Last year against Indiana, David Gilreath had 168 yards and two scores and the Badgers totaled 441 yards rushing. Last week Lance Kendricks had 91 yards rushing, Montee Ball got nine carries and Curt Phillips is a running quarterback. Oh and there's that John Clay guy. Indiana seems like they may have their hands full trying to stop the run. The end around could be back in full force and I wouldn't be surprised to see Curt Phillips running that option look on a series or two.
2, Like stealing candy from a ...what?
One of these teams led the league in turnover margin. We know, Wisconsin started out hot in that regard. What if I rephrased that and said, "One of these teams leads the league in turnover margin." You would ask, "I thought it evened out a little for the Badgers." You would be right, because it's Indiana that leads the Big Ten in turnover margin. Are you as surprised as I am? Five interceptions against Iowa definitely helped. The Badgers need to prove that they are the ones better suited for the ball-hawking life or this could get ugly. Anything can happen when things get ugly.
3, Make a kickoff statement
Remember how much the Ray Small kickoff return hurt the Badgers? Only one player in the Big Ten has done it twice, and that's Indiana's Ray Fisher. On top of that, Fisher averages 37.4 yards a return. Guess who isn't playing on Saturday? Ray Fisher. Guess who should take advantage and finally shut down an opponent's kickoff return? Yep, you Wisconsin!
4, Get in the zone
Wisconsin is first in the Big Ten in red zone efficiency (which may be the stat most responsible for the turnaround from last season). With only a missed field goal and a turnover on downs that was the result of penalties leading to a third and goal from the 18, the Badgers find a way to score. To put it in perspective, Wisconsin converts 93.3 percent of their trips to scores. Second place is 86.5 percent. The Badgers also convert 76.7 percent of their appearances in the red zone to touchdowns. Second place is Purdue at 66.7 percent. Who needs the big play? On the flip side, Indiana is number two in red zone defense. Take a closer look, though, and you will see that teams missed three field goals against them and twice the game ended with an opponent in the red zone (which counts as a stop).
5, Today is a new day
I've said it many times, but I'll say it again: Last week means nothing. Sure the Badgers should build on the positives and stuff, but this is no time to get full of yourselves. Just go out and do your thing. Play hard, play to win. Above all, keep focused. How the Badgers respond to the big shutout will say as much about the team as the way they responded to the losses before the bye.
Fedie's Fearless Prediction
I have a feeling Indiana is about to get a nasty case of the runs ... no, not that kind. Look for end arounds, options and anything that will keep the Badgers rolling down the field. It will be a bit harder for the Badgers to shut out Indiana, as this isn't a young team prone to rolling over ... looking at the box score from last week ... nevermind. I still see Indiana scoring, but it's hard to think the game will be too much different from last year. A big play or two gives Indiana points, but this one is all Badgers.
Wisconsin 38, Indiana 14
Fearless Fedie: 7-1