Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
In what was billed as the biggest IU game in a generation, the Hoosiers were never competitive.
Well, so much for all those magical thoughts. The hard reality of Wisconsin's rushing attack and defense quickly ended IU's conference title aspirations and put the Hoosiers' bowl hopes up against the wall. IU, at 4-6, still can qualify for a bowl game, but will have to win at Penn State and at Purdue to get there. I don't think it was crazy to think that IU could compete with a team that nearly lost to Utah State and Northern Iowa and was starting a first-timer at quarterback, but obviously the Hoosiers had no hope against a Wisconsin team playing to its potential. Wisconsin broke school and Memorial Stadium records with 564 yards rushing, and Montee Ball torches IU for 198 yards and 3 touchdowns. James White added 161 yards, Melvin Gordon had 96, and QB Curt Phillips had 68, more yards rushing than passing.
There's very little to say about this game that isn't obvious from the box score or even the final score. As bad as the run defense was, I think my primary disappointment was with the offense. While I know Wisconsin has an excellent defense, IU's only hope was to get something rolling early on offense, and that didn't happen. Obviously, the defense shouldn't be let off the hook either, but this is an offense-oriented team, and there was no chance IU was going to grind out a 14-7 victory or something like that.
Now, it's on to Penn State. IU has never defeated the Nittany Lions, who now are 6-4 after a loss at Nebraska. It will be a tough place to play, as always, but that's the hand the Hoosiers have dealt themselves with non-conference losses to Ball State and Navy.