The Wisconsin Badgers went 2-2 in the month of October with wins against Rutgers and Illinois, but demoralizing losses at home against both Iowa and Ohio State. The team is now 5-3 (3-2 Big Ten), yet somehow still shares first place in the Big Ten West.
Every win is crucial down the stretch if Luke Fickell and his team are to have any chance at the division. The good news this weekend: the first opponent is a 2-6 Indiana team without a conference win this season.
Indiana just took Penn State to the brink on the road, though fell 33-24 after a late Nittany Lion rally. That was the Hoosiers’ fourth consecutive loss, and sixth straight Big Ten loss dating back to last season. The get-right game seems to have come at the right time for the Wisconsin Badgers.
Before the matchup, here is everything you need to know about the 2023 Indiana Hoosiers:
Head coach: Tom Allen
Offensive coordinator: Rod Carey
Defensive coordinator: Chad Wilt
LB Aaron Casey
S Louis Moore
S Phillip Dunnam
LB Lanell Carr
206.9 passing yards per game, nine passing touchdowns, six interceptions, 15 sacks allowed
109.5 rushing yards-per-game, 3.3 yards-per-carry, eight touchdowns
35.71% on third down
ESPN SP+ has Indiana as the No. 101 offense in the country, out of 133 teams. That feels about right.
The team, however, is fresh off a 27-point performance in a narrow loss to Penn State during which QB Brendan Sorsby threw for 269 yards and three touchdowns. He’s returned to the starting lineup the last two weeks for a struggling Indiana team and has played okay.
The name to watch on the offense is running back Jaylin Lucas. He is the team’s leading rusher with 242 yards and 4.3 yards per carry, and has also notched 212 receiving yards. He is arguably the Hoosiers’ one true weapon on offense.
This is a matchup the Badger defense should win somewhat easily.
29.8 points allowed-per-game
363.1 yards allowed-per-game
Seven interceptions, zero forced fumbles
The numbers tell the story, this is a golden matchup for Wisconsin’s offense, specifically QB Braedyn Locke, to get going.
The Hoosier defense is led by LB Aaron Casey, who has 69 tackles, 9.5 TFLs and 3.5 sacks on the season. The tackle-for-loss numbers are quite high with Casey’s 9.5, DE Andre Carter’s 7.5 and LB Lanell Carr’s 5.5. There’s a hint of aggression from the unit.
But the yardage tallies are high both against the run and pass. This could even be a matchup where Fickell and his staff decide to give Braelon Allen some rest and make sure he’s healthy for the stretch run.