Week 13 TV Guide
After dropping the Big Ten opener at Northwestern Wisconsin has played its way back to No. 16 in the College Football playoff rankings. Iowa is unranked, but only one game behind Wisconsin in the Big Ten West -- as are Nebraska and Minnesota. Wisconsin, of course, holds any tiebreaker over Nebraska. It also plays Minnesota next weekend in the regular-season finale.
So for Wisconsin, as is expected considering the 10-point line, simply taking care of business will get the job done and keep the Badgers in line for another Big Ten championship game appearance. For an Iowa, an upset is necessary to keep its slim hopes alive in the division.
Here's B5Q's Andrew Rosin in his preview of the game:
For Kirk Ferentz's reputation as an old man who hates everything but scholarship punters and Matlock, he actually has an underrated passing game. Jake Rudock has thrown for 207 yards a game, completing about 64 percent of his passes and 12 touchdowns against four interceptions. C.J. Beathard might not have the "OR" attached to his name on the quarterback depth chart, but he's been more of an assist character than combo breaker when he's seen the field. It's not as "opposites attract" of a tag team as McStavoy, but they've been generally effective.
The Hawkeyes also have a lot of targets to throw to here. Receivers Tevaun Smith and Kevonte Martin-Manley join tight end Jake Duzey and running back Damon Bullock, and all have at least 30 catches. Damond Powell can also win a one-on-one matchup deep. Iowa's passing game doesn't have the star quality, but it's a passing game that takes what a defense gives it.
Of course, there is the whole question of just how Iowa is going to run on the Wisconsin defense. Mark Weisman is a thumper at running back, but he became a tailback by meme-based necessity. So yes, he's a thumper, but going up against Michael Caputo and the cool playmaking linebacker corps is a recipe for a 20-carry, 30-yard sort of effort. Jordan Canzeri is more athletic, and since he returned for the Illinois game, he's been able to provide some lightning if what's between the tackles isn't what one would be hoping for.
In the passing game, you can expect the Badgers to do what they usually do. But they'll likely try to keep the passes attempted below 20. Iowa averages an interception per game, and is currently ranked 10th in completion percentage allowed at 51.7 percent. Add in the pass rush of Drew Ott (11.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 7.0 hurries) and Louis Trinca-Pasat (10.5 TFL, 6.5 sacks), and while the Badgers can take what they can get, the run/pass split for the game will likely be 70 percent to 30 percent.
Jake Harris: Wisconsin 24, Iowa 7
Louis Bien: Wisconsin 31, Iowa 17
Sam Brief: Wisconsin 31, Iowa 14
Luke Mueller: Wisconsin 35, Iowa 20
Mike Fiammetta: Wisconsin 34, Iowa 20
Andrew Rosin: Wisconsin 34, Iowa 10
Jake Kocorowski: Wisconsin 30, Iowa 20
Drew Hamm: 38-13 Iowa. Jk. Wisconsin is totes winning this one.
Greg Guenther: Wisconsin 21, Iowa 17
Who has the edge?
Special teams: Wisconsin
- Jake Harris