Unbeaten Nebraska hits the road for its toughest test of the 2016 season, when the Huskers travel to Wisconsin for a primetime matchup. The Huskers are off to their best start in 15 seasons, heading to Wisconsin with a 7-0 record, including a 4-0 mark in Big Ten play.
Nebraska's most recent victory was a 27-14 win over Purdue on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. The Husker defense controlled the second half, holding the Boilermakers scoreless and to less than 100 yards after halftime. Nebraska's win over Purdue allowed the Huskers to keep climbing in the national rankings. NU checked in at No. 7 in the Associated Press Poll this week and is tied for sixth in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
Wisconsin comes into the game with a 5-2 record and a 2-2 ledger in Big Ten play. The Badgers are ranked 11th in both polls this week. Wisconsin's only two losses this season have come against top-10 opponents Michigan and Ohio State and have both been by only seven points. Wisconsin features one of the nation's top defenses, allowing 300.6 yards and 14.3 points per game. Saturday's game will be a key part of deciding the Big Ten West Division race. NU enters the weekend with a one-game lead over Northwestern with Wisconsin another game behind.
Date/Time: October 29, 2016 6:00 p.m. CDT
Location: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI Capacity: 80,123
Surface: Field Turf
Opposition Blog: Check out Bucky’s 5th Quarter for everything Wisconsin
Series Record: The Badgers own a 6-4 series lead over Nebraska, including a 4-1 advantage since the Huskers joined the Big Ten. Two of the five conference games have been close ones but three have been /Wisconsin scored again. The first meeting between these teams was in 1901 when Wisconsin beat Bummy Booth’s Nebraska team 18-0 in Milwaukee. The most successful Husker coach vs Wisconsin was Bob Devaney who went 2-0 (1965 and 1966) posting 37-0 and 31-3 victories. Tom Osborne’s 1973 and 74 Huskers split two close games in which each visiting team came out on top. (Nebraska prevailed 20-16 in Madison and Wisconsin won 21-20 in Lincoln).
TV: The game will be televised on ESPN with Joe Tessitore, Play-by-Play, Todd Blackledge, Analyst, and Holly Rowe, Sidelines.
It can be streamed on WatchESPN with a login from your cable/satellite provider. Playstation Vue streaming includes ESPN in all of its packages. SlingTV streaming includes ESPN in its Orange (but not Blue) package.
More streaming options: The official Huskers app is available on iTunes. The app is free but accessing live audio costs $4.99 (per season). The app is available for Android users for free but the live content requires a payment (I could not see the amount but assume it is similar to the other). I often use the TuneIn app for game audio.
Weather: At kickoff it is expected to be 60 degrees and cloudy. There is a 15% chance of precipitation and winds will be negligible, 5 mph from the north.
Odds: The Badgers are favored by 7.5 to 9.5 points depending on which oddsmaker you check.
Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. needs 11 yards of total offense to become the 11th player in Big Ten history to surpass 10,000 yards of total offense. He is also 244 yards from the NU career total offense record.
Nebraska's five remaining opponents have a 73 percent winning percentage. That ranks as the third toughest remaining schedule among all FBS teams.
Coach Riley on the keys for success:
"It will be a very important field position game for sure. Their defense has been very stingy, so when we get good field position we have got to get some points." Riley said. "We have to be aggressive. We have to get some big plays. I think big plays could be a deciding factor in this game."
Coach Riley on what it takes to be a strong road team:
"I think our best teams on the road have been teams that really had tremendous confidence and kind of embraced the idea of being on the road." Riley said. "We are not in any way intimidated by the crowd, environment, noise, whatever it might be...I have great faith that this team is like that."