The Big Ten schedule’s final week concludes with the Wisconsin Badgers (2-2, 2-2 Big Ten) and #16 Iowa Hawkeyes (5-2, 5-2 Big Ten) getting together. Wisconsin has faced an unorthodox year with three of their eight games getting canceled due to COVID-19 testing and tracing. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EST at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, IA. Wisconsin is a 2-point road favorite in the conference clash.
What to Know – Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin scored 45 and 49 points in their first two games but have mustered up just 13 points in two contests since. The strength of the Badgers has been their defense who is surrendering under 13 points per game this season.
Freshman quarterback Graham Mertz tossed seven touchdowns in his first two starts for the Badgers but has connected on just one touchdown pass over the last two and thrown four interceptions. Mertz completed 20-of-34 passes for 202 yards and one pick in last Saturday’s loss to Indiana.
Jalen Berger carried the ball for 87 yards on 15 carries in the game, his third contest with exactly 15 carries this season. The talented freshman has rushed for 267 yards over three games averaging 5.9 yards per carry.
Tight end Jake Ferguson caught five passes for a team-high 54 yards while Kendric Pryor (three catches, 48 yards) and Chimere Dike (three catches, 40 yards) led the receiving core against Indiana. Ferguson is the team’s leading receiver with 235 yards and four touchdowns in four games played.
What to Know – Iowa Hawkeyes
After dropping their first two games of the season by a combined five points, the Hawkeyes have rallied to win their last four games and looking to finish the regular season on a high note. The win would lock up the second spot in the Big Ten West division behind the Northwestern Wildcats, who will face off against Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship.
After trailing at halftime, the Hawkeyes outscored the Illinois Fighting Illini 22-7 in the second half to secure their fourth win of the season. Quarterback Spencer Petras connected on 18-of-28 passes for 220 yards and threw three touchdowns.
Tyler Goodson (19 carries, 92 yards) and Mekhi Sargent (10 carries, 54 yards) carried the workload for the Iowa backfield accounting for 29 of the team’s 38 carries and 146 of the 204 total yards.
Ihmir Smith-Marsette accounted for 76 total yards of offense (44 rushing, 32 receiving) and a pair of touchdowns. Sam LaPorta and Shaun Beyer chipped in receiving touchdowns for Iowa in the victory.
The Pick is In
These two teams are similar in many ways, and given the spread, Vegas agrees. The line opened with the Hawkeyes as a 2-point favorite but has swung in Wisconsin’s favor. This game was already going to be a low-scorer affair, but with windy conditions predicted, look for both teams to have trouble putting up points. Give us the Hawkeyes and the points at home.
The Pick: Iowa +2