09.26.2011 / It is official. The Huskers and Gameday are heading to Madison. Blog posting by Mike Babcock, Huskers Illustrated Magazine.
It is official. This weekends game puts the Huskers and the Badgers in the spotlight as ESPNs Gameday is heading to Madison. This long awaited game between these teams and the Huskers first Big Ten conference play is sure to bring out the best in both teams.
"This weekends game puts the Huskers and the Badgers in the spotlight as ESPNs Gameday is heading to Madison."
“We’re excited,” Nebraska fullback Tyler Legate said of the Huskers’ next game, following a 38-14 victory at Wyoming. “We have a lot of work to do, but hey, Saturday night, you know . . . it’s just that night. Who cares what you did before that? Let’s go out there and play.”
Out there is Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisc., where they’ll play on Saturday night. The “who cares” part requires a qualifier and some explanation. The qualifier is that Nebraska has a 4-0 record and a No. 8 national ranking in the Associated Press poll. The explanation is that at kickoff against Wisconsin, no one will care how the Huskers got to 4-0, only that they are.
Until now, however, each of the four victories has been framed by the future, Nebraska’s historic Big Ten-opening game with the Badgers, defending conference co-champions. When the Huskers made mistakes, those mistakes were evaluated in the context of the Wisconsin game.
“What will happen if they do that against the Badgers?” There was an element of looking ahead instead of enjoying the moment. For some, the Huskers’ 4-0 start was flawed, representing deceptive success, as in: Yes, they’re undefeated, but . . .
Coach Bo Pelini reminded the team on the night before the Wyoming game that the bottom line was what mattered. He told his players “there are no great teams out there right now, but somebody is going to be great in 12 weeks. That’s why we talk about the process,” he said.
“We’ve got to keep getting better.” This isn’t the same Nebraska team that opened against Tennessee-Chattanooga. The expectation is to “just keep building each week,” said Legate.
Wisconsin also is 4-0 and ranked one place ahead of the Huskers in the AP poll, though to hear some talk about it, the Badgers are much the better team. And maybe they are. But Saturday night’s game, not conjecture, will determine that.
Nebraska defensive coordinator Carl Pelini was asked if he considered the Huskers to be Big Ten-ready. “Yeh, are they ready for us? I don’t know,” he said. Wisconsin’s 4-0 record could be just as misleading as Nebraska’s. In fact, the Badgers’ four opponents are a combined 5-6, not counting the Wisconsin losses, while the Huskers’ opponents are a combined 10-2, not counting the Nebraska losses.
In any case, “we gotta be Big Ten-ready,” said Carl Pelini. “It’s just so different than what we’ve faced the first four weeks. What we’re going to face next week is just a completely different style than what we’ve been playing, so we’ll see. I think we’ll be ready. We better be ready.” So bring on the Badgers.
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