The Wisconsin Badgers return home to Camp Randall Stadium for their second home game of the season today. They play host to the Indiana Hoosiers. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 CST on ABC. The Badgers come in with a record of 2-1 while Indiana comes in at 5-1. In this article, we’ll look at the keys to taking down the #12 team in the county.
Get Off To A Fast Start
No team in the country has had COVID 19 impact their schedule like Wisconsin. The Badgers have had to cancel three games already because of COVID, ruining their chances to go to the Big Ten Championship game. The Badgers did not play last week as a result of a COVID outbreak in the Minnesota program.
Wisconsin has had 14 days to marinate and improve from their loss to Northwestern November 21. Wisconsin easily played their worst game of the season falling 17-7 while committing five turnovers with some questionable officiating as well.
How the Badgers start this game will be key. It will be important to dictate the pace of the game, especially after not playing in two weeks. The Indiana defense allows 135 rushing yards a game. I would expect a good dose of running from Jalen Berger and Nakia Watson. I also expect Graham Mertz to settle into this game with short passes and play action.
Pressure Jack Tuttle And The Hoosier Offense
Indiana will be starting back up sophomore quarterback Jack Tuttle, Tuttle replaces sophomore star Michael Pennix Jr. after Pennix suffered a torn ACL in last weeks 27-11 win over Maryland. If anyone can make an opposing quarterback uncomfortable, it’s the Jim Leonard led Badger defense.
This should come as no shock to anyone, but the Badger defense is fantastic and has been for the last few seasons. The defense is allowing only 11.7 points a game and only 67.3 yards per game.
Indiana still has play makers, even without Pennix Jr. Junior running back Stevie Scott III leads the team with 119 carries for 408 yards and eight touchdowns. The Hoosiers also have a two-headed monster duo at wide receiver in seniors Ty Fryfogle and Whop Philyor. Fryfogle leads the team with 652 yards and seven touchdowns. Philyor enters with 32 catches for 367 yards and two touchdowns. Look for Indiana to find ways to get both receivers involved early to ease the pressure off Tuttle.
It’s going to be interesting how Wisconsin opens this game. It seems like the Badgers have not been able to get in a consistent rhythm this year. I’m looking to see how Graham Mertz responds early on the first few drives. He is coming off his worst start (albeit only three), but he is going through some adversity for the first time in his career. He will need to have a solid game for Wisconsin to come out on top.
Indiana’s skill player do make me nervous. Whop Philyor is a speedster and has the ability to change a game in a heartbeat. Indiana will rely on their defense and make like easy on Jack Tuttle.
This seems like a game where defense will make an impact. At the end of the day, I trust Wisconsin’s defense against most teams in the country. I am confident Jim Leonard will scheme up blitz packages to make like tough on Tuttle and the Indiana offense. I believe the offense does enough and Wisconsin’s defense controls this game.
Wisconsin- 27 Indiana- 17