Wisconsin Badgers vs. Indiana Hoosiers: Complete Game Preview
The Wisconsin Badgers will travel to Bloomington, Indiana to play the most important football game in recent memory to take place there. The Leaders division’s spot in the Big Ten title game is on the line, as both teams need a win to get their championship games alive.
Wisconsin has dominated recent matchups between these two programs, but Indiana has turned things around this season—winning multiple conference games for the first time in years.
Here is the complete breakdown of Wisconsin vs. Indiana.
Big Ten Title Game Implications
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As mentioned earlier, this game has major Big Ten title game implications. If the Badgers win, they ensure their spot in Indianapolis, simple as that.
However, if Indiana wins, things get interesting.
An Indiana win would bring them into a tie with the Badgers in the Leaders division, while also owning the tie breaker. The Badgers would need to upset either Ohio State or Penn State, and hope that Indiana doesn't win either of its two remaining games against Penn State or Purdue. If the Hoosiers do win one of those games, they will punch their ticket to Indianapolis.
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The Wisconsin Badgers have owned Indiana recently, winning seven straight matchups by an average of 34 points.
However, this year's Indiana team is much improved.
The Hoosiers have four wins on the season, including their last two against Iowa and Illinois, and they gave Ohio State and Michigan State all they could handle earlier in the year. The Hoosiers have only lost one game by double figures this season, and their offense is very good.
The Badgers are coming off a desperately needed bye week following an overtime loss to Michigan State. Wisconsin lost Joel Stave for the season in that game, and must break in a new quarterback. Curt Phillips is the leader in the clubhouse, as his running ability provides a new wrinkle to the offense, and he is also able to take care of the ball.
Indiana Will Win If...
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The Hoosier's spread offense is one of the best, ranking 43rd in the nation in scoring. Indiana will win if their offense, particularly their 23rd ranked passing attack, is able to exploit the Badger defense. Cameron Coffman will have to make plays with both his arms, and the Hoosier rushing attack will have to show up as well. If Indiana is able to keep the tempo up and keep the Badgers guessing, they will be able to score points.
On defense, Indiana must bottle up the Badger rushing attack and force whichever quarterback starts to beat them through the air. Additionally, the Hoosier's must force at least two turnovers to give their offense more opportunities.
Indiana will win 33-20.
Wisconsin Will Win If...
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In order for the Badgers to beat the Hoosiers, Wisconsin's rushing attack must show up and alleviate the pressure on the new quarterback. Montee Ball and James White need to dominate the game, allowing the Badgers to control possession and slow down the tempo. Additionally, whichever quarterback does start must make plays in the play-action passing game.
On defense, the Badgers' linebackers and secondary must shut down Indiana's passing attack. Wisconsin can't allow the game to turn into a shootout, and they cannot allow the big play. Additionally, the defense must force at least one turnover, giving the offense an opportunity to wind more clock.
Badgers will win 31-20.
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Indiana has improved, but Wisconsin is the better overall team. The Wisconsin defense is talented and fast enough to contain the spread, and the Badger rushing attack is too much for the Hoosier defense to handle. Wisconsin won't win by 34 points—but the Badgers will make it 8 in a row.