Know Your Foe - Iowa

With No.10 Wisconsin preparing for No.13 Iowa tomorrow afternoon, Badger Nation prepares Badger Nation subscribers for the Hawkeyes, inviting Hawkeye Insider contributor Josh Harvey to answer pressing questions about Iowa.

Badger Nation: Talk about the development of Ricky Stanzi. Always known as somewhat of an erratic quarterback, what's been the key in him limiting his interceptions?

Harvey: I think it has been a combination of things for Stanzi. First, it's his third year as a starter. The game has definitely slowed down for him. He's seeing routes that will open up before it happens. He has also learned that he doesn't have to do it all by himself. He's not forcing it to receivers like he had tendencies to do in the past. He's even been accused of holding on to the ball too much, electing to take a sack then get a little risky.

Second, his receivers are grown up. The Hawks returned both Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and Marvin McNutt after stellar seasons last year. There isn't as many drops this season and the receivers are finding holes in the defense.

Badger Nation: About the running backs, how has Adam Robinson handled the workload?

Harvey: Surprising, Robinson has really handled the workload well. Robinson split carries last year with Brandon Wegher and was expected to share the load with Jewel Hampton this year, but when Hampton went down, a lot of fans and members of the media worried it was going be too much for Robinson.

As the season goes on, I expect Iowa to start working their young freshman running backs into the game plan a little more, but for now Robinson is a lot like Shonne Green a few years ago. He can carry the ball 30 times a game and still move in the fourth quarter.

Badger Nation: Adrian Clayborn's numbers aren't as massive as they were a season ago, but he is still a playmaker. How has he improved after returning for his senior season and how much is he looking forward to going against Gabe Carimi, considered the best left tackle in the conference?

Harvey: It's hard to look at Clayborn's stats this year, due to the constant double and triple teams he is facing. He's making a major impact in the game, but it just won't show up in the box score. Guys like Karl Klug and Mike Daniels are seeing the benefits of playing on the same field as Clayborn.

That said, the senior's biggest game this season came against Penn State. He recorded eight tackles and sack in a prime time game. He has a knack for coming up big in big time situations. In the next weeks, Iowa plays ranked opponents on national television. I have a feeling that Clayborn's name will be mentioned in on a few plays.

Badger Nation: Did it appear that Iowa's bye week two weeks ago gave them an edge against Michigan last week and how fresh do they look heading into this game?

Harvey: I couldn't tell if it gave them an edge, but they were definitely ready for the Michigan running attack by Denard Robinson. When Robinson came out and Tate Forcier came in throwing, their secondary struggled for a while. I think the rest probably was good for Alex Robinson who looked really fresh and strong on Saturday.

Iowa linebacker Jeff Tarpinian is questionable for this weekend, probably doubtful. Otherwise, everyone should be ready to go this week.

Badger Nation: What is the one matchup you think Wisconsin has the advantage over Iowa and which matchup do you think Iowa has the advantage over Wisconsin?

Harvey: Iowa's defensive front four is one of the best in the nation, but as good as they are, the Wisconsin front line has been playing out of their minds, including last week against Ohio State. If anyone is going to be able to move the ball by their running attack against Iowa this season, it's Wisconsin.

When it comes to the advantage Iowa has over Wisconsin, I have to believe it's against the Wisconsin secondary. It sounds like the Badgers have gotten by so far, but they also are in the bottom half of college football in stopping the pass. This isn't good for the Badgers when they are facing an efficient senior like Stanzi. He had a great game throwing last year against Wisconsin, but could even be better in 2010.

Badger Nation: How are Iowa players approaching this two-game stretch against Wisconsin and Michigan State that will certainly impact the conference race?

Harvey: I think they are trying to remember to look at it as a "one game at a time" type of mentality. It's a classic sports cliché, but it really remains true for Iowa. They get Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Ohio State at home. The Big Ten title is coming through Iowa City this year, whether the Hawks win it or not.

Badger Nation: What's your unbiased prediction?

Harvey: I think both teams are going to move the ball, but I think it will be one or two key defensive stops that make the difference in this one. Iowa seems to have Wisconsin's number, six of the last eight. Between being at home and fully healthy, I give Iowa an edge in this one. 27-20 Hawks

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