ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE PAUL HUBBARD
We all knew he was going to be a favorite target of John Stocco before the season. There was also a point when Paul Hubbard would have a breakout game, and then be on the up and up from there. However, we did not realize it would take five games to get to that point. Better late than never. The junior All-Big Ten track performer caught six balls for 122 yards and a touchdown. Hubbard entered the game with just 146 yards and 10 catches, combined. Stocco recognized the weak spots in the Indiana zone (the linebackers) and the propensity for the Hoosiers to give up the deep out. I have said a few times in the last two weeks that once the Badgers are able to find a go to guy from the wide receiver position the team would score in bunches and be dangerous. He just passed Travis Beckum up for the lead in receptions (16 to 15). Let's hope I am right more often.
RUNNING DOWN HILL
If you let a 242 pound running back that goes 4.7 in the 40 get moving north to south, it is lights out. In my pre-game story on this game, I said that PJ Hill would hit the century mark and score two touchdowns. It was more because of the Wisconsin ability to run the ball, not because I am a prophet. Well, he scored three touchdowns so I am not that intelligent. Indiana does not pursue the ball very well and has trouble plugging the gaps. The Badger coaching staff obviously watched film, too, because they attacked the middle with Hill a lot. Of his 21 first half carries, 15 of them were either just right or left of center. He only had to bounce outside two times. Kraig Urbik, Marcus Coleman, and Andy Kemp were doing the job in the trenches.
PASSING GAME GOES PLAYSTATION
When you are playing NCAA College Football 2007 on PlayStation, you put up a lot of points in a hurry because you can mix a good run with a long pass. This week I played a simulated game with the Badgers vs. the Hoosiers and Wisconsin won 38-10. Stocco was 25 of 32 for 312 yards and four touchdowns. The play that seemed to work the most was a play action pass, running Travis Beckum or Andy Crooks on a broken arrow route or straight seam route, or a wide receiver sitting down in the middle of the zone. Stocco completed 15 of 17 for 304 yards and three TD. He completed 10 passes over top of the zone in the middle of the field. Beckum took one to the endzone. I predicted Becks would have a big day. He ended up with four receptions and 70 yards. PlayStation, eat your heart out.
DEFENSE UP TO THE TASK - AGAIN
The Indiana Hoosiers gained 264 yards on 66 plays from scrimmage. That means the Badgers were giving up four yards per play. Yes, it equates to a first down every three plays. Indiana gained 172 yards in the fourth quarter, with the issue of the winning team already having been resolved by the end of the first quarter. So, for three quarters, the Badger defense only gave up an average of 30 yards per quarter. That is an astonishing statistic. With James Hardy back in uniform for the Hoosiers, I thought they might be able to pass the ball a bit more successfully. I think Shaughnessy, Monty, and the rest of the d-linemen had other thoughts. "Dominate the Hoosiers" was obviously one of them.
4-1 IS NOT A BAD THING
After five games, I thought the Badgers would be 4-1 with a loss at Michigan. I had them winning six consecutive games before a showdown in Iowa City on November 11 for, perhaps, a BCS game ticket in the ballots. If Iowa pulls off an upset tonight against Ohio State, and then loses against Michigan much like I predict they will, both teams will be 9-1 and ranked. To me, that sounds like a chance a BCS bowl waiting to happen. But, first things first. To be 9-1 you have to start 1-0 next week against Northwestern in the friendly confines of Camp Randall.