Two Days and Counting...

Indiana loaded up against the run in last year's match-up with the Badgers and dared Wisconsin quarterback John Stocco to beat them with his arm. That's a strategy IU will likely use again, which means the Tracy Porter-Paul Hubbard (pictured) match-up could have a big one...

IU LT Rodger Saffold vs. UW DEs Matt Shaughnessy/Jamal Cooper - The Hoosiers continue to tinker with the offensive line. The latest development is the expanded role for true freshman Rodger Saffold, who could potentially start this weekend at left tackle.

Saffold has been getting snaps with the No. 1 unit this week, while the starting left tackle in the first four games, Justin Frye, has been getting some work at center. If Indiana does in fact stick with those changes for this weekend's contest against Wisconsin, Saffold will have his hands full with a couple of athletic defensive ends in Shaughnessy and Cooper. Shaughnessy was named to a couple of Freshman All-America teams a year ago after totaling 39 tackles, 7 ½ tackles for loss and 2 ½ sacks in his debut season. Cooper, meanwhile, is only 6-4 and 206 pounds, but is quick off the snap and had a six-tackle effort against Bowling Green earlier this season. Shaughnessy has started the first four games at right defensive end, but both will see plenty of action against the Hoosiers.

While both will present challenges for Saffold – who will be appearing in just his second college football game - the Hoosiers' 6-4, 278-pound true freshman does bring some much-needed athleticism to the Hoosier offensive line. That will likely make him a better match-up against Shaughnessy and Cooper in pass protection. Frye's presence at center, meanwhile, should bolster the interior of the Hoosier offensive line which must keep Badger defensive tackles Jason Chapman and Nick Hayden at bay.

UW WR Paul Hubbard vs. IU CB Tracy Porter - Priority one of the Indiana defense will be to slow down Badger tailback P.J. Hill, the nation's tenth-ranked rusher at 117.2 yards/game. To do that, though, IU will likely load up in the box to try to force Wisconsin quarterback John Stocco to beat them through the air.

It was a strategy that worked to a degree a year ago, as IU gave up only 103 yards on the ground to Wisconsin. But Stocco picked on IU's cornerbacks all afternoon, finishing with 274 yards passing and three touchdowns. For a second straight year, Stocco will likely have plenty of opportunities to work the ball downfield to his wide receivers, who will see plenty of man coverage.

But Wisconsin has yet to have a wide receiver emerge as a playmaker. In the Badgers' 27-13 loss to Michigan last weekend, Stocco completed 22-of-42 passes, but his top three receivers were his tailback (P.J. Hill, 5 catches, 64 yards, 1 TD), his fullback (Travis Beckum, 5-53-0) and his tight end Andy Crooks (4-41-0). Starting wide receivers Paul Hubbard and Luke Swan, meanwhile, combined for only five catches for 49 yards.

The player who is most likely to emerge is Hubbard, a 6-4, 217-pound junior who leads the team with 146 receiving yards on 10 catches. Hubbard is a former Big Ten champion in the long jump and triple jump (2003) who walked on to the Badger football team two years ago. He had only one career reception entering this season, but his athleticism and size make him an enticing target for Stocco.

It will likely fall to Porter to keep Hubbard under wraps. Porter is coming off arguably the best game of his collegiate career a week ago, picking off a pair UConn passes while also blocking a field goal attempt. Porter likely won't have the luxury of having a great deal of help in containing Hubbard, but if he can free up the IU safeties to worry more about the run than the pass, IU's chances of turning in a second straight solid defensive effort increase dramatically.

What's coming up:
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday - Four Players to Know
On Wednesday - Three Big Concerns
On Thursday – Two Things IU Must Do to Win
On Friday – One Bold Prediction

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