays offensively. Very rarely does it feel as if the next play could go 65 yards for a touchdown right now for Wisconsin. This week could be an opportunity to change that for the Badgers.
The Cornhuskers have given up 30 or more points in three of their four losses. The only offense that has the type of talent the Badgers do that Nebraska has faced is Michigan, and the Wolverines scored 56 points.
The Wolverines ran for 285 yards in that win over Nebraska, and that’s a number Wisconsin should approach on Saturday night at home.
Continue to ride the created momentum
Trailing by three on the road in a hostile situation, as the Badgers were last time they took the field against Iowa, is a situation that can make or break a team. A number of Wisconsin players expressed that there seemed to be a coming together moment on the sidelines during that fourth quarter.
The Badgers had not yet experienced something like that, even in their loss to BYU. Maybe the loss was BYU was the kick in the shorts that this team needed to create the “us against the world” attitude Wisconsin always seems to have. If that’s the case then the comeback win against Iowa was definitely a moment that this team needed.
Continuing to play with that type of edge can only do good for Wisconsin.