Earlier this season, the Wisconsin Badgers and Nebraska Cornhuskers battled, and the Cornhuskers rallied back from a 17-point deficit. Taylor Martinez led four straight scoring drives and Wisconsin running back Montee Ball fumbled on fourth and one with a minute to go to give the Huskers a 30 to 27 lead.
An intriguing match-up to watch is the running backs. Last year’s Heisman finalist Ball and Nebraska tailback Rex Burkhead feature two of the game’s best at the position.
Last year was Ball’s breakout season, and this season, Ball has 1,528 yards and 18 touchdowns. He is averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Ball became the FBS career leader in touchdowns against Penn State last weekend when he scored his 79th touchdown. Ball is eighth in the country in rushing.
Last week, I loved watching Burkhead move the pile and carry the Huskers over the Iowa Hawkeyes to complete a bid to the Big Ten Championship game. Burkhead has battled some injuries this year, as he has only played in six games this year. He has 474 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Both Ball and Burkhead have future NFL careers ahead of them. NFL Mocks has Burkhead being taken in the first five rounds, and we have Ball as possibly the first running back taken in the draft.
Junior quarterback Taylor Martinez has been fun to watch for the Huskers, and has helped lead them back for several comebacks. Most notably against Wisconsin in four straight scoring drives. He has passed for 2.483 yards, 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 63.8% of his passes.
This season, we have certainly seen Martinez throw the ball a lot more, and run a lot less. He became the Huskers all-time leader passer against Minnesota when he threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns. In his career, he 6,203 passing yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, watch out for Nebraska’s defensive end Eric Martin. He had a huge week against Iowa a week ago when he had seven total tackles, (four solo, and three assisted), and one sack. Against Iowa, Martin was pushing over Hawkeye offensive lineman.
For Wisconsin, watch out for inside linebacker Chris Borland. The 5’11” 250 pound linebacker has recorded 96 total tackles and did not play last week against Penn State. Borland has been cleared to play against Nebraska. He also has 4.5 sacks on the year.
We haven’t documented all of Wisconsin’s prospects yet, but here is a look at Nebraska’s prospects: http://nflmocks.com/2012/11/23/nebraska-cornhuskers-top-nfl-draft-prospects-for-2013-and-beyond/