Since 2011, Wisconsin is 4-1 over the Cornhuskers and have won those games by 26 points per game. Last year, the Badgers picked up a 23-21 win in Memorial Stadium with a last second field goal.
The Cornhuskers are averaging 34 points per game and have had a balanced offense rushing for 211 yards on the ground and passing for 236 yards through the air last year.
Quarterback Tommy Armstrong has been the main reason why the offense has had success this year in moving the football. In head coach Mike Rielly’s system last season, Armtrong looked hesitant in the passing game. He threw for 16 interceptions and was the main reason why the team finished the 2015 campaign -12 in turnover margin.
However, in year two of the system, Armstrong has made huge strides and is a completely different quarterback in 2016. He is completing 55% of his passes for 1,611 yards with 11 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Armstrong has also made plays with his legs and has rushed for 380 yards on the ground with 6 touchdowns. Reilly has allowed Armstrong to roll out and utilize his athleticism outside of contain. Last year, Armstrong finished the 2015 season with 400 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns. He is already on pace to almost double those numbers this year entering week 9.
Running back Terrell Newby leads the team with 511 rushing yards with 4 touchdowns and will look to wear down the Badgers between the tackles this Saturday.
Wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp, Stanly Morgan Jr. and Alonzo Moore have combined for 44 receptions with 7 touchdowns. All three players must be able to find holes in the Badgers zone defense this weekend in order for Nebraska to get the win.
Defensively, the Cornhuskers are allowing 17 points per game and are very good in run support giving up 124 rushing yards to opposing offenses. Nebraska is holding opponents to 32% on their third down attempts and has recorded 15 sacks through the first seven games.
Nebraska is +5 in turnover margin entering this battle and will need to force turnovers on the road. Nebraska’s secondary has allowed 6 passing touchdowns and has recorded 13 interceptions through the first eight weeks of the season.
The Badgers are averaging 24 points per game and are rushing for 173 yards per game on the ground this season. Wisconsin loves to work off of play action with quarterback Alex Hornibrook and must find a way to run on a very tough Cornhusker defensive front seven. The offense is averaging 209 passing yards per game, but cannot afford to be put into third down and long situations against the Cornhuskers.
Hornibrook has played very well in big games this season and will need to make throws against Nebraska to keep their defense guessing. On the year, Hornibrook has completed 56% of his passes for 877 yards with 5 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.
Running back Corey Clement will look to break out this weekend and has shown glimpses of the explosive back he can be. On the year, Clement has rushed for 617 yards with 6 touchdowns and had a bug run late in the game in Iowa last week to seal the victory.
Wide receiver Jazz Peavy leads the team with 24 receptions for 383 yards with 3 scores. Wisconsin must try and throw deep early on to loosen up the Cornhuskers front even to open up running lanes.
Defensively, the Badgers are allowing 14 points per game and have been excellent shutting down the run giving up 102 rushing yards per game this season. The unit has recorded 19 total sacks and is holding opposing offenses to 24% conversions on third down attempts this year.
Wisconsin is -1 in turnover margin and must force Armstrong into quick throws to make him work down the field. Armstrong loves to improvise outside contain the Badgers front seven must be disciplined in their gaps and lanes to not allow on broken plays.
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