Wisconsin vs. Nebraska: Five Badgers to Watch

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Wisconsin linebacker Joe Schobert looks down the line of scrimmage against Miami (OH). Jim Oxley photo

The Wisconsin vs. Nebraska game this weekend should help clear up the Big Ten West picture as both teams are coming off of close, tough losses, Wisconsin 10-6 to Iowa and Nebraska 14-13 to Illinois.

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The Badgers have, sadly, been here before, facing an 0-1 conference record. Just last year Wisconsin fell in their Big Ten opener to Northwestern, and in the past couple of decades, Wisconsin is about .500 when it comes to the opening week of Big Ten action.

Wisconsin proved last year they could overcome an 0-1 conference start, but no one wants to see if coming back from an 0-2 conference start is possible.

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Saturday’s game isn’t yet a must-win game, but it’s about as close as you can get early in the season, especially considering the Badgers close the year with Northwestern (currently ranked #13) at home and a road game at Minnesota, which is never an easy win.

The Badgers clearly have the talent on defense to come away with a victory. So far this season the Badgers have given up 13 points to teams not named Alabama, and are getting heavy pressure on opposing quarterbacks while still stuffing the run.

Offensively, however, the Badgers have been inconsistent. Wisconsin poured on the points against Miami (OH), scored 28 against both Troy and Hawaii. Then last weekend the Badgers couldn’t figure out Iowa’s offense, turned the ball over four times, put the defense in bad situations, and managed just six points in a losing effort.

Wisconsin will need both sides of the ball to show up this weekend to emerge from Lincoln with a victory for the first time in school history, and several players will be key to a winning effort for the Badgers.

Next: #5: Ole, Ole, Ole