Wisconsin Badgers vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers: Freedom Trophy Preview with Husker Corner


The Wisconsin Badgers and the Nebraska Cornhuskers are just days away from a showdown for the right to take home the Freedom Trophy, and Badger of Honor is digging in to the matchup between two teams who in the preseason were expected to rank at the top of the Big Ten West, but at the moment are sputtering after Big ten opening losses.

READ ALSO: Wisconsin-Nebraska: Freedom Trophy History

Once again we turned to Lyle Harrison over at Husker Corner, Fansided’s Nebraska Cornhuskers website. Harrison has already filled us in on Nebraska’s season so far, and here we dive a little deeper into the Wisconsin-Nebraska matchup.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

Thanks again, Lyle, and make sure to check out Husker Corner and follow them on Twitter as we prepare for the showdown for the Freedom Trophy.

Now, onto our questions….

BOH: The Cornhuskers have been pretty banged up so far this season. What’s the outlook for Saturday, and how do you expect those injuries to affect the game?

HC: Well, from the start, the Nebraska linebacker unit has been decimated by injuries. While Michael Rose-Ivey is still slotted to be out for his third straight game with a groin injury, Josh Banderas should be back at full strength. The return of Banderas might not be an upgrade, however. Sophomore Chris Weber has been a menace, so expect to see him in the game for the majority. Weber leads the Huskers with 35 tackles, including five for a loss.

Due to the Badgers’ penchant for running the ball, the Huskers might be better off with Weber in the lineup. Still, they’ll need every available linebacker to play and play well. Missed tackles would be a death nail.

Defensive tackle Vincent Valentine has missed three consecutive games. He’s questionable to return on Saturday. The defensive line has done well without Valentine, but the Blackshirt defense lost Kevin Maurice until November. Now the Huskers are dangerously thin up front.

With the return of De’Mornay Pierson-El, the offense seems to be relatively healthy now. Pierson-El is back in the Huskers’ gameplan, so he should be a factor in the game.

BOH: Nebraska’s defense has been stout against the run but porous against the pass. Does Wisconsin’s passing game scare the Huskers? Is Nebraska worried about Wisconsin’s running game after Iowa shut it down?

HC: Right now, every passing game should scare the Huskers. They’ve shown flashes on the backend, but too many times, they wilt under the pressure of a passing game. Opponents average 44 pass attempts against the Huskers this season, but the Badgers aren’t normally trying to air it out. We’ll see if they alter the gameplan to exploit Nebraska’s weakness.

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  • After what’s happened in recent years, the Huskers have to be worried about Wisconsin’s running attack. Despite Nebraska’s success against the run this season, Wisconsin has to believe they’ll have a fruitful ground game on Saturday. It will be up to the defensive line to handle the trenches.

    BOH: Wisconsin’s defense has been stellar so far this season. How do you see this Nebraska team moving the ball?

    HC: Nebraska needs big plays against Wisconsin’s defense. The only time the Badgers had a bad performance was against Alabama. Derrick Henry took advantage of Michael Caputo’s absence, and ran wild. Unfortunately for the Huskers, they don’t have that type of running game. They are missing the big play element. Therefore, it’s hard to expect anything different on Saturday.

    Therefore, Tommy Armstrong has to shake off his bad game from last week, and get the Huskers’ passing game going early. He has to be consistent with ball placement. In addition, Armstrong has to defeat the defense with his legs. If there’s a first down available via the run, he must take it.

    Finally, the receivers must catch the ball.

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    BOH: Last year’s matchup got out of hand pretty quickly for Nebraska. Is there a sense of revenge rumbling for the Husker faithful?

    HC: There’s no real sense of revenge right now. There’s more a sense of getting a much-needed win. However, Husker fans know the Big Red led 17-3 in the second quarter. A couple of beers later, Wisconsin had a 59-17 lead, before Nebraska’s final touchdown.

    BOH: How do you see Saturday’s game playing out. Care to offer a game prediction?

    HC: Honestly, this game is hard to tell how it will turn out. If Wisconsin turns the ball over with self-inflicted wounds, the Huskers can gain advantage, and score some points. If De’Mornay Pierson-El becomes the best player on the field, then Nebraska’s offense might have the big play potential. Still, I think this game will be close, if the Huskers can stop Wisconsin’s running game.

    24-21 Nebraska.


    Stay tuned to Badger of Honor as we bring you mare heading in to the matchup between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Wisconsin Badgers.

    Next: Get To Know The Nebraska Cornhuskers

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