Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nebraska vs Wisconsin: Tale of the Tape Part 1

The Badger and Bugeater have teamed up to breakdown this week's Nebraska vs Wisconsin match up.  In this first post we take a quick look at the defense's.  

Defensive Line

Nebraska:  Jared Crick, Baker Steinkuhler, and Cameron Meredith are really big physical players.  They all cause havoc in the backfield on running plays and put pressure on the quarterback.  But what’s really impressive is the depth behind them.  Ten different players have seen live game action on the d-front for Nebraska, all of which would probably start at any other school.

Wisconsin: Nothing flashy here, consistency has been the key since the early departure of superstar J.J. Watt.  Patrick Butrym and Travi Kohout know their job is to occupy the other teams O-lineman.  Along with Louis Nzegwu the Badgers have three returning starters from last years line.  Watt’s replacement David Gilbert has shown flashes as a pass rusher in this early season.

Advantage: Nebraska

Nebraska:  Defensive Coordinator Carl Pelini says “Lavonte David is the best LB I’ve ever coached.”  Lavonte lead the team in tackles in 2010, and has 38 tackles so far this year.  Will Compton plays aggressive against the run but has trouble keeping up with speedy receivers.

Wisconsin: Here Wisconsin sports one of the conference’s best in MLB Chris Borland.  The athletic Borland was the Big Ten’s Freshman of the year in 2009.  Mike Taylor a speedy three year starter that plays the run well is one side, on the other is first year starter Kevin Claxton.

Advantage:  Push


Nebraska:  Alfonzo Dennard leads a young and inexperienced group for Nebraska.  Dennard has shown potential to be shut down corner but he must shake-off the rust from a preseason injury.  Recent position changes by Junior college transfer LB Daimion Stafford to safety and Cory Cooper from safety to cornerback adds uncertainty to how strong this group is.    

Wisconsin: The Wisconsin group doesn’t feature a shutdown corner of Dennard’s caliber, but they do possess two All Big Ten selections from a year ago in CB Antonio Fenelus and FS Aaron Henry.  UW lost starting CB Devin Smith for the year so they are counting on Marcus Cromartie to step, and stay healthy as Wisconsin is not deep at corner.

Advantage: Nebraska

Overall Verdict:  Nebraska

The edge Nebraska might have in talent on defense, will ultimately be neutralized by a noisy, hostile Wisconsin crowd.  Fort Randall is notorious for causing opponents to struggle with communication.  Expect the Nebraska vs Wisconsin game to come down to offensive execution.  We'll have more on the offenses later this week in Nebraska vs Wisconsin Tale of the Tape Part 2. 

Thank you for checking out Red vs Red.

Feel free to comment below.  


  1. Not sure you can give Nebraska's defense the advantage over Wisconsin. Just look at the play on the field -- Nebraska's defense hasn't shown up yet this year.

    As for the defensive secondary -- the quality of Wisconsin's secondary is likely irrelevant because T.Martinez has been a horrible passer and routinely misses wide open receivers so pass coverage isn't a big factor.

    I hope Nebraska's defense shows up and lives up to the pre-season hype but I have to withhold judgment.

  2. I think we're saying Nebraska has the edge in talent on D, three preseason All-Americans at each level. It's tough to compare the competition played by both teams so far but Wisconsin's opponents are 5-10, Nebraska's 10-6. Nebraska's defense probably faced a little tougher competition early and seemed to focus on getting lots of guys quality playing time.

    Wisconsin's depth is a little thinner, they will play good D, no doubt, and that's why we think the offense will be the determining factor in this game.

    Check out Tale of Tape Part 2 coming soon when we take a look at the offenses.

    Thanks for the comment Chad.

  3. Martinez aka (Another eric crouch) for sure needs to be working on his passing game this week. I'm tired of watching him not be able to hit the guys in the numbers. He either throws behind them, or throws way in front.

    Defense I think knows what to do this game. First game of the Big 10 I think they need to be looking at there best to perform this weekend.

    Really Wishing to be in all black with the rest of the husker fans this weekend but unfortunatly don't think I can make it back to lincoln... Enjoy the game

  4. I think we can agree that talent doesn't mean jack if it isn't performing. Nebraska had the preseason hype but after 4 games we should be able to separate the hype from reality. Wisconsin's defense isn't great but has thus far played better. The records of the opponents is irrelevant: neither team played quality opponents.


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