Big-picture, at 4-0 in conference play Nebraska leads the West by a game over Northwestern, while Wisconsin, at 2-2, trails by two.
None of that conversation actually mattered, and it's a welcome reality for the Huskers who can earn some respect with a road win over a Wisconsin team that already beat LSU and routed Michigan State.
"They have a pro-style offense, and they have a quarterback run, RPO kind of thing". The Wolverines, have 21 - yes that's right 2-1 - different rushers and 28 rushing touchdowns, while still being efficient behind the arm of quarterback Wilton Speight's 1447 yards and 13 touchdowns to 22 different receivers.
KRIS: It seems like Dana Holgerson has been on the hot seat since his first game as head coach. Only 23 FBS teams have thrown more picks than UW.
That same chemistry is imperative to NU's offensive attack, which has suddenly become more balanced. "They're under center at one time, an they're in the gun at other times". Nebraska running back Terrell Newby has been such a threat in the run game, averaging 5.0 yards per carry and rarely being tackled for loss. Maryland is led by running back duo Lorenzo Harrison (65-502-5) and Ty Johnson (47-482-3) and average 250 yards per game on the ground.
"I feel like we're the underdog every week, honestly", senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong told reporters this week. Wisconsin's defense is known for stopping the run, giving up only 103 yards per game.
The Badgers took a hit this week when it was learned linebacker Jack (Three Sack) Cichy would miss the rest of this season with a torn pectoral.
With a young guy at quarterback, the Badgers have been able to lean on their stout running back, Corey Clement.
"We're really focusing on our side of the net: taking care of the ball, getting ourselves in good situations and executing those situations", said Hazen, who added that the Cats need to play with the same team chemistry that they did against Purdue to get another win.
"It's definitely a collective effort up front", Watt said.
"We had a good win against Purdue". That's not the case at all.
"We hate each other nowadays", Riley joked on Monday. We need to have that demeanor against Penn State, wanting to go out and just demolish a team. Even though their defense has been hampered by injuries, coordinator Justin Wilcox's unit is one of the best in the country. Most notably, however, is the relationship between Nebraska head coach Mike Riley and UW's head coach Paul Chryst.
"When we played Minnesota and Nebraska they wanted to come out and kill us", senior setter Lauren Carlini said. We begin a new series looking inside Badger practice called - Drill It!. No one is going to go out with a small injury.
Against an undefeated team, the defense will have to show their grit, something they claim to have from their t-shirts in the locker room to their performance on the field. Barry Alvarez combined power running with play action passing to turn the Badgers into winners almost two decades ago and the seventh ranked Huskers will try to slow down that same style of offense when they play 11th rated Wisconsin under the lights in Madison.
The victory moved Nebraska (11-5-3, 5-3-3 Big Ten) up to sixth in the conference standings.
Nebraska and Wisconsin will kick off at 6:00 pm CT Saturday on ESPN.