IU is going into its final three games of the season with a lot to play for. The Hoosiers, 4-5 (2-3), have a some what legitimate shot at playing in the Big Ten title game.
With Penn State and Ohio State both being ineligible, one for something inexcusable and the other for something stupid, that leaves Wisconsin, 6-3 (3-2) as the front runner in the Leaders division and IU a game behind them. Coincidentally, IU hosts Wisconsin this weekend.
The Badgers had a week off to prepare for IU. In recent history, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema has had a tendency to run the score up on his opponents. This year, however, his team has only averaged 25.9 points per game, which is eighth in the Big Ten.
The team is not nearly as dynamic as it was last season with Russell Wilson, who is now in the NFL with the Seahawks. They still have a stout offensive line and Montee Ball who has over a thousand yards rushing and 13 touchdowns.
They are a bit of a one dimensional team as they rank 45th in the nation in rushing, but are in the bottom fifth in passing. The defense is fourth in the Big Ten and the Badgers give up just 17.6 points per game.
Last season, IU lost 59-7 and lost again in 2010 83-20. That is a combined 142-27. This should be a different outcome, as IU is no longer offensively challenged, but they will still give up points on defense.
IU at Penn State
Just thinking about Penn State makes me a little bit sick, but we'll forge on. The Nittany Lions, 6-3 (4-1), have had an impressive season considering all they have been through in the past year and the fact that they have nothing to play for. They managed to shrug off two embarrassing losses to open up the season and win five straight before losing to Ohio State.
Before facing IU, Penn State will have a big game at Nebraska. Depending on the outcome of that game, Penn State could be flying high or be finally broken. Of course the same can be said about IU's game against Wisconsin.
Penn State is fourth in the Big Ten in total offense and third in scoring defense. Quarterback Matt McGloin has had an impressive season with 2,436 passing yards and 18 touchdowns, with only three interceptions.
IU at Purdue
Purdue is middle of the pack nationally in all statistics but towards the bottom of the Big Ten defensively. IU should find success against this team in all phases of the game. Plus it's a rivalry game that IU lost last season, so expect the Hoosiers to be looking for revenge.
IU finishes the season 5-7 (3-5). A big improvement over last year and it will give fans a lot to look forward to in 2013.
We'll have more on the Wisconsin game later this week and we'll have a basketball preview up soon as well.
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