One of the games of the week in college football on Saturday is the first Big Ten meeting between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Wisconsin Badgers.
Needless to say, it will be a sea of red in Madison, and a smashmouth football game on both sides of the ball. Quarterbacks Taylor Martinez and Russell Wilson are leading two of the top rushing teams in all of college football. The Huskers rank 8th in the nation and the Badgers come in close behind at 13th.
One of my top running back prospects is junior Montee Ball (Badgers) who already has nine touchdown runs on the season. He has averaged nearly six yards per carry and has also proven he’s not just a one-trick pony, catching six passes for 120 yards and another touchdown.
Nebraska not only has its hands full defensively with Wisconsin’s 8th ranked scoring offense and top notch rushing attack, but faces a tough defense that is only allowing 8.5 points per game on the season.
Heisman candidate Russell Wilson has a chance to really impress NFL scouts on a big stage against a defense that features three top tier prospects in defensive tackle Jared Crick, linebacker Lavonte David, and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard. This Nebraska defense certainly isn’t South Dakota, so the Badgers are really going to have to bring their A-game, which I believe they will.
Wilson’s arrival has been huge for senior wide receiver Nick Toon, who has already set a career mark with five touchdown catches (21 total receptions) on the season. Toon will face a lockdown cornerback prospect in Alfonzo Dennard, a player who is considered to be a lock for the first round at this point. He has seven receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns last week against South Dakota.
Both teams have some good prospects in the trenches, likely future NFL starters on both sides of the ball. Wisconsin also has a couple of top tier special teams players in kicker Philip Welch and Brad Nortman.
Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez leads the team in both passing yardage as well as rushing, but that’s really covering up an excellent junior season for running back Rex Burkhead, who has carried the ball 63 times for 420 yards and seven touchdowns. His seven scores match his total from all of last season, and he’s really impressing with a 6.7 yard per carry average.
You can check out our top NFL prospects for the Nebraska Cornhuskers from staff writer Austin Bramley as well as my review of the Wisconsin Badgers’ top NFL prospects to check out while you watch the game.