SnotapWI Badgers Preview: Wisconsin vs. Iowa
When this game showed up for the Wisconsin Badgers, we all thought that this would be the first test for the unbeaten year. If Wisconsin wanted to be in the College Football Playoff, they would have to beat Iowa on the road. Well, it turns out that didn’t happen. BYU beat Wisconsin last week, and now the Badgers are fighting their way back to a top spot. It will not be easy, but it starts with Iowa on Saturday night. Night games at Kinnick can be a house of horrors for the opposition. Their crowd will be fired up, and it should be an awesome atmosphere in Iowa City.
How good is Iowa’s defense? – I hate to be that guy, but let’s look at the teams they’ve played to start the season… Northern Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Illinois. One is an FCS school. NIU is one of the worst offenses in football. Iowa State only scoring three is impressive from Iowa, but I’m not ready to call this a ‘vaunted’ defense or anything to that level. They could show up in a big way versus Wisconsin but only time will tell for the Hawkeyes. Alex Hornibrook needs to play turnover-free football.
How good is Wisconsin’s defense? – Weirdly enough, the same question can be asked of Wisconsin but in a different manner. They were tore up last week by BYU and Squally Canada. It’s the most yards per carry averaged against Wisconsin since the 2012 Rose Bowl. Could it be a blip in the radar or a sign of things to come? Iowa’s offense isn’t the 1999 St. Louis Rams, but they have some pieces. Led by Wisconsin-born quarterback Nate Stanley and two talented tight ends, Iowa can be a problem for the Badgers defense.
Game is won in the trench battle – Remember last year, Iowa’s offense couldn’t do anything against the Badgers. Part of that was due to their offensive line not moving Wisconsin at all. Could it happen again? Hawkeyes do have more depth at the position, but it’s not a strength of this team by any means. Wisconsin is young up front, but they have talented linebackers. Badgers need to apply pressure early and often.
Prediction: This is going to be a battle. I’m looking forward to it because Kinnick lit up is fantastic with Iowa likely wearing the ‘Color rush’ black uniforms, it’s going to be great. I have Wisconsin taking this one, 16-13. Fat Rafa gets redemption and hits a game-winner as time runs out in another classic between these two teams.