WHAT LOOKED GOOD: Generally, even in the most disappointing games, there has been a silver lining somewhere for the Hoosiers. Not sure if you can find it in this game. The only individual superlative was turned in by true freshman linebacker Clyde Newton, starting in place of the injuried Forisse Hardin. Newton had 14 tackles in the game, including a half sack and a tackle for loss. The next closest IU defender in terms of tackles had seven. Unfortunately, that's about it. There was nothing to get excited about on the offensive side of the ball. That much is for certain.
WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE: Where do you begin. It has to start with the run defense which once again was nonexistent. At some point the defensive side of the football has to be addressed in terms of coaching. You simply cannot give up the kinds of yards that Indiana does week in and week out. IU gave up 554 yards of rushing alone in this game. Three different running backs ran for more than 100 yards. A fourth player, Jared Abbrederis, gained 84 yards on a couple of end around plays. He scored two touchdowns. The game was essentially over on Wisconsin's first offensive play when James White took a handoff up the middle and rambled 93 yards for a touchdown. Game, set, match. Offensively, Indiana did not handle the elements well at all. The conditions were wet, cold and rainy but IU couldn't keep a hand on the ball. Stephen Houston fumbled on IU's second possession, there was a bad center/quarterback exchange between Wes Rogers and Nate Sudfeld on the third possession and when Kevin Wilson went to backup Tre Roberson it was much of the same. He had a bumbled center/QB exchange, too, and also appeared to have a couple of his passes slip of his fingers during delivery.
WHAT NEEDS TO IMPROVE PART 2:An Indiana offense that was ninth in the nation in scoring and was averaging 43.1 points per game was limited to three points against Wisconsin. An IU offense that averages 527.1 yards per game was limited to 224. Indiana had the ball 13 times and nine of those drives were four plays or less. Only one of those drives resulted in yardage gained of 31 yards or more. And that was the 70-yard drive that ultimately resulted in a 26-yard Mitch Ewald field goal.
MOMENTUM CHANGER: Three plays in a row come to mind. First Nate Sudfeld threw an interception on a deep ball on IU's first possession giving Wisconsin the ball at its own 7. On the first play from scrimmage James White raced 93 yards for a touchdown to make it 7-0. When IU got it back, on the first play from scrimmage Sudfeld handed the ball off to Stephen Houston and he didn't act like he knew the handoff was coming. He fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Wisconsin. Three plays later it was 14-0.
BAD FOUR-GAME STRETCH: In the last four games against Wisconsin, three of them played in Madison, Indiana has been outscored 252-44. That means the Badgers are averaging 68.3 points per game against IU. In the last two games alone, Wisconsin has recorded 1,118 yards rushing against Indiana an average of 559 per game.
KICKERS: Erich Toth averaged 39.5 yards per punt in nasty conditions. He had eight punts and four landed inside the 20. He had a long of 53 yards. Both of Mitch Ewald's kickoffs went into the end zone and he made his only field goal attempt, from 23 yards out
UP NEXT: Indiana will travel to play Ohio State in Ohio State next Saturday. The game time will be announced on Tuesday.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch