Nebraska Football 2011: Wyoming Recap, Wisconsin Preview

Matt Zvolanek@MattZvolanekCorrespondent IISeptember 26, 2011

LINCOLN, NE - SEPTEMBER 17: Taylor Martinez #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers celebrates a touchdown with teammates in a game against the Washington Huskies at Memorial Stadium September 17, 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska won 51-38.(Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

No. 8 Nebraska(4-0) at No. 7Wisconsin(4-0)

Recap: Nebraska wins, 38-14. 

How about that game in Laramie? The high altitude didn’t appear to burden the Huskers too much. Nebraska came out with some very vanilla play-calling on the high plains of Wyoming.  Most of the plays consisted of getting Rex Burkhead the ball. Be it a toss or an option, Burkhead was clearly the workhorse for the Husker offense on Saturday, gaining a career-high 170 yards and two touchdowns. 

Martinez seemed to take a step back in the passing game, having several balls that should have been picks. Bo Pelini must have one hell of a halftime speech, as for the third week in a row, the offense appeared to awaken. 

Defense looked lackluster once again. The reappearance of Dennard in the secondary definitely helped, as the Cowboys only threw for 168 yards and two touchdowns. The defensive line got some pressure on Wyoming freshmen quarterback, Brett Smith, but it still isn’t enough.  Hopefully, Crick will come back this week to help the get penetration in the backfield. 

Wyoming’s special forces (team) looked impressive, almost blocking a couple of Maher’s punts.  Maher looked impressive on kickoffs, hitting all for touchbacks except one. He was one for two on field goals, his only miss being a 50-yarder that barely missed.   

What to Watch For: Wisconsin looks to be a formidable foe for the Huskers. Wisconsin has been steam-rolling opponents (granted, that was against the likes of UNLV, Oregon State, Northern Illinois and South Dakota). The Badgers QB, Russell Wilson, has played impressive thus far but hardly has had to face any true test on defense. Wisconsin’s defense is good but lacks overall speed. Nebraska’s offense can use that to their advantage.  

Also, Gameday will be in Madison. Watch what head Corso puts on.

Biggest Question: Can the Blackshirts get back to their ways of old against the Badgers? If Crick returns, then the Husker defense will have senior leadership on each level of defense. Will that be enough to stop the Badgers potent running game and Russell Wilson?

Projected Outcome: It should be one heck of a game. Nebraska performs well in big road games (see Oklahoma State, Washington last year), especially when Martinez is healthy.  Wisconsin has many weapons on offense, and this game could turn into a shootout.

Final Score: 27-21 Nebraska victory

Interesting Fact:  October has been a bad month for the Bo Pelini-coached Huskers. The Huskers have lost five of 12 games in October in Pelini’s first three seasons. Hopefully, Nebraska can buck the trend this year.