The Badgers won a much closer than expected game in Champaign last weekend and are set to take on the Indiana Hoosiers this Saturday morning. This could potentially be a trap game for the Badgers, and there are four things to watch for in order for Wisconsin to avoid losing for the first time all year.
Health is the Badgers biggest competitor this Saturday. The injury report lists some very prominent names in terms of Wisconsin’s skilled players. Jazz Peavy has already been ruled out for the road game. Among those listed as questionable are Jonathan Taylor, Chris James, D’Cota Dixon, Quintez Cephus and Isaiahh Loudermilk. The biggest thing out of this matchup is for the Badgers to prevent anymore serious injuries. The Badgers can’t afford any more injuries on the offensive side of the ball, as both the running back and receiver groups are depleted.
If Jonathan Taylor is a no-go, look for a lot of Bradrick Shaw. If Jonathan Taylor is ruled out for Saturday’s game, expect a heavy dose of Bradrick Shaw. Chris James is also listed as questionable and I would expect a fully healthy Shaw to take over the workload from the backfield. Freshman Garrett Groshek has been impressive in his debut season, and will likely take a few snaps behind Alex Hornibrook. No matter who is in the backfield, expect the Badgers to pound the ball for the whole game.
Wisconsin’s secondary will be tested on the road. Indiana has one of the worst rushing attacks in all of college football. The Hoosiers will likely rely on redshirt freshman quarterback, Peyton Ramsey, to move the ball. Ramsey attempted 41 passes last week in a shoot out loss against Maryland. To put that into perspective, Hornibrook hasn’t thrown for more than 28 passes in a game yet this season. Needless to say, with little to no running game, the Hoosiers will likely rely on Ramsey’s arm and test the beat up secondary of the Badgers. With D’Cota Dixon’s availability uncertain, be prepared for the rest of the secondary to put in some work on Saturday morning.
The Badgers will need to get going early and finish strong. The Badgers got off to a slow start against a weak Illinois team, and as stated earlier, they finished the game much closer than many expected. The Badgers ended the first half up 17-3, and were only able to score one more touchdown in the second half. Indiana has been able to keep games close until the fourth quarter. They were winning 21-20 against Ohio State before the Buckeyes took off in the fourth quarter and ultimately won 49-21. The Hoosiers forced Michigan into overtime before Michigan got the game winning touchdown. The Badgers will need to start hot and finish strong in order to assure a win on Saturday.
Watch for all of these pointers during Saturday’s 11 a.m. matchup of the Badgers vs the Hoosiers.