Coming into this week it wasn't a given that two of the most dynamic players in the matchup between the Huskers and Badgers would even be on the field, however on Friday we received final word from both head coaches that both Rex Burkhead and Chris Borland are 100% healthy.
In fact for Nebraska's Bo Pelini it was the 1st question he faced at his press conference on Friday.
"Rex Burkhead is 100 percent," said Pelini. " Looking forward to the game. I mean, he obviously came in and kind of knocked the rust off last week in the second half of the Iowa game, and you know, it's business as usual for Rex and other than the two sustained injuries we had on the D‑line and O‑line last week with Jackson and Steinkuhler, nothing has changed injury‑wise for us."
For Wisconsin, the could come into the Championship game as the healthier team for a change, as Chris Borland and star wide receiver Jared Abbrederis are both full go.
"We're a little bit healthier," said Bielema. We've got Jared Abbrederis who will be with us full go, as well as Chris Borland, who hasn't been back with us the last two weeks. I know he's excited to get out here. And a couple of other guys that are just a little healthier than they've been the last two weeks. So we're hitting it primetime. And we're excited to get going."
Getting Borland back after two weeks off has to be a relief to Badger fans and it's clearly that for the head coach.
"He makes you a really good head coach in a short amount of time," Bielema told reporters at Lucas Oil Stadium on Friday. "When 44 puts his jersey on, we were doing what was supposed to be a half‑speed kicking drill on Thursday. And number 44 decided to go full speed, and was very disruptive, shall we say. He just brings ‑‑ really good players make players in the huddle better around them. And 44's that kind of guy."
On the negative side of the injury front, the Huskers will likely be without a few lineman, most notably defensive tackle Blake Steinkuhler and possibly without center Cole Pensick. The offensive line situation is a complete unknown, that is if you like to believe what coaches tell you the day before a game.
"You're going to see them both," Pelini said. You're going to see Pensick. You're going to see Pelini. Who starts the game, we'll see. You'll see them both. You're going to see a mix of guys that go through there both at the left guard spot and the center spot."
Only the game tomorrow will tell if the healthy returns of Burkhead, Borland and Abbrederis will make a difference or if it'll be a big deal that Nebraska has concerns on both sides of their lines. It's getting to be time to strap in to your favorite couch with your favorite foods and beverages and enjoy the beauty that is smash mouth, in your face, Big Ten football but with a twist.