So just about everyone has Nebraska picked to win tonight. And indeed, many signs look favorable: it’s a revenge game for NU; it’s at night and in Lincoln, so the crowd will be rockin’; Wisconsin’s offense has been stinking up the joint while Nebraska’s offense has been on fire; etc. The Badgers are double-digit underdogs going in.
And yet . . . I’m not so sure.
While everyone’s been yammering about the offenses, no one is talking about the defenses. And the simple fact of the matter is that Wisconsin’s defense to date has been better than Nebraska’s, particularly against the run. I always look to the team with the better D, especially in big games.
I dunno. Maybe the UCLA game, when our defense was torched for over 600 yards, really was an aberration. We did do a good job containing an explosive Arkansas State offense, after all. But I’m not convinced. Wisky’s strength is their running game. If they’re smart, they’ll come straight at us, right where we’re weakest—our front seven. And if we keep turning the ball over the way we’ve been doing, the Badgers won’t need to put up any long drives on us.
I won’t go so far as to predict a loss, but I’m guessing it’s going to be much closer than the experts think. I was reminded yesterday of the 2010 Texas game, another revenge game at home against a reeling team, one everyone expected us to win. We flat-out choked, losing 20-13.
Yikes. Here’s hoping history doesn’t repeat itself.