This weekend, the Iowa Hawkeyes will take on the Wisconsin Badgers as they try to rebound from a disappointing 24-7 loss to Purdue two weeks ago. Wisconsin beat Purdue last weekend 30-13, and the Boilermakers were at home. Iowa enters the game with a chance to make the College Football playoff if they win out and teams ahead of them lose. The Badgers are looking for their fourth straight win and possession of the Heartland Trophy.
Wisconsin Running Game
Wisconsin has a two-headed monster in the backfield with Chez Mellusi and Braelon Allen. Last week both running back rushed for over 140 yards. So look for the Badgers to try to control the line of scrimmage with the run game.
But it will be a tall task because the Hawkeyes run defense is ranked seventh in the country, giving up only 89.96 yards per game and 2.73 yards per rush. In addition, Iowa plays very physically at the line of scrimmage, and it will be hard for Wisconsin to run constantly.
Iowa’s Running game
Iowa also likes to run the ball with running back Tyler Goodson; he has rushed for 586 yards this season. But like Iowa, Wisconsin’s run defense is outstanding. The Badgers run defense ranks first in the country, giving up 53.29 yards per game and 1.87 yards per carry.
Wisconsin defense s led by Leo Chenal, who leads the Badgers in tackles and averages ten tackles per game. Wisconsin’s defense gives up only 223 per game and 3.93 yards per play. However, the Iowa offensive line will have to come to play if they want to win this game. Iowa’s All-American offensive lineman Tyler Linderbaum will need to make his presence felt.
This game could very well come down to whichever quarterback can make plays. For Iowa, Spencer Petras will lead the Hawkeyes, and he has passed 1,533 passing yards, nine touchdowns, and six interceptions. Wisconsin will counter with Graham Mertz, who has passed for 945 yards, two touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Last week Mertz only passed the ball eight times.
Saturday’s match will be a challenging, physical, low-scoring game with both teams trying to establish the run against the formidable run defenses. However, Petras for Iowa will make plays in the passing, allowing Iowa to come out on top.
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