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NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Wisconsin Game Day Thoughts

By Huskerlocker @huskerlocker

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Every week, the Husker Locker staff will be presented both questions addressing various aspects of that week's game.
This week:
What does Nebraska have to do both offensively and defensively to win this game?
Brian: Offensively, stay in time. Tim Beck needs to spread the ball efficently and get ALL his playmakers the ball. Jamal, Kenny, Quincy, Ameer, Braylon, Aaron Green, Kyler... you get the picture. It can’t be the Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead show. If that is the case, we are going to be disappointed.
Defensively, it’s a matter of what you think Wisconsin can do worse, run or throw the ball. To me, take away the run and make Wilson beat you in the air. We have talented corners, but we need help with pressure and throws that are not when Wilson wants to put it up.
Erin: Offensively, play like they did against Washington. Wyoming really wasn't that bad offensively, either. If Taylor can stay confident and the offense can make good use of the receivers, as well as Rex, they won't have a problem putting up points on a questionable Wisconsin defense.
Defensively, Nebraska needs to find its swagger. These guys are talented, but they're missing that spark. If the defense can play tough, it'll be key. This game will be decided upon by defense.
Brandon: Offensively, they need to keep Russell Wilson off of the field. Long, sustained drives with the occasional big play would serve the Huskers well. If Nebraska can gain large chunks of yardage creating very manageable third down situations and pop off the occasional 15-20 yard gain or long bomb, that’d be ideal.
They need to attack a defensive line and linebacker corps that are the biggest two largest chinks in the Badgers’ armor. In the end, Nebraska's best defense may be the offense in this game. Keep Wilson off the field entirely.
Defensively, they need to sell out to stop the run. With Wilson’s ability to run and two bruising backs, it’s hard to think that Wisconsin isn’t going to try to gash Nebraska’s interior defensive line which hasn’t had much luck stopping the run cold.
Watch for Dennard to be all over Nick Toon when possible, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Badgers try to work him opposite Alfonzo. Whoever is opposite Dennard needs to have the game of his life.
Do you think Nebraska’s special teams units are being overlooked this week?
Brian: YES! Ameer is still No. 1 in the FBS in kickoff returns, and there are several reports that the Badgers are going to have issues kicking deep on kickoffs. Making Wisconsin go 70-80 yards every series will end up being a good thing. Bo’s defenses give up yards, not points. Brett Maher needs to have another big game to keep us within striking distance.
Erin: Possibly, but I don't think so. Abdullah needs to just play a little smarter. The kid is so fast and wants to play lights out, but he just needs to hold onto the ball. I'm not worried about our special teams otherwise.
Brandon: No. As a matter of fact, I think Wisconsin knows that this unit needs to be addressed. They’ve got a kicker who has difficulty keeping kickoffs in the field of play and if Ameer gets a hole, he can take it to the house on anyone. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Wisconsin try an onside kick or two if not straight up kicking the ball out of bounds should Nebraska have success early.
Who do you think will be the Huskers' surprise impact player this week?
Brian: Saturday will be Jamal Turner’s coming out party to America. If he gets 10+ touches through the game, I like our chances. And I think that will happen.
Erin: I have two: Brandon Kinnie - I just have a gut feeling he's going to step up huge this game.
The entire defense - I think they're ready to how what they've got. A game full of big hits is in the cards.
Brandon: I’m not sure how much of a surprise this is considered, but I’ll say Jamal Turner specifically because of how little he’s been used. This is the game that you throw the kitchen sink (a.k.a. Turner) at a team like Wisconsin. He’s shown he can do amazing things. Look for him at two or three different positions.
You’re at ESPN Gameday in Madison. What does your sign say?
Erin: Seeing as I will be there, you'll have to watch and see. Or at the very least, check for pictures later.
Brandon: Everyone: Superman Plays for Nebraska
Follow the panel on Twitter:
Brandon: @HuskerLocker
Brian: @btbowling
Erin: @helloerinmarie

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