Wisconsin-Iowa: Badgers Have No Choice but to Beat Hawkeyes on the Road

Steve RoelandCorrespondent IOctober 16, 2008

A meltdown against Michigan. Overpowered by Ohio State. Then pounded by Penn State.

Things can't get much worse for the Wisconsin Badgers football team.

What's even more crippling is the fact that UW lost two of those three games in front of their home crowd at Camp Randall, usually one of the most difficult venues for opponents in college football.

This week, the Badgers take to the road to face Iowa, a team coming off a 45-9 win over Indiana.

The Hawkeyes feature an old school power running game, which is used to set up the play-action pass. Wisconsin must put a stop to an effective Iowa backfield, led by Shonn Greene and his 937 yards. He has racked up 100 yards on the ground in seven straight games.

Iowa is not as effective through the air, but three receivers (Andy Brodell, Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, and tight end Brandon Myers) average 13 yards per catch or more.

On the defensive side, Iowa features a steady, solid squad with no glaring weaknesses. The Hawkeyes are effective at defending the pass, as eight players have at least one interception. This could spell trouble for the well-documented inefficiency of the Badgers' air attack.

But what may have the greatest effect on the Wisconsin gameplan this week is the apparent change under center. With Allan Evridge struggling mightily, Bret Bielema looks to be going with junior Dustin Sherer at quarterback.

The decision seems like a no-brainer, considering Evridge has committed four fumbles and thrown four interceptions in Big Ten play alone.

This week is make or break for the Badgers. Sitting at 3-3 (0-3 in conference), Wisconsin needs the win in every sense of the word. With Iowa surging after a huge win and the fact that the Hawkeyes are playing the Badgers at home, UW might just continue down the path they so desperately need to veer off.