Nebraska returns to Lincoln for a difficult two-game homestand at Memorial Stadium, beginning with a Saturday night matchup against No. 9 Wisconsin.
The Huskers come into the game with a 3-2 record and a 2-0 mark in the Big Ten Conference following a 28-6 win against Illinois last Friday. The Huskers continued to play outstanding defense in the victory, holding Illinois to just two field goals and 199 total yards. The Blackshirt defense has allowed just 23 points in its past 14 quarters of football. The Husker offense also excelled at Illinois, scoring touchdowns on all three of its first half possessions.
Wisconsin will bring a perfect 4-0 record and a 1-0 mark in Big Ten play to Lincoln. The Badgers opened conference play with a 33-24 victory over Northwestern on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium. Coach Paul Chryst's squad is ranked ninth in the Associated Press Poll this week and No. 8 according to the USA Today Coaches Poll.
The Badgers feature a balanced offensive attack, averaging 233 yards on the ground and 226 yards per game through the air. Wisconsin also features one of the Big Ten's top defenses, allowing just 13.5 points and 247.0 yards per game.
Date/Time: October 7, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. CDT
Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE Capacity: 85,458
Surface: Field Turf
Opposition Blog: Check out Bucky’s 5th Quarter for everything Wisconsin
Series Record: Wisconsin hold the series advantage 7-4 on the strength of four straight victories over the Big Red. Believe it or not, the largest regular season margin of victory in the series belongs to Nebraska with a 37-0 win when Bob Devaney’s 1965 Huskers steamrolled the Badgers in Lincoln. (Of course, who could forget the 70-31 debacle in the Big Ten championship game?)
TV: The game will be televised on BTN with a familiar voice for Nebraskans in Kevin Kugler, Play-by-Play. Also on the crew are Matt Millen, Analyst and Lisa Byington, Sidelines. You can stream the game on BTN2Go with a login from your TV service provider.
Radio: Huskers sports radio network. The audio can also be streamed live for free at huskers.com The crew will be: Greg Sharpe, Matt Davison, and Ben McLaughlin. It will also be simulcast on Sirius: 81 and XM: 81.
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 an in-app purchase. I often use the TuneIn app for game audio.
Weather: At kickoff, the temperature will be 66 degrees with clear skies and light winds from the southwest at 6 mph.
Odds: Wisconsin is favored by 10.5 to 11.5 points depending on the source
Nebraska has won 20 consecutive night games at Memorial Stadium. Included in that stretch is a 2012 win over Wisconsin. The Huskers are 46-5 all-time in night games in Lincoln.
The Nebraska defense has gone seven quarters without allowing an opponent touchdown, totaling more than 115 minutes of game action. NU has allowed just two offensive touchdowns in its last 14 quarters of football.
Mike Riley on Wisconsin
“Overall, personnel around the board, and with what they’re doing, it’s probably the best. The other team, with some outstanding people and very good athleticism defensively was Oregon. We’ve seen those types of athletes, but when you’re talking about the big picture, playing team defense, being in sync, this is the best football team and the best all-around offense, defense, put together, the best team we’ve seen.”
On the offense being prepared for the 3-4 defense
“We all think that having the 3-4 defense to practice against in spring ball, all through fall camp is a good thing for us. We think the preparation of what we’ve seen, which is when you look at that amount of time – from spring ball all through fall camp – you’d like to say you’ve probably seen the kitchen sink. Everybody probably has different flavor to it. The other thing about practicing against a 3-4 team is, in nickel situations, it can morph into a four-man front. So you can get a variety of practice, probably more so than going the other way. We used to run a three-man front in our dime situations once in a while, but that was about it and it was a whole different animal, as far as rushers. It was more about coverage, than it was about playing against it on first down. I think it’s beneficial. I think obviously the work will be good and now it will be contending against the personnel we’re going to play against. Obviously, any different style and wrinkles we’re going to see that’s different than what we’ve seen in our own defense, we have to be ready for.”
On Nebraska’s confidence level
“I think this team has prepared themselves in the last two weeks in a very good way to compete. I would say there’s an excitement about playing football right now for them that is contagious throughout the team. The work has been really consistent with this team. It’s a good group of people that have always worked hard. We’ve been rewarded with better and better play in the last little play – they have been– and I expect that to continue. What we absolutely need to win this next game is to get better and I think this team will work to do that. I think they’re built that way as people and I think some of the success they’ve recently had should be a confidence booster for them.”
On the game coming down to the last play the last two times Nebraska has faced Wisconsin
“The thing that is evident in the games against Wisconsin, is you have to be the team that finishes. We had our opportunities a couple years ago here to finish that game and didn’t do it and gave them an opportunity to get in position to kick a field go and then we had the ball with a chance to score and win it last year and didn’t do that. It’s really about finishing the game at a high level, being able to produce and make plays, offense and defense.”