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Badger 'D' ready for Martinez, Cornhuskers

Chris Borland and the rest of the Badger defense want to make Taylor Martinez and the Cornhuskers go to the air on Saturday.
Chris Borland and the rest of the Badger defense want to make Taylor Martinez and the Cornhuskers go to the air on Saturday.

MADISON, Wis. -- The Badgers offense has been the story of the season so far, racking up 48.5 points per game behind over two thousand yards of offense. But if the Badgers want to send Nebraska home with a loss on Saturday, their defense will have to slow down a nearly-as-potent Cornhusker attack. According to senior safety Aaron Henry, it all starts with stopping the run.

"If we can stop the run and force them to go to something that Nebraska usually doesn't do, which is pass the ball, I definitely think the odds are in our favor," Henry said after practice Wednesday. 

That's not to say the Badgers are taking Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez for granted. Henry was quick to praise the Cornhuskers' sophomore signal caller. 

"I think a lot of people are giving Martinez slack because he has an [unnatural] way of throwing the ball," Henry said. "But if you look on tape the guy's still throwing for touchdowns. So I clearly think that if we allow him, he can go out and throw the ball extremely well."

Senior defensive tackle Patrick Butrym echoed Henry's thoughts about stopping Nebraska's running game. 

"They're very effective at running the ball," Butrym said. "They're the leading rushers in the Big Ten right now, but we just need to be sound in our gaps, be sounds in our fundamentals."

However, just like the rest of the Badgers' games so far, Henry is confident in his defense's ability if they take care of their own business. 

"If everybody plays responsibly and does their job, and I think on a national stage like this," Henry said. "If we just do our job and take care of our business, then everything else will take care of itself."

 

News and Notes

-- Linebacker Chris Borland told me he's excited to play under the lights this Saturday. Borland missed last year's game against Ohio State with a shoulder injury, so the experience is a little new for him.

"It'll be one of the bigger games I've played in. I'm just excited for it," Borland said. "That's the reason you come to places like this. You want to play in the biggest games you can possibly play in, so Saturday is going to be a treat for us."

-- I wouldn't expect strong safety Shelton Johnson to play much on Saturday, if at all. Johnson did not practice was not available for interviews Wednesday, but I'll find out for sure tomorrow when Bielema speaks with the media. 

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