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NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Five Keys To Beating Wisconsin

By Huskerlocker @huskerlocker

 

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By Brett Baker
5. Forget the Hype: Yes, it's Nebraska’s first conference game as a member of the Big Ten. Yes, the game is going to be televised nationwide in primetime, and yes, ESPN College Gameday will be in Madison. None of that matters without the win to go with it. It all has to be tuned out.
If last Monday's press conference is any indication then Bo Pelini is already well on his way to instilling this mindset. He’s making sure the team knows that this is just the next game on the schedule. Which of course it is and isn't.
4. Take the Crowd Out: Husker Nation is going to represent in Madison but the Badger fans aren't just going to roll over and let the corn replace the cheese. That means that Camp Randall Stadium is going to be the loud, crazy and hostile environment that's it's known to be.
The defense needs to get Wisconsin off the field on third down. Too many times already this year they have let the opposing team off the hook on third down, and that can't happen Saturday night. Keep the Badgers’ offense on the sideline for extended runs and sap the energy out of their fans.
3. Get in Russell Wilson's Face: The Wisconsin football department generously lists the Badgers quarterback at 5'11". It’s a firm guess that's about an inch and a half taller than the NC State transfer signal caller actually is. That said, he's still pretty dang good.
The Nebraska defenders would do well to get in his passing lanes early and often while keeping their hands up, going full bore, and closing his field of view. That's no magic potion for victory, but it's a start.
2. The Defensive Backs' Best Game to Date: The secondary has to grow up and fast. The great thing about Nebraska's defense over the past few seasons was the ability of so many to do so much. Unfortunately, Prince Amukamara, DeJon Gomes and Eric Hagg have all moved on taking their abilities and corporate knowledge with them.
If there was going to be a game where the Pelini brothers needed "it" to click for Green, Evans, Blatchford, Thorell and company, this is that game. The physical ability and mental preparation that has brought the Blackshirts back to prominence in years prior needs to emerge. It's time to put it all together and slow down what has been a very impressive offensive unit.
1. Ground and Pound: The one area where Wisconsin can probably be exploited is along their defensive line. After toiling at more than seven thousand feet about sea level last weekend, Madison's modest 832 feet above sea level should be a breeze for the Huskers’ offensive line.
In an ideal scenario, the offense enters the original "three yards and a cloud of dust" conference with that mindset. Four yards per snap wouldn’t be too shabby, either. Nebraska should lean on Wisconsin’s defensive front for three quarters and not let up. Wear the Badgers down and take advantage of them when the situation presents itself.
What this game is going to boil down to is playing mistake-free football and imposing will. The question is, are the Huskers able to do that?
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