Wisconsin at No. 20 Nebraska, 8pm Eastern (ABC)
Line: Nebraska - 12 (Bovada lines)
Last Meeting: 2011 (48-17 Wisconsin Win)
3 Players to Watch:
1) Joel Stave (QB UW): Stave is making just his 2nd collegiate start of his career and hasn't been involved in a road game since 2010, when he was in high school. How he handles the crowd and how he responds to adversity will go a long way to helping to determine who win's this rematch in Lincoln.
2) Jack Russell (K UW): Russell will take the reigns as the starting place kicker from Kyle French for the 1st time in his career. Can he come through in the clutch, and more importantly for Badger fans, can he make a stinking extra point (French had two blocked already). How does he handle what could be a very difficult environment both mentally and wind wise will be huge for Badgers success.
3) Kenny Bell (WR Neb): As big as Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead will be it's Bell that you should be watching. Wisconsin is prone to a few big plays (it's kinda their thing on defense in 2012) and Bell is their biggest play wide receiver. If he can get free in the secondary it could be lights out for Bucky as Martinez has vastly improved his passing game, unless you ask David Gilbert that is.
Wisconsin and Nebraska are vastly different teams, in fact you could argue they are the exact opposite of their 2011 versions. Wisconsin is led mainly by their defense as they are trying to find their identity offensively (remind you of Nebraska last year?) and Nebraska has had no problems scoring points but their defense had issues in their one test out of conference, which contributed mightily to that loss to UCLA.
Nebraska has seen a lot of growth offensively and they have a very troublesome running game. Add in the fact that Wisconsin won't have Brendan Kelly or Jordan Kohout at defensive end and you're asking a lot out of some very inexperienced players. Could this been Ameer Abdullah's Big Ten coming out party? Not likely as Wisconsin is giving up less than 80 yards rushing a game to their opponents. This one could be a lot closer than the experts think in my opinion.
My Pick: Nebraska 31, Wisconsin 24
Rest of Staff's Picks:
Nate: Nebraska 42, Wisconsin 21
Kevin: Nebraska 33, Wisconsin 20
Cole: Wisconsin 24, Nebraska 20
Will: Wisconsin 24, Nebraska 21