It’s a huge game tomorrow for Wisconsin Football and the Big Ten West division. The Iowa Hawkeyes will visit the Wisconsin Badgers for a 3 PM kick-off. The winner of the game will be in the drivers seat to win the West division. The Badgers have won seven of the last 10 games in this rivalry. Wisconsin Football is also seen as nine and a half point favorites despite Iowa being 5-1. Can the Badgers take back the Heartland Trophy? Here is a preview of tomorrow’s game.
Wisconsin Football Can’t Turn the Ball Over
The biggest reason Iowa has a 5-1 record with a really bad offense is their defense. It’s consistently one of the best defensive units in the country. Phil Parker is arguably one of the best defensive coordinators in the country as well.
It’t a defense has takes advantage of every mistake and every turnover a team makes. In the end, it;s their momentum that usually gives the offense a short field or even a special teams touchdown.
The weather is looking soggy in Madison tomorrow too. With rain and wind in the forecast, it’s important Wisconsin Football hangs on to the ball in the running game and passing game. Any turnovers or mistakes that result in a short field will give the Iowa offense a chance to pull of the upset.
Wisconsin Football Has to Make Deacon Hill Throw the Ball
Iowa does not want to throw the ball. They want to establish the run game early and often. With former Wisconsin quarterback Deacon Hill now the quarterback after a Cade McNamara injury, Iowa will not want to put a game like this on his shoulders. It’s arguably the biggest game in the redshirt sophomore’s life
The Badgers did a great job allowing Rutgers to only run the ball for 64 yards last week. They are also a team that has been successful running the ball this season. However, Iowa’s offensive line and running game is better than Rutgers.
The Wisconsin Football defense has to keep Iowa in third and passing situations. The receivers have not been asked to do much if anything this season outside of senior tight end Erick All. He’s the one receiver the Wisconsin defense needs to keep an eye on.
It wouldn’t be Wisconsin and Iowa if it wasn’t bad weather on a cool Saturday in the middle of October. This rivalry is meant for these weather conditions.
I’m not sold on the nine and half points Wisconsin is being given in this game. Yes the Iowa offense is brutal and yes they just got by two of the worst teams in the Big Ten over the last two weeks at home. However, this is a rivalry game and this is veteran team on both sides of the ball. They don’t need any sort of motivation. They wil be ready to play.
A win for the Badgers would be huge. It would be the second conference loss for Iowa while Wisconsin remains unbeaten in the Big Ten play. Add in the head-to-head tiebreaker and Wisconsin would have a three game lead over the Hawkeyes.
Wisconsin Football has to know where Iowa corner Cooper DeJean and tight end Erick All are. DeJean will also be a return specialist and is their best weapon. It will be key Tanner Mordecai and punter Atticus Bertrams know where he is. All will be the security blanket for Deacon Hill.
At the end of the day, the Badgers just have more weapons on offense. Iowa hasn’t seen this new style of offense from the Badgers yet. On the other hand, Wisconsin is playing their first game against a offense who doesn’t play in the option. Look for players like Maema Njongmeta, who’s built to stop the run, to have a great game tomorrow,
It’s hard to respect Iowa’s passing game. I think Mike Tressel brings the house a lot and makes Deacon Hill throw the ball under pressure. It’s going to be sloppy and likely ugly, but give me the Wisconsin Football in a one possession victory tomorrow.
Wisconsin 17 Iowa 10
Follow me on Twitter @DylanBuboltz and follow us @WiSportsHeroics for more great content. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here! Also, check out our merch store for some amazing WSH merchandise!