Four Things To Watch: Nebraska-Wisconsin
Do people consider Wisconsin and Nebraska to be football rivals? I’m not there yet. Some people like to make the connection given Barry Alvarez being a former Cornhusker as he played linebacker for the team in the mid-60’s. They do play for a Freedom Trophy, but I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen it. Wisconsin has won four of the last five games versus Nebraska since they joined the Big 10. Badgers come in as heavy favorites against the unbeaten Cornhuskers.
1. Corey Clement to wake the Melvin Gordon echos? – Everyone can remember what Melvin Gordon did to Nebraska a couple years ago in the snow setting an individual rushing record. We watched that game at Points East and had a grand ole time doing it. Corey Clement could have a huge game versus Nebraska’s run defense. It’s a weak spot in their team, and they’ve given up big runs countless times this season. Clement will house a 50-plus yarder at some point in this game. He’s really coming together to have a nice season.
2. Will Badgers be able to handle Cichy’s loss? – While Wisconsin handled the loss of Vince Biegel just fine, they are faced with another challenge as Jack Cichy will miss the season. Wisconsin will ride with Ryan Connelly in his place. He had a big moment in the LSU game and wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t miss a beat. The one thing about Cichy that’s irreplaceable is his instincts towards the football. He has a nose for it, and I’m not sure if Wisconsin’s other backs can do that.
3. Force Tommy Armstrong Jr. into passing the ball – Van Wilder nominee Tommy Armstrong Jr had a good senior campaign. Much of it is to do with no one has made Armstrong Jr. not having to make plays with his arm. In the last two games, old Tommy has return with completion percentages well under 50 percent. If Terell Newby can’t get going on the ground, Armstrong Jr. could be in for a long day. Wisconsin did struggle with J.T. Barrett’s mobility which could be bold well for the Nebraska quarterback.
4. Fourth quarter is Cornhusker quarter – If Wisconsin has a lead in the third, they need to step on Nebraska’s throats. They are comeback artists this season. They did against Purdue and Indiana in the last two weeks, and a couple others already this season. Wisconsin is a different beast though especially on defense.
Prediction: Wisconsin wins 27-14 in a rousing victory. Armstrong Jr throws three picks and Clement goes crazy in a Badgers win that will be a bigger blowout than the final.