Badgermaniac's Keys to the Game

Badgermaniac goes back to his roots and provides his keys to the Wisconsin Badger contest against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

1. Tony Moeaki vs. Wisconsin linebackers/safeties

TE Moeaki is Iowa's leading receiver, which is a testament to Iowa's weakness on the outside as much as it is a statement of Moeaki's ability. Given Wisconsin's strength at corner, expect the Badgers to leave their corners without much over the top help and potentially freeing a safety to garner most of the coverage against Moeaki. With Wisconsin's speed at linebacker, the safeties could also be freed on some blitz packages.

2. Christensen's Wheels

Iowa's offense is obviously vulnerable based on their performances to this point. If Wisconsin can generate pressure, Christensen is not overly mobile nor overly accurate and very vulnerable to pressure. Look for the Badgers to try to isolate guys like Shaughnessy and Levy while Iowa looks to run early and often to stay out of obvious pass rush situations.

3. Gabe Carimi vs. Bryan Mattison

Mattison is the kind of Iowa grinder on the defensive line that has given past Wisconsin teams trouble. The veteran Mattison will look to take advantage of the young Badger left tackle. Watch to see if Chryst elects to give Carimi some help in obvious passing downs. Mitch King is another player that has caused the Badgers trouble over the years.

4. Breaking the Seal

While their opponents haven't been stellar, the Iowa defense has yet to allow a touchdown this season. Getting points early will be important for the Badgers, as Iowa is not explosive enough to make up any significant deficit. I believe 20 points will win the game for the Badgers, so an early TD or two could be a killer for the Hawkeyes. It will be interesting to see how Bielema plays possible 4th down FG vs. "Go For It" situations given the premium on points.

5. Electric Company

Wisconsin has been very slow out of the blocks this year, as has been well publicized. With the night atmosphere and a raucous crowd, Badger fans hope that the early emotion gives the team a boost so they can avoid the need for extensive halftime adjustments. Seeing as how defensive discipline has been an occasional problem, it will be key for the Badgers to not go overboard with the emotion however.

Badgermaniac's Prediction

While the Badger defense has been shaky at times this year, I just see too many holes in Iowa's offense and not many positive matchups for the Hawkeyes. I would be surprised to see more than 10-14 points tops. On the other side of the ball, I think Iowa will control Wisconsin's running game and the Badgers will need to get some plays from Donovan and the receiving corps. I think this is Beckum's breakout game this year. Wisconsin 20-Iowa 10.

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