Northern Illinois rookie head coach Dave Doeren is well-acquainted with dominating force that is the Wisconsin Badgers defense.
For five straight years he tirelessly worked as the Badgers' defensive coordinator to develop the unit into the powerhouse it is today. And now, in his first-year as the leader of the Huskies, he'll receive the opportunity to stare across the legendary tundra of Solider Field at not only his prized recruits but also longtime mentor, Badger coach Bret Bielema.
Needless to say, Doeren will have his hands full on Saturday. Wisconsin heads into the game ranked seventh in country, led by a destructive new force in senior quarterback Russell Wilson. The 22-year-old North Carolina State transfer carried the Badgers to two overpowering wins to start the NCAA season, completing 79.4 percent of his passes for five touchdowns and a zero interceptions.
With the help of junior running back Montee Ball -- who has five touchdowns of his own -- the Wisconsin offensive attack has looked unstoppable at times, and will significantly test a Northern Illinois defensive unit averaging 471.5 allowed yards after two straight gashings against Army and Kansas. Try as they might, but for Doeren and the Huskies this is one that could be over by halftime.
Game date, time: 3:30 pm ET, Saturday, September 17, 2011
Location: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
TV channel: ESPN3
Spread: Wisconsin favored by 17
Series history: Wisconsin leads, 11-1
For further reading, news, discussion and more, visit Wisconsin blog Bucky's 5th Quarter and Northern Illinois blog Red And Black Attack. Here’s this week’s college football TV schedule, and stay tuned to SB Nation’s college football news hub for more.