LINCOLN, Neb. — Let’s get something straight.
The Wisconsin defense, without a doubt, is one of the best defenses that Nebraska will face this year, a point offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf emphasized on Wednesday.
“Top to bottom I’ve been impressed with them as a group,” Langsdorf said. “Probably the best group we’ve faced.”
Nebraska is one of the top offenses in the Big Ten, but it will face one of the best defenses in the country on Saturday. The Badgers are ninth in total defense and 10th in rushing defense.
Nebraska’s counter to those good run defenses has been running with senior QB Tommy Armstrong, but that might be difficult this weekend, Langsdorf said.
“They’ve been very good at kind of outside in, especially if you look at Ohio State with the amount of zone-read they ran,” Langsdorf said. “The ability to really keep the quarterback in a tight window and then rally to the ball. That’s the challenge, is how much can you spread them out.”
Langsdorf said the Badgers do a good job from the outside in containing the run, and have outside edge rushers who push inside to create a small window of opportunity to run.
Langsdorf said the offensive line needs to be sound technique-wise, and play much better than it has the past two weeks.
“They’ve got to be able to move some guys,” Langsdorf said. “We’ve got to be able to block with good angles and make sure we make some seams for those backs.”
Wisconsin plays a 3-4 defense, which Nebraska faced against Fresno State earlier this season, but that will make it even tougher to run, Langsdorf said.
“Being a 3-4 team, you’re going to have to move the inside and create some holes and then hold off the ends and you’re to have to deal with 1 of 4 different guys coming to rush each time,” Langsdorf said “We’re going to have to be on our toes with all the different looks they’ll give us.”