WISCONSIN: Five Days and Counting

It doesn't get any easier this weekend for Indiana (4-5/0-5), which has to travel to Wisconsin (8-1/4-1) to take on one of the Big Ten's co-leaders. Hoosier Nation begins its day-by-day preview of the contest with five numbers to note about the Badgers...

7 Wisconsin's BCS ranking following its 34-13 win over Purdue last weekend. Unlike some other teams who are trying to position themselves for a BCS Championship game appearance, the Badgers aren't as concerned about what their BCS ranking is as they are about where they are relative to Ohio State and Michigan State. Why? Because there's a very realistic possibility that all three could end the season tied for the league title at 7-1. If that happens, the league's Rose Bowl representative will be whichever team is ranked highest in the BCS. Right now that would be Wisconsin, which is ahead of the Buckeyes (No. 9) and Michigan State (No. 11). Another three-way tie scenario doesn't favor the Badgers – if Iowa, Michigan State and Wisconsin tie at 7-1 (Iowa and Ohio State play this weekend), then Michigan State will represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl.

35 – touchdowns Wisconsin has scored in its 43 trips inside the opponents' red zone. Overall, the Badgers' red-zone conversion percentage of 91% (39-of-43) ranks ninth nationally. But it's the fact that 81 percent of its red zone possessions have ended in touchdowns that is most impressive. By way of comparison, Illinois leads the Big Ten in red zone efficiency, scoring points on 94 percent of its red zone possessions (34-of-36). But the Illini have scored touchdowns on just 21 of those trips, or 58.3 percent. Indiana, meanwhile, is coming off a game where it was extremely good inside the red zone. Iowa was 4-for-4 in the red zone against IU last weekend, but had to settle for field goals all four times.

3 – different UW running backs who have eclipsed the 100-yard mark this season. John Clay has been the most reliable weapon, ranking 13th nationally with 103.2 yards/game and running for at least 100 yards six times this season and 12 times in his last 15 games dating back to the '09 campaign. But Clay has gotten plenty of support this year from freshman James White and sophomore Montee Ball. White's 71.3 rushing yards/game ranks seventh in the Big Ten, and he's run for more than 100 yards twice. Then, when White missed Saturday's Purdue game with an MCL injury, Ball filled in and ran 21 times for 127 yards and two scores. It was Ball's second career 100-yard effort to go along with his 27-carry, 115-yard, two-touchdown performance against IU last season.

9 – years since Indiana won a road in the month of November. The last time was Nov. 10, 2001, when the Antwaan Randle El-led Hoosiers went to East Lansing and knocked off Michigan State 37-28. Since then, the Hoosiers have dropped 13 straight road games in November. Indiana's struggles during the month aren't limited to games played away from Memorial Stadium, either. Since going 3-1 in November in 2001, IU is just 3-25 during the final month of the regular season. The Hoosiers last won a November game in 2007, when Austin Starr's late field goal lifted the Hoosiers to a 27-24 win over Purdue and into the Insight Bowl. Their current November slide stands at nine games following Saturday's 18-13 loss to Iowa.

5 - mountainous men that represent the biggest obstacle to the Hoosiers pulling off an improbable upset in Madison. As much attention as Scott Tolzien and John Clay get on offense and J.J. Watt gets on defense, what concerns opposing coaching staffs the most is Wisconsin's offensive line of Gabe Carimi, John Moffitt, Peter Konz, Kevin Zeitler and Rick Wagner. That quintet averages 6'5 ¼" and 320 pounds and is considered to be one of – if not the best – offensive lines in the nation. Leading the way is Carimi, the Badgers' left tackle. This 6'7", 327-pound senior is a four-year starter who was a first-team All-Big Ten pick a season ago and was tabbed as a midseason first-team All-American in 2010.

Coming Up
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday – Four Names to Know
On Wednesday – Three Key Match-Ups
On Thursday – Two Big Concerns
On Friday – One Bold Prediction

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