After suffering a surprising home loss to BYU, Wisconsin got a much needed bounce-back victory at Iowa two weekends ago, making last week’s bye all that more enjoyable. The week off comes at a good time considering the Badgers can expect a physical contest on their hands when they host a desperate Nebraska team Saturday night. Not only are the Huskers looking for their first win of the season, the Cornhuskers have lost a program-record eight straight games.
While Nebraska is nowhere near the program it was when it entered the conference in 2011, the Badgers can and need to be ready for Nebraska’s best shot. The Huskers would love nothing more to give Wisconsin a second consecutive home loss for the first time since 2012.
The rankings for the Front Seven are determined based on performance from last week, expectations this coming week and need. Here are our seven players most important in helping the Badgers to a victory over Nebraska.
Last Week’s Rankings in Parentheses
7, Cornerback Deron Harrell (NR)
Harrell received his first career start against Iowa and finished the game with three tackles. Harrell was listed as a co-starter on the depth chart this week with Caesar Williams, who started the first three games of the year. With Faion Hicks listed as questionable (arm), Harrell could be in line to start his second consecutive game. Harrell was beaten at times against Iowa’s big tight ends but having a week to learn from the tape could prove to be largely beneficial. The Badgers secondary will have a tough matchup against JD Spielman, who is tied for second over conference play in average receptions per game (seven) and his 70 receiving yards per game also ranks in the top 10 over Big Ten play along with his teammate, Stanley Morgan (65 yards per game). Harrell has the necessary athleticism to win his battle and prevent either from constantly having success. The key with him is being able to wrap up and prevent yards after the catch.