Quarterback Russell Wilson may be the Wisconsin player who receivers the most national recognition, but Nebraska’s Carl Pelini said the Badgers’ offensive attack starts with the run.
No disrespect to Wilson. Wisconsin’s averaging 245.5 yards per game on the ground — junior Montee Ball and sophomore James White are responsible for 165.8 of those yards.
“They force you to defend the run,” said Pelini, the NU defensive coordinator. “They put a lot of pressure on your defensive backs. Because you need them in run support, but at the same time they’ve got to be disciplined in their keys and cover their guys. It all starts with the run game for them.”
Pelini did say he was impressed with Wilson, complimenting the QB’s dual-threat tools and his ability to manage a game. Pelini admitted, though, that he’s not too surprised to see the transfer quarterback make an immediate impact for Wisconsin.
“They’re kind of a machine,” Pelini said. “They just plug in each year.”
>>> Senior defensive tackle Jared Crick is back practicing. He feels 100 percent healthy, according to Pelini.
>>> Pelini said the coaches have made no promises to the new starters in the secondary (Daimion Stafford at nickel, Corey Cooper at cornerback, P.J. Smith at safety). What will the lineup look like this week? Practice will determine that. “Every day is a competition,” Pelini said.
>>> One more quote on Wilson, who Pelini said is the best QB the Huskers have faced this year: “Not only is he a real talent with his arm — he can run, scramble, does a lot of things with his legs — but he’s a game manager. He runs that offense very efficiently for them.”
Here’s the audio from Carl Pelini after practice: