Last year in Madison, the Badgers delivered the Huskers a bitter pill on an icy cold November day. In case you need a refresher, Melvin Gordon had a game for the ages, rushing for an NCAA-record 408 yards and four touchdowns. Against the Blackshirts.
Now here they come again, but this time both teams have first-year coaches and an 0-1 record in the Big 10 coming in to the game.
One startling difference in this year’s game (that will hopefully be the difference maker) is Nebraska’s ability to stop the run. Nebraska is only allowing an average of 85 rushing yards per game, ranking the Huskers third in the Big Ten and 12th nationally against the run. Ergo, there will be no running back heroics from Wisconsin this time. Instead, look for the Huskers’ true freshman Devine Ozigbo to bust loose.
Defensive end Jack Gangwish points to what he calls Wisconsin’s tradition. ‘They have a great fan base, he said. ‘There’s a lot of similarities between Wisconsin and Nebraska, and I think since we’ve been in the Big Ten there’s been a lot of good battles. I think all those things contribute to that hype that surrounds this game.
It’s clear that the 2015 Huskers have yet to gel and find a winning identity. It’s also clear that the team is scrappy and in every game until the last second ticks off the clock. We have talent, and we have a plan. This season is far from over.
Nebraska fans have endured plenty of heartache over the years; perhaps this year we get that out of the way early? How we finish the season from here will tell us plenty about the character and determination of this team.
Wisconsin leads the all-time series, 5-4, including a 3-1 edge in Big Ten regular-season matchups. The Badgers have won four of the last five meetings, but the Huskers are 3-0 all-time versus Wisconsin in Lincoln.
Go Big Red.