Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nebraska vs Wisconsin: Tale of the Tape Part 2

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

Offensive Line

Nebraska:  Mike Caputo at center anchors a relatively inexperienced and oft times injured Husker O-line.  Tackle Tyler Moore is the first freshman to ever start at NU and sophomore guard Spencer Long is also getting early playing time.  The Huskers have aggressively rotated players in and have shown some encouraging push while running the no-huddle offense.  Nebraska is ranked No. 8 nationally and No. 1 in the Big Ten in rushing offense.

Wisconsin: The Badgers return three starters from last years O-line that was arguably the best in the country.  Led by Kevin Zietler and Ricky Wagner this unit has excelled at pass and run blocking allowing only three sacks and leading the way for 982 yards on the ground through four games this year.

Advantage: Wisconsin

Receivers and Tight Ends

Nebraska:  Redshirt freshman Kenny Bell and freshman Jamal Turner both have made big plays for the Huskers already this season.  Quincy Enunwa is an aggressive wide receiver and does a fine job of blocking on the outside.  Tight end Kyler Reed’s breakaway speed make him the unit’s hidden gem, he’s also averaging 27 yards per catch.

Wisconsin: It seems that Nick Toon is finally becoming the elite receiver everyone thought he would be when he arrived in Madison.  Through four games this year he already has more TDs (5) than last year (3).  Jared Abbredaris, in his second season as a starter is it for depth and experience at WR.  Red Shirt Sophomore Jacob Pedersen is doing a more than adequate job filling the shoes for departed Lance Kendricks.  Pedersen is Wilson’s go to target on play-action and has already caught four touchdown passes this year.

Advantage:  Push

Running backs

Nebraska:  Junior Rex Burkhead will carry the bulk of the load for the rush heavy Husker offense.  Burkhead is averaging 6.7 yards per carry in 2011.   His ability to shed tacklers, drag tacklers, and burst into the second level make him one of the best backs in the country.  Expect Nebraska to use three freshman Ameer Abdullah, Braylon Heard, and Aaron Green in back-up roles.       

Wisconsin: The calling card of all great Wisconsin teams have been a great running back, this years edition has two returning, each which rushed for over 900 yards last year (James White 1052, Montee Ball 996).  So far this year Ball leads the Big Ten in scoring at 15 points per game.  This two-headed monster with Ball’s power and White’s speed is too much for any defense to handle.

Advantage: Wisconsin


Nebraska:  A healthy Taylor Martinez had amazing performances on the road last year at Washington, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State accumulating 490 rushing yards, 601 pass yards, and 14 TD’s.  Martinez’s ability to pass will go a long way in determining how effective the Huskers offense will be in Wisconsin.  His freakish ability to run from the quarterback position makes him a dangerous weapon in the no huddle offense.  This game for Nebraska ultimately comes down to Martinez’s play.   

Wisconsin: Russel Wilson has been a God send for those of us Badgers fans.  The two years previous to coming to Wisconsin he threw for at least 3,000 yards and 28 TD's.  As impressive as his 11 TD's to date are, the stat that jumps off this page is his 75% completion percentage.  Wilson also brings athleticism under center at Wisconsin, the likes of which we have not seen since Brooks Bollinger.

Advantage: Wisconsin

Overall Verdict: Wisconsin

Even though Wisconsin's non-conference competition wasn't the best, their offensive execution has been nearly perfect.  Wisconsin leads the Big Ten in passing offense, total offense, and most importantly scoring offense.  Russell Wilson is second nationally in pass efficiency and has the uncanny focus of a senior leader.  Throw in a pair of downhill running backs behind a proven beast of an offensive line, and Nebraska will have it's hands full on Saturday in Madison.

We've now given you our overall verdict for the team's defense and offense.  Check out tomorrow's Nebraska vs Wisconsin: Tale of the Tape Part 3 where Badger and Bugeater will give their Final Verdict for the game.

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Please feel free to comment below.


  1. No way Nebraska beats Wisconsin in Madison. Maybe in Lincoln with a great Martinez day but no way Saturday.

  2. Wisconsin hasn't played anyone. It'll be the first time ever "jump around" gets cancelled, no students will be left at the end of the 3rd with NU up 20.


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