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.
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.
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
Receivers and Tight Ends
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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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