Wisconsin Badgers predictions: Game 5 vs. Nebraska
After a week off following a big win at Iowa at night, Wisconsin is back and again playing in primetime.
This time, though, it is against a struggling Nebraska team which has yet to win under new head coach Scott Frost. The Huskers’ defense has been repeatedly torched, with pundits calling for a high-scoring game (the over/under is up to 58 1/2 points — Wisconsin has had one game with 45 or more combined points and that was 59).
While the Hawkeyes game presented a good mix of opinions on who would win, well, this week we’re back to blowout city, with the real question what will be the final score. Even people in Nebraska have a hard time seeing an upset.
Here’s this week’s picks from around the web and Twitter:
The Associated Press’ Ralph D. Russo: Wisconsin 42, Nebraska 21.
Pete Fiutak of Collegefootballnews.com: Wisconsin 41, Nebraska 17. “Wisconsin will start slow, and will even get down early, and then the running game will kick in. Jonathan Taylor and the offensive line will take over in the second quarter as the Badgers go on three straight touchdown drives. Martinez will have his moments, but three turnovers from the Husker O will kill promising drives.”
Bill Bender of The Sporting News: Wisconsin 41, Nebraska 20.
Brandon Cavanaugh of Athlon Sports: Wisconsin 41, Nebraska 21. “If Nebraska wants to pull the upset, they must not only score early before Wisconsin can get moving — they average four points in the first quarter — but find success where little has shown. Good special teams work, forcing turnovers, keeping penalties down, all of this is crucial to the Huskers shocking Paul Chryst and company. Can the Huskers win? This is college football. Anything can happen. Will they? They haven’t stopped shooting themselves in the foot yet. Their margin for error this week is slim and that is likely their downfall.”
Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Leader: Wisconsin 31, Nebraska 21.
Parker Gabriel of the Lincoln Journal-Star: Wisconsin 41, Nebraska 24. “Nebraska feels like it can move the ball against anybody and, at times, the Huskers look like it. Wisconsin’s defense isn’t currently at the level that’s become the norm in Madison. But can the Huskers slow down the Badgers? NU’s struggled at times to defend basic run concepts. UW is the wrong team to face with those kind of issues. Nebraska covers the opening 22½-point line but loses handily.”
Athon Sports’ Mitch Light: Wisconsin 34, Nebraska 20.
David Kenyon of Bleacher Report: Wisconsin 38, Nebraska 21. “The Cornhuskers’ scoring attack showed life in a 42-28 Week 5 loss to Purdue, but only seven defenses have surrendered more runs of 40-plus yards. Jonathan Taylor will break off a couple of big scampers and help Wisconsin ease past Nebraska.”
Former Nebraska safety Adam Carriker: Wisconsin 42, Nebraska 21.
Jesse Temple of The Athletic ($): Wisconsin 38, Nebraska 17. “Wisconsin is a hefty favorite against Nebraska, and few people think the Cornhuskers will provide the Badgers with a four-quarter challenge. But Wisconsin players and coaches have been adamant this week that they’ve seen enough on tape to know the Cornhuskers can present a real challenge. Wisconsin lost to BYU in its last game at Camp Randall Stadium, and that result was an eye-opener for the Badgers. They realize they can’t simply walk on the field and expect to win. Nebraska is hungry to erase the sting of its worst start in 73 yards, so the Cornhuskers will be motivated to spring the upset. Still, this Wisconsin team seemed to put some pieces together in a late victory against Iowa and should build on that performance against Nebraska.”
The three editors of the Daily Nebraskan all see a Wisconsin victory. The scores — Noah Johnson 35-17; Jacob Bova, 35-13; Luke Mullin 35-17.
The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel: Wisconsin 31, Nebraska 12.
Chad Leistikow of the Des Moines Register: Wisconsin 42, Nebraska 17. “In these teams’ most recent meeting in Madison, an evenly matched contest went to overtime, with the Badgers scoring a 23-17 win. What a difference in the programs, two years later. Nebraska entered that game in 2016 with a 7-0 record, but is 6-15 overall since (and currently riding an eight-game, 11¼-month losing streak). Paul Chryst’s Badgers entered 5-2, and they’re 22-3 since … with zero Big Ten regular-season losses.”
Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press: Wisconsin 40, Nebraska 10.
Al “Big Al’ Arend of the Herald-Palladium: Wisconsin 35, Nebraska 24.
Brad Crawford and Chris Hummer of 247 Sports: Crawford — Wisconsin 38, Nebraska 14; Hummer — Wisconsin 35, Nebraska 17.
Bill Connelly of SB Nation: His S&P+ projection has it Wisconsin 41, Nebraska 22.
All nine analysts for the Dallas Morning News have the Badgers winning and six of those think Wisconsin will cover a 22.5-point spread.
Here’s a shocker, oh no, wait, all six analysts at USAToday.com are choosing Wisconsin to win.
Yup, all three Athlon Sports analysts are picking Wisconsin to win.
All six analysts at the Tampa Bay Times pick Wisconsin. The scores: 45-20, 35-13, 42-17, 27-20, 42-17.
All three at The Oregonian/OregonLive.com pick Wisconsin to win. The scores: Ken Goe, 45-25; Sean Meagher, 42-14; Joel Odom, 38-17.