The Badgers haven't allowed a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent to rush for 200 or more yards since Iowa did it in 2008, a streak of 32 games. Nebraska comes into tonight's game with more than 200 yards rushing in all four games this year, including consecutive games of more than 300. UW has yielded 200-plus rushing yards eight times during the Bret Bielema coaching era that began in 2006 — the last coming in 2009 vs. Wofford, a Football Championship Subdivision team — and is 4-4 in those games. The Cornhuskers were held to less than 200 yards rushing four times in 2010. All were losses.
PASS OR FAIL
One of the strengths of the Nebraska defense is its secondary, which has allowed 28 touchdown passes while recording 43 interceptions since the start of 2009. For perspective, the Badgers have yielded 44 touchdown passes while turning in 31 picks during the same span. The Cornhuskers will try to apply that equation to UW senior quarterback Russell Wilson, whose career TD-to-interception rate is 87-27. That plus-60 margin is remarkable when you compare it to the two quarterbacks in Big Ten history with more than 80 career touchdown passes: Drew Brees was plus-45 (90-45) for Purdue and Chad Henne was plus-50 (87-37) for Michigan.
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE
Junior Montee Ball and sophomore James White are not only productive tailbacks for the Badgers — both average 7 yards per touch from scrimmage this season — they're at the heart of a remarkable run of reliability. UW running backs haven't lost a fumble since White did against San Jose State in the second week of last season. Since then, the group — including backups and fullbacks — has had 607 runs from scrimmage and caught 51 passes without putting the ball on the ground.
Nebraska has won five national championships, the last coming in 1997 when current athletic director Tom Osborne bowed out of coaching with a 13-0 record and his team shared the last pre-Bowl Championship Series title with unbeaten Michigan. A key entry on the Cornhuskers' resume that year was a 27-14 victory at No. 2 Washington. Turns out, that's the last time Nebraska beat a Top 10 opponent on the road during the regular season. The Huskers are 0-7 since, allowing an average of 43.4 points per game. Two of the losses came during the Bo Pelini coaching era, which began in 2008.
After Fresno State played at Nebraska earlier this season, a school official who made the trip to Memorial Stadium wrote an op-ed piece in the Fresno (Calif.) Bee heaping praise on Cornhuskers fans. He lauded them for everything from their punctuality — everyone in their seats 10 minutes before kickoff — to inviting opposing fans to tailgates to cheering good plays by the opposition. UW fans aren't known for being so genteel. But just as Huskers are in for a bit of a shock, so are those who follow the Badgers who can't fathom 10,000 to 20,000 black-clad Huskers fans finding their way into Camp Randall Stadium. Let the sociology lesson begin.