MADISON, Wis. — Nebraska and No. 16 Wisconsin appear to be on opposite trajectories as the Huskers head to Camp Randall Stadium for a Big Ten Conference football game on Saturday night.
No one is more aware of those directions than first-year Nebraska coach Scott Frost, whose team is winless in four straight games to open the season, including its most recent — a 42-28 home setback to Purdue.
Frost said he respects the Badgers’ discipline under Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst, who holds a 3-0 record against the Huskers.
“They never beat themselves, which has been the polar opposite of what we’ve been,” Frost said about Wisconsin (3-1, 1-0).
“You don’t see them make any kind of mistakes that will get them beat. They’re solid at every position, obviously good on the front lines on both sides.”
Frost, a former Nebraska quarterback who helped lead the Huskers to a share of the 1997 national title, said he was particularly frustrated with the Huskers’ lack of discipline against Purdue. Nebraska racked up 11 penalties for 136 yards.
In four losses, Nebraska has 36 penalties for 293 yards.
There were some highlight performances for Nebraska (0-4, 0-2) against the Boilermakers. Senior running back Devine Ogizbo rushed for a career-high 170 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns. Freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez — in his third start — collected 414 yards (323 passing and 91 rushing) at Memorial Stadium.
Frost and his coaching staff make changes on the roster to seek success.
Look for increased playing time for cornerback Eric Lee Jr., who was put at the top of the depth chart this week ahead of Lamar Jackson. Nebraska senior offensive lineman Tanner Farmer will move to center from right guard.
Martinez said cleaning up mistakes and better communication will be critical against the Badgers in a rowdy environment at Camp Randall Stadium.
“They are the type of team where, I think, will use some clock so we’re not going to have as many possessions or as many plays,” Martinez said. “So, it is about being as efficient as possible offensively for us.”
Meanwhile, the Badgers are fresh off a bye week and put a three-point Brigham Young loss in the rearview mirror, rallying to a 28-17 road victory at Iowa on Sept. 22.
Chryst said he always expects a solid effort from Nebraska, and has informed players to never underestimate the Huskers. The teams were tied in the third quarter in 207 before the Badgers scored three straight touchdowns to secure a 38-17 win in Lincoln.
“You plan on each week getting that team’s best shot,” Chryst said. “You watch the film and our kids have already watched a lot of their film, and you see what they’re capable of being. And that’s a really good football team.”
Sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor remains one of Wisconsin’s biggest weapons on offense. Taylor leads Football Bowl Series team with 157 rushing yards per game and ranks fifth with 628 total yards in four games this season.
Taylor had 25 carries for 116 yards against the Hawkeyes.
Junior quarterback Alex Hornibrook completed 17 of 22 passes for 205 yards and three scores over Iowa.
Hornibrook threw to seven different players in the win in Iowa City for Wisconsin, which has won 16 consecutive Big Ten games.
The Badgers have won five straight games against Nebraska, and no current Huskers player has ever posted a win over Wisconsin.
Chryst said the game will be competitive, despite Nebraska’s rough start.
“I know the games that I’ve been able to be a part of, they’ve been big games,” Chryst said. “You know they’re going to be four quarter-plus games. And our players know that. Just recently, the games that we’ve had, you’ve got to fight and you’ve got to earn everything you get.”