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Indiana vs. Wisconsin: game preview, stats, odds, kickoff time, tv, and more

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The Hoosiers have one final shot at a signature victory in Tom Allen’s inaugural campaign.

Wisconsin v Illinois Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Game Info / How to Watch

Who? Indiana Hoosiers (3-5 [0-5], #55 S&P+) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (8-0 [5-0], #6 S&P+)

When? Saturday, 11/4, 12:00 PM, Bloomington, IN

Channel? ABC

Vegas? INDIANA +12.5

S&P+ Projection? WISCONSIN, 29.5 -18.0

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Indiana lost to Maryland! And that leaves them in the unenviable position of having to win all three of their remaining winnable games in order to make a bowl for the third straight season. This week is not one of those games.

But if Indiana wants to put a crown jewel on Tom Allen’s first full season as head coach AND regain some breathing room for the season’s final stretch, they just have to knock off a Wisconsin squad that will likely sleepwalk to the Big Ten title game and possibly even further.

No problem, right?

Untitled

- Explosiveness (86%) Efficiency (83%) Field Position (75%) Finishing Drives (72%) Turnover Margin (73%)
- Explosiveness (86%) Efficiency (83%) Field Position (75%) Finishing Drives (72%) Turnover Margin (73%)
INDIANA (#102 offense) 1.00 (123rd) 37.6% (113th) 28.7 (91st) 4.62 (50th) -8 (117th)
WISCONSIN (#7 defense) 1.04 (20th) 33.1% (11th) 28.9 (55th) 2.91 (2nd) 2 (48th)
- - - - - -
WISCONSIN (#33 offense) 1.17 (61st) 47.3% (17th) 30.4 (54th) 4.96 (22nd) 2 (48th)
INDIANA (#28 defense) 1.06 (27th) 36.9% (30th) 29.6 (81st) 4.80 (100th) -8 (117th)

Ah, damn. turns out the Badgers are really good! Their statistical profile is disturbingly solid. You have to get way down in the weeds to find things they’re not at least slightly-above-average at. (lmao 78th in standard downs isoPPP? sounds like a CFP pretender to me. nice 120th ranking in DL havoc rate, maybe you should find another watt sibling am i right?)

OFFENSE

The Badgers rank 124th in pace, standing in stark contrast to a sport that just seems to be getting faster and faster. Wisconsin is in no hurry, and why should they be? They get top marks across the board in both rushing and passing offense, staying on schedule (28th rushing, 14th, passing) and occasionally breaking out long gains (47th rushing, 37th passing). When they get inside their opponent’s 40 yard line, they’re about as money as you can get, averaging just a shade under 5 points per trip.

Their first choice is to run the ball (as their pace would suggest) and 77.5% (7th) of the time on standard downs, it’s a hand off. And, more than likely, that hand off is to freshman Jonathan Taylor. He’s carried the ball 161 times this season and racked up nearly 1200 yards and 11 scores. He’s averaging 7.4 yards per carry and an eye-popping 6.8 yards per opportunity in the second level. When a team has a tremendous offensive line (14th in line yards, 27th in opportunity rate, 16th in stuff rate) and combines it with a running back that can generate that kind of yardage in the open field- it leads to numbers like these.

Alex Hornibrook is back in the role of solid-if-unspectacular-Wisconsin-quarterback. It’s a close-knit fraternity that, in all likelihood, meets for a 4:30 PM dinner at Applebee’s once a month. Horni has nearly 1600 yards on the year with a completion percentage over 64%, with 13 touchdowns and 8 picks. Over half of those yards and touchdowns have gone to two receivers, senior TE Troy Fumagalli (27 / 381 / 3) and sophomore WR Quintez Cephus (28 / 477 / 5). These two have 75 targets between them, nine less than the rest of the team combined. Wisconsin doesn’t mess around either: in passing downs they’re loading up to throw 70.9% of the time. If you’re good at what you do, predictability isn’t as much of a problem.

DEFENSE

The statistical profiles provided by SB Nation’s own Bill Connelly tracks 39 different defensive categories that relate to a team’s performance and Wisconsin ranks below average in THREE OF THEM. Indiana, possessors of a Pretty Good defense, have nine such rankings on their profile.

One of them, DL Havoc Rate, doesn’t even impact their overall team rate, which ranks 1st in the nation. That tells me that Wisconsin’s DL “havoc deficiencies” are probably more schematic. Have the big guys up front occupy as much space as possible and let the linebackers (1st in havoc rate) and defensive backs (1st in havoc rate) do all the rabble-rousing.

It’s an experienced unit, made up largely of upperclassmen and lead, statistically, by senior Garret Dooley. The linebacker has 21 tackles, 8.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks and a 21.4% success rate against. As a unit, Badger linebackers have compiled an eye-popping 36.5 TFL, 16.5 sacks, and 5 interceptions. The secondary is just as fierce, lead by an impressive safety tandem in junior D’Cota Dixon (35 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 INT) and junior Natrell Jamerson (22.5, 3.5, 1.5, and 2) and a host of ball-hawking corners. Indiana’s offense has been stuck in the mud all year and it isn’t going to get any easier come Saturday.

THREE THINGS:

  • Who plays QB? After taking a couple brutal hits on Saturday and being generally ineffective, Peyton Ramsey was replaced by Richard Lagow for the end of the Maryland game. Ramsey has had his moments this season, but hasn’t really elevated his play to the level of an unassailable starter. More than a few IU fans were ready to hand the reigns back to Lagow and that was before Ramsey took a helmet to his planted knee. While he’s appeared to have avoided a season-ending injury, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Lagow start on Saturday. Ramsey’s mobility was supposed to be the x-factor in the competition, but it wasn’t be utilized when he was starting, and he didn’t look to have much of it left when he finally exited the Maryland game.
  • Who plays RB? Both Mike Majette and Morgan Ellison missed the Maryland game, leaving Cole Gest to pick up the majority of the rushes from Indiana’s dwindling stable of running backs. He turned 12 rushes into 38 yards which is, sub-ideal. If Majette and Ellison are held out of Saturday’s contest AND Ramsey misses the game? Indiana’s already lacking run game will be in the most dire of straits against a fearsome Wisconsin defense.
  • Defensive Resurgence? After the debacle against Maryland (which wasn’t all on the defense, of course) can Tom Allen get his best unit to bounce back at home against the slow, steady, and sure Badgers? Indiana surrendered over 6 yards per play against Maryland and almost 6 points per trip inside the 40-yard line. They gave up nearly 6 yards per carry on the ground and nearly 9 yards per attempt through the air. It’s not fair to expect greatness week-in and week-out, but if the defense doesn’t get themselves sorted back out, it’s going to be a brutal run-in.

PREDICTION:

To echo what fellow assistant editor Ben Raphel said this morning, I think Wisconsin wins this by only a couple of scores, but it feels like a whole lot more. BADGERS 23, Hoosiers 10