5th Quarter Consensus: Wisconsin will take care of Iowa at Kinnick Stadium

Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Spor

Can the Badgers make it two straight victories over the Hawkeyes in Iowa City? Our staff likes Wisconsin's chances.

The Predictions

Phil Mitten (7-0, +97): Wisconsin 28, Iowa 24

Jake Harris (7-0, +108): Wisconsin 35, Iowa 21

Mike Fiammetta (6-1, +104): Wisconsin 31, Iowa 18

Jake Kocorowski (6-1, +107): Wisconsin 34, Iowa 20

Andrew Rosin (6-1, +109): Wisconsin 28, Iowa 17

Andy Johnson (6-1, +126): Wisconsin 24, Iowa 17

Louis Bien (6-1, +127): Wisconsin 28, Iowa 27

The Reasoning

Barring a dramatic change in the weather forecast for Saturday, the Badgers will finally play a road game that does not require in-stadium lighting. While Gary Andersen and his team will avoid a fourth consecutive night game away from Madison, the Hawkeye fans at Kinnick Stadium will be in full throat for Iowa's first showdown against Wisconsin since 2010.

Iowa is coming off of a 17-10 overtime victory over Northwestern. After stumbling in their opener against Northern Illinois, the Hawkeyes rattled off four consecutive victories before dropping a 26-14 decision to Michigan State at home and losing by ten points at Ohio State.

The three teams to beat Iowa have lost just one game among themselves this season. The Hawkeyes led all three games at halftime by at least four points.

Inconsistent offense has plagued Iowa all season long. Sophomore quarterback Jake Rudock shows potential but is still a work in progress. He has completed 60.9 percent of his passes this season for 1,616 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Injuries and recruiting misses over the years have led the Hawkeyes to turn to Mark Weisman at running back. Weisman averages a respectable 4.9 yards per carry but has scored just three touchdowns.

Iowa likes to run the ball, as evidenced by Weisman's and Damon Bullock's combined 241 carries through eight games. When Rudock drops back to pass, he will often target one of the nation's most promising young tight ends, C.J. Fiedorowicz. Wisconsin heavily recruited the tall target before he decided to play in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes rank 80th in the country in averaging 27.4 points per game. Meanwhile, Wisconsin expects senior linebacker Chris Borland to return to action after missing most of the Badgers' game against Illinois with a hamstring injury. That should help Dave Aranda's defense slow down Iowa.

Defensively, the Hawkeyes rank 12th in the nation in giving up just 18.1 points per game. Iowa has held four of its eight opponents to 14 points or fewer.

Wisconsin, however, has not scored fewer than 24 points in a game this season. Expect a heavy dose of James White and Melvin Gordon unless Iowa proves its ability to contain them. Sophomore quarterback Joel Stave needs to connect on play-action pass or two early to discourage Iowa's safeties from crowding the box.

After benching struggling junior kicker Kyle French, the Badgers did not attempt a field goal against the Fighting Illini in Champaign. Going into that game, the plan was for Jack Russell to handle most field goals and for Borland to attempt kicks longer than 40 yards. It is doubtful, however, whether Andersen will want Borland kicking this week, given his latest injury.

Who has the edge?

Offense: Wisconsin

Defense: Wisconsin

Special Teams: Iowa

Coaching: Wisconsin

Intangibles: Iowa

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