Game Day: Nebraska vs. Wisconsin

Walking dread

No. 7 Nebraska has new coaches, new schemes and a new vibe — the first 7-0 start in 15 years. Now it’s time to address an old pain, to right several wrongs that cut so deeply that NU can’t forge a full-bodied Big Ten identity without addressing these ghosts of Camp Randall Stadium.

READ MORE »

2-Minute Drill by Rich Kaipust

Nebraska rush offense vs. Wisconsin rush defense

If Nebraska isn’t fully healthy up front, this is the game where that definitely could get exposed. And this is a defense that the Huskers would have a harder time wearing down, something they have done successfully the last few weeks. Nebraska might have to get creative, and I-back Terrell Newby will have to be at his best. Wisconsin is only allowing 102.9 yards a game and 3.3 a carry.

Nebraska pass offense vs. Wisconsin pass defense

Tommy Armstrong gets back Jordan Westerkamp but still is without Cethan Carter. Protecting the senior will be a must for NU, considering the Badgers’ propensity for getting to the quarterback. If Armstrong can get in a rhythm and make some big throws, that might help the run game. In two starts against the Badgers, however, he is a combined 17 of 46 for just 191 yards.

Wisconsin rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense

Different time and different team, but Nebraska has rarely been gashed worse than when the Badgers ran for 581 yards in their 2014 meeting and 539 in the 2012 Big Ten championship game. Wisconsin is starting to get Corey Clement going — with 298 yards on 60 carries in the Ohio State and Wisconsin games — but continues to try to get some things settled on its offensive line. Nebraska has been fairly solid against the run, save for the Oregon game.

Wisconsin pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense

The Badgers are the only team in the Big Ten with as many interceptions (eight) as touchdown passes (eight). They are expected to play both freshman Alex Hornibrook and senior Bart Houston, but neither has showed any knack for consistently picking apart a defense. Nebraska has allowed some plays the last two weeks that it would like back, but leads the Big Ten with 13 interceptions and continues to be a vastly improved unit.

Special teams

Neither has been particularly good with their punt units, but Wisconsin leads the Big Ten in kickoff coverage. Give Nebraska an edge with both of its return units and the better chance of breaking something there. NU also has the more reliable kicker with Drew Brown. Badgers kicker Rafael Gaglianone, who made the game-winner last year in Lincoln, is out for the remainder of the season with a back injury.

Intangibles

Camp Randall Stadium has not been kind to the Huskers, and Wisconsin in general has dominated the series since Nebraska came to the Big Ten (4-1). The Badgers right now are the more battle tested team — with games against LSU, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa — and the night home atmosphere will be intense. The head coaches know each other well, but Mike Riley has some years on Paul Chryst. Injuries have bitten both teams, but Nebraska is hurting on offense at a bad time against the Wisconsin defense.

Key matchup: Third down vs. Nebraska

The best showdown Saturday might be all about third down when Nebraska has the football. The Huskers are converting 49.0 percent of the time, which ranks No. 12 nationally. Wisconsin is allowing opposing offenses to be successful at just a 24.7 percent clip, which ranks No. 4. The Huskers will need more of third-and-short and less of third-and-long to have a chance.

Our take

This becomes the toughest test to date for Nebraska, and you can bet its Top 10 rating and Big Ten West lead are motivation for the Badgers after their near misses against Michigan and Ohio State. The Huskers certainly are feeling confident and finding ways to win, but if Wisconsin can take care of the football and let its defense do the heavy lifting then the Badgers are going to be tough to beat on their home turf.

Our prediction: Wisconsin 24, Nebraska 20

Live updates

Videos

Extras

Game notes

Check out a PDF of the game notes for the Nebraska-Wisconsin matchup provided by the Husker Athletic Department. Click here »

Husker History

Find information on every win, loss and tie in Husker history. With historical World-Herald front pages, photos, stories, key stats and more, our ever-growing Husker History Database is your new home for archiving one of the nation's most tradition-rich programs. Click here »

On social media

Check out the Big Red Today page on Facebook to discuss the latest news with the top Husker fans, and follow us on Twitter to get instant updates and analysis whenever news breaks. Plus, look back at historical moments in Nebraska football by following @HuskerHistory on Twitter.

BRT app

IPhone and Android users, get your Husker updates on the go by downloading our free Big Red Today app from the App Store and the Google Play store. Omaha.com/BRTapp and Omaha.com/android

Recruiting updates

Visit the Big Red Today recruiting page to find the latest updates on potential future Huskers, including player cards for those athletes already committed. Click here »

Email alerts

Sign up for the Big Red Today email newsletter to get the Husker news, analysis, daily headlines and more delivered to your inbox. Click here »

Big Red Today coverage

Carriker Chronicles: Recapping Nebraska vs. Rutgers

All year round, Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's…

Barfknecht: Scott Frost’s résumé suggests he is indeed ready for Nebraska job

Lee Corso may have said Scott Frost isn't ready for the Nebraska coaching job on "College Gameday," but he didn't look deep into Frost's accolades.

Michael Decker's first start doesn't come in ideal situation, but he fills in well in win

Michael Decker was out of breath and on the verge of tears after his first collegiate start.

McKewon: Tone-setter Mick Stoltenberg, line mates, linebackers hold fort while offense is so-so

Nebraska defensive tackle Mick Stoltenberg looks a little like a mountain man, and his deep, low voice rolls down from on high, too.

Barfknecht's Big Ten rankings, Sept. 25

World-Herald staff writer Lee Barfknecht ranks the Big Ten football teams, as published in The World-Herald on Sept. 25.

In the stands at Memorial Stadium, Husker fans grapple with doubt, cling to hope

At the end of a hectic week in Nebraska football — following a stunning loss to Northern Illinois and the firing of Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst — 89,775 fans gathered for Saturday afternoon church, praying for a sense of normalcy.…

Shatel: Huskers win ugly, but surviving is their goal

Ugly is beautiful. Winning beats losing. Rushing is Devine. Oh, and 2-2 is better than 1-3. Especially the week when the athletic director is canned. You can’t put it on a bumper sticker or a T-shirt. But it works for…

Nebraska rebounds from turbulent week, Tanner Lee's pick-six to open Big Ten play with victory over Rutgers

Nebraska opened Big Ten Conference play with a 27-17 victory over Rutgers Saturday in Memorial Stadium, two days after the firing of Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst.

Husker notes: Defense steps up after Aaron Williams’ ejection; Jaylin Bradley earns his first carries and more

When junior Aaron Williams was ejected for targeting on his helmet hit of Rutgers’ Hunter Hayek, defenders met briefly on the field. And while they gave up a touchdown run two plays later, they settled in to allow just three…

Husker running back Devine Ozigbo has 'showcase' day while carrying NU to win

Devine Ozigbo was among the last players to jog off the Memorial Stadium turf. He did so alone and with a smile spread across his face. Such is life when carrying the football a career-high 24 times for 101 yards…

Quarterback Kyle Bolin, coach Chris Ash frustrated, but encouraged following Rutgers' loss to Nebraska

Some new looks from the Nebraska defense had Rutgers still searching for answers long after the Big Ten opener for both teams had ended.

Barfknecht: Rutgers' Bill Busch no stranger to tumultuous weeks as a Husker coach

Rutgers co-defensive coordinator Bill Busch found his preparation for Saturday’s game at Nebraska interrupted by an eerie flashback. The Huskers’ firing of Shawn Eichorst on Thursday jolted Busch back 10 years, to when he was the safeties coach and special-teams…

Nebraska-Rutgers: Tracking the offense, defense

World-Herald staff writer Evan Bland takes a look at Nebraska's effort on both sides of the ball during the Huskers' 27-17 win against the Scarlet Knights.

They said it: Coach Chris Ash on Rutgers' mistakes, positive takeaways from loss to Nebraska

Rutgers coach Chris Ash, quarterback Kyle Bolin and defensive back Saquan Hampton answered questions following their loss against Nebraska on Saturday.

Game replay: Nebraska 27, Rutgers 17

Four keys from Nebraska's 27-17 victory over Rutgers on Saturday, including a peculiar play, a questionable call and more.

Carriker Chronicles: Gut reaction to the Nebraska-Rutgers game

All year round, Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's…

Nebraska-Rutgers: Five things we learned, still don't know

Five things we learned and five things we still don’t know about the Huskers coming out of Saturday's victory over Rutgers.

From the sidelines: Jerry Kill back in action; Famous fans return to Lincoln and more

One Rutgers coach spent a few minutes during Saturday’s pre-game warmups checking out a few of the 11-on-11 drills Nebraska was running just before returning to the locker room.

Video: Mike Riley and others take the podium for the Husker postgame press conference

Stay tuned after the final whistle for a live stream of the Husker postgame press conference.

All the recruits: How the Huskers' 2018 commits fared in high school games this week (Sept. 23)

A player-by-player look at how all of Nebraska's 2018 recruits performed, individually and as a team, during games played during the week of Nebraska's game against Rutgers.

Video: Mike'l Severe, Nate Clouse break down key recruits visiting Huskers this weekend

Nebraska is hosting a pair of official visitors this weekend — both are top defensive targets in the 2018 class — as well as one of the nation's most promising young prospects.

Family claims old Husker football film in abandoned safe-deposit box, saves it from being auctioned off

Decades-old film of the NU football team that was to be included in a state government auction of abandoned safe-deposit boxes will instead be claimed by its owners.

Shatel: Mike Riley’s jackpot is saved job if he hits the right number for Huskers

The University of Nebraska is like the guy at the counter at the convenience store. NU keeps hiring and firing athletic directors and football coaches like they are lotto tickets. Scratch. Toss. Try again.

Piecing it together: An A.D. fired, 1-2 record and a heap of work for NU coach Mike Riley, who has a mess to fix

Mike Riley likes to talk about a good “picture” for Nebraska football. The Husker coach can see that team in his mind’s eye. A team that’s better than his current 16-13 record in Lincoln. A team that hasn’t shown up…

McKewon: It's hard to build a recruiting class on questions, but answers come with wins

Nebraska welcomes at least one official visitor for Saturday’s Rutgers game, but the story with the Huskers’ 2018 recruiting class, at least for the next two weeks, centers on the scoreboard at the end of each game.

Carriker Chronicles: How can Mike Riley save his job?

All year round, Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's…

Barfknecht: Iowa’s inconsistency works against an upset of Penn State; plus Big Ten picks

Iowa football appears to have fourth-ranked Penn State right where it wants the Nittany Lions on Saturday — at home, at night, with the Lions in the top five of the polls and a double-digit favorite.

NU coaches say Shawn Eichorst’s firing raises expectations but can’t be on-field distraction for Huskers

The 1 p.m. meeting Thursday — called and led by University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds and University of Nebraska-Lincoln chancellor Ronnie Green — was concise, with few follow-up questions from the assembled group as those in attendance processed what…

Charting Nebraska's major athletic programs under Shawn Eichorst

How did Nebraska's major athletic programs fare in recent history? Did NU get better or worse under the stewardship of Husker A.D. Shawn Eichorst?

Carriker Chronicles: Gut reaction to Shawn Eichorst's firing

All year round, Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's…