MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 15: Montee Ball #28 of the Wisconsin Badgers rushes for a 35-yard touchdown in the second quarter against the Indiana Hoosiers at Camp Randall Stadium on October 15, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
IU's seniors will face a tall order when they face defending Big Ten champion Wisconsin in mid-November. It's tough to remember that the last time the Badgers came to Bloomington, the game went down to the wire, although Wisconsin won 31-28. Over the past two seasons, in two games in Madison, UW has outscored IU 142-27, most infamously in an 83-20 Wisconsin win in 2010. The Indiana-Wisconsin series has always been about extremes, at least at Camp Randall. Anthony Thompson set an NCAA rushing record with 377 yards in Madison in 1989. In 2001, Levron Williams ran for 6 TDs in a 63-32 win over the Badgers. On the downside, in 1994, a 62-13 loss in Madison was a sign of bad times to come for the IU program. In 1999, a 62-0 loss further entrenched the impression that Cam Cameron wasn't going to make it. And then, 2010 and 2011.
As great as the Badgers were on offense, they were close to as good on defense. Returning contributors include LB Mike Taylor (9 TFL, 2 INT), LB Chris Borland (2.5 sacks, 2 INT), safety Shelton Johnson, CB Antonio Fenelus (4 INTs each), and DE Brendan Kelly (3 sacks).
As always, the Badgers will be sound on both sides of the ball, and any passing game deficiencies will be overwhelmed by Wisconsin's ability to run the ball. Although it's a home game, this appears to me the biggest challenge on IU's schedule, although perhaps something will have changed for either or both teams by mid-November.