Two games plans vs. Wisconsin? There's no choice now
NEBRASKA CITY – Husker Radio Network analyst Damon Benning told his Big Red Buzz audience Thursday at Valentino’s Restaurant that he can check a lot of the boxes to forecast a Nebraska victory over Wisconsin on Saturday except the one beside ‘limiting mistakes.’
He talked about skills and emotions and schemes, crediting running back Emmett Johnson for using his balance and great vision to work within blocking schemes and the offensive line for its best game of the season in a 13 to 10 loss against Maryland. He expects Nebraska to rise to the occasion in physicality against Wisconsin.
Benning says this season’s tough losses and disappointments will test the emotional rigor of players on both sides but expects Nebraska’s defense to hold up well, if it is sound in the intermediate passing range of 10 to 20 yards, especially along the hashes.
Benning: “It’s not this mysterious, can’t-solve-riddle place to play. It’s doable. I don’t think this one is a good, old-fashioned tough-it-out, slugfest type of game. It will be low scoring and ugly but I think that’s because both teams are struggling. I don’t think this will be a traditional, physical slugfest because that’s not how … I don’t think that’s how Wisconsin wants to play.”
But how does Nebraska want to play?
Benning: “Does Nebraska really want to do two game plans? They might. (QB Jeff) Sims might do a handful of some things and (QB Chubba) Purdy may do a handful of others.”
For the past three weeks, Benning has been asking if any of the two really wants the starting job.
Benning: “I think if those guys wanted it to be a quarterback battle it would be. I mean go get it. I always tell the guys it’s easier to spell the man than be the man. And I’m not so sure those guys really want to be the man. It comes with a lot in the state of Nebraska to take snaps at quarterback and you have to be built in a certain way. I don’t mean physically, I mean emotionally.”
He expects Nebraska to be looking to add three quarterbacks to the roster.
Benning: “It seems like a big number, but I don’t think they have a choice now.”