Wisconsin at Iowa -5.5 O/U 48
Saturday, 12:30 pm PT - ABC
The Badgers are fresh off a shocker from last Saturday when they disposed of top-ranked Ohio State. The question now becomes, do they have enough in the tank for their trip to Iowa City? We witnessed this exact same scenario play out unsuccessfully for South Carolina last week in losing at Kentucky. Prior to last Saturday the Badgers’ season was sloppy on many fronts when much was expected. But they managed to keep winning and undoubtedly put a lot of stock in last week’s game. In fact, if you read between the lines with what head coach Bret Bielema had to say following the victory, it becomes clear the Badgers were eyeing that game the entire offseason. But one big win does not excuse the fact that Wisconsin’s overall play has been undisciplined and I could easily see them turning in a weak performance against the Hawkeyes.
I’ve mentioned many times this season in writing and on the Sportsmemo Radio Show that Iowa is equal to that of the Buckeyes. Head coach Kirk Ferentz owns a rock-solid squad team with incredible balance on both sides of the football. Last week, the Hawkeyes were able to take care of business in Ann Arbor winning 38-28. At times, it wasn’t pretty, but the Hawkeyes took command early and forced the Wolverines to play much of the game in desperation mode.
Keep an eye on fifth-year senior quarterback Ricky Stanzi in this matchup. Last week he turned in an incredibly efficient effort: 17-of-24 for 248 yards. The reports that I receive project this Wisconsin secondary as extremely vulnerable. Meanwhile, Iowa’s stout front four and rush defense should be able to slow down the Badgers’ traditional running game. Wisconsin will find it difficult to duplicate last week’s energy and emotion, and Iowa’s seasoned crew will take advantage.