The Wisconsin Badgers are poised to beat the Penn State Nittany Lions to win the Leaders Division and advance to the inaugural Big Ten championship game held in Indianapolis.
The Badgers are coming off a come-from-behind victory over Illinois this past weekend in Champaign—a game that saw Montee Ball rush for 224 yards and three total touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving).
Just days after being rocked by a scandal, Penn State lost an emotional game to Nebraska on November 12. The Nittany Lions bounced back the very next week and took out Ohio State in Columbus.
This weekend's contest in Madison will prove to be the biggest game for both teams up to this point.
Here are five reasons why Wisconsin will upend Penn State and represent the Leaders Division in the Big Ten championship game.
Wisconsin has had an incredible advantage at Camp Randall—a venue that has become among the biggest home-field advantages in college football.
Since Bret Bielema taking over for Barry Alvarez in 2006, Bielema's squads have compiled a 38-3 record at Camp Randall, which includes a current 15-game winning streak.
The last loss Wisconsin suffered in Camp Randall was on October 17, 2009.
Penn State used the Wildcat Formation last Saturday against Ohio State—a formation that Penn State has not shown since having Derrick Williams in 2008.
The Nittany Lions used the Wildcat 10 times against the Buckeyes, amassing 114 yards, good for 11.4 yards per carry.
The Badgers defense will not be caught off guard by this formation, in contrast to Ohio State. What this defense will need to do is be aware of the pass out of that formation.
Bret Bielema is aware of this and told the Wisconsin State Journal, "The thing you didn't see them do (last week), you didn't see them throw. We've got to be able to defend against that. They're very good at running the football, so it's another challenge."
Jared Abbrederis currently leads the country with 16.9 yards per return and has even brought one back for a touchdown earlier this season.
Simply put, Abbrederis puts Wisconsin in great field position when the Badger defense forces their opposition to punt.
Penn State lacks an elite punting unit as its net average ranks 92nd in the country at 35.2. Its punt return yardage defense is also average and ranks in the lower half of the country at 61st.
The Penn State rush defense has shown some vulnerability but has been a very good front seven overall and ranks 34th in the country.
On the other side, Wisconsin's rushing offense has been nothing short of impressive and ranks 10th in the country at 245 yards per game.
Montee Ball showed the nation last week that the Badger offense goes as he goes. They were essentially shut down in the first half against Illinois, but in the second half Montee Ball exploded for over 160 yards on the ground.
Ball has produced a big play and altered the course of a game in each contest this season. Against a struggling Penn State offense, one or two big plays from Ball may be all Wisconsin needs to put this game out of reach.
Wisconsin arguably has the best red-zone offense in the country, scoring on 95 percent of its red-zone possessions.
On 59 possessions, the Badgers have scored 51 touchdowns and have kicked five field goals.
Penn State, on the other hand, ranks 115th in red-zone defense. The Nittany Lions don't allow the opposing offense into the red zone too often (25 times), but when they do, their defensive unit has allowed the opposing team to score 92 percent of the time.
The Badgers have shown their ability to move the ball against any defense. If they get into the red zone, they will put points on the board.