2011 Wisconsin Badgerrs Football

Big Ten football fans

Wisconsin Badgers vs Indiana Hoosiers Football Preview


If you want to see a game that is likely to be over midway through the second quarter, this is the week seven offering for you.

The fourth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers (5-0) are back in action after a bye week. Two weeks ago, Wisconsin hammered eighth-ranked Nebraska, 48-17, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. This week, the Badgers welcome the struggling Indiana Hoosiers.

Last season, the Badgers put up 83 points at Indiana. The Hoosiers still use that loss as motivation, but a little pinch of inspiration is not likely to be nearly enough for the hapless and helpless team sitting at the bottom of the Big Ten and floundering in every way imaginable. The Hoosiers (1-5) are winless against FBS competition this season, owning nothing more than a shaky home-field win over FCS-based South Carolina State. Last week, Indiana lost 41-20 to Illinois. The IU defense allowed 518 yards. The Hoosiers led 10-0 early, but couldn't handle Nathan Scheelhaase and the Illini offense. IU dissolved into a puddle in the second half, wilting against the superior skill and athleticism of the Sons of Champaign. Now placed against a Wisconsin team that’s exponentially better than Illinois – and on the road, no less – Indiana is about to fill the role of a lamb led to slaughter. There’s just no other way to envision the progression of this particular Midwestern matchup. To place a final point of emphasis on this not-very-enticing contest, Indiana has lost 14 of its last 15 conference games, and has dropped 13 straight against top-25 teams.

Wisconsin stands on the opposite side of the tracks in this game. While Indiana is getting rolled every week, Wisconsin is simply rolling, led by star quarterback Russell Wilson, who has completed 83 of 111 passes for 1,391 yards and 13 touchdowns with just one interception. Wilson ranks third nationally in completion percentage, and he leads the nation with a 216.89 quarterback rating. Running back Montee Ball ran for 151 yards and four touchdowns against Nebraska. With that kind of physical rushing attack supplementing Wilson’s passing game, Wisconsin owns the two-fisted totality and big-league balance of an elite offense. Some Big Ten defenses will be able to challenge the Badgers, but Indiana doesn’t appear to be one of them.

Indiana's offense, like the Hoosiers’ defense, has struggled this season. Indiana’s offense has labored under the cloud of an unsettled quarterback situation. Edward Wright-Baker has missed two games with an ankle injury. Backup Dusty Kiel left last week's game and was replaced by freshman Tre Roberson, who performed well, throwing for 148 yards and running for a touchdown. Yet, “performing well” is a relative matter. Roberson exceeded expectations, and yet he couldn’t do very much to lift his team in a 21-point loss. He also didn’t get help from his offensive line, a reality borne out by the fact that Indiana allowed five sacks against Illinois.

This game has “bloodbath” written all over it. Because the month is October and not November, however, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema will probably refrain from putting 80 or more points on the board.

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By: Matt Zemek
DFN Sports Senior Staff Writer