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Indiana vs. Wisconsin Football Prediction and Preview

Indiana (IU) vs. Wisconsin Football Prediction and Preview

Indiana (IU) vs. Wisconsin Football Prediction and Preview

The Indiana Hoosiers travel to Madison to take on one of the Big Ten's top teams in the Wisconsin Badgers, and they will do so with a new starting quarterback. Michael Penix Jr. suffered a season-ending torn ACL, which means the Hoosiers are now hoping Jack Tuttle can keep things moving in a positive direction against one of the Big Ten's best defensive teams.

No. 12 Indiana at No. 16 Wisconsin

Kickoff: Saturday, Dec. 5 at 3:30 p.m.

TV: ABC

Spread: Wisconsin -14.5

When Indiana Has the Ball

The quarterback may have changed, but the Indiana offense still has some reliable players to count on. Stevie Scott III already has rushed for eight touchdowns in six games, and he'll be counted on to find whatever yards he can against the Badger defense. That will not be easy because Wisconsin is allowing 67.3 rushing yards per game, second-best nationally, and has yet to allow a rushing touchdown in three games.

Tuttle will not have an easy time against the Wisconsin defense, but he will have two receivers to count on to make some plays. Ty Fryfogle has caught seven touchdowns and leads the Hoosiers with 652 yards. Whop Philyor is always a threat as well and is averaging 5.3 receptions per game.

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When Wisconsin Has the Ball

Wisconsin's rising star quarterback Graham Mertz will certainly be eager to get back on the field. Mertz is looking for a little redemption after throwing his first three interceptions of the season last week in a loss to Northwestern. Concerningly, he has only completed 54.5 and 56.1 percent of his passes, respectively, in his two games since returning from a COVID-19.

The good news for Wisconsin is they can probably count on a rebound performance from their quarterback. The Hoosiers are fairly susceptible through the air and have allowed 230.0 passing yards per game, which ranks 58th nationally. The bad news is Indiana's pass defense has been busy racking up interceptions. Indiana leads the Big Ten with 16 through six games after tying for 12th last season with seven in 13 games.

Final Analysis

Even while losing Penix, this is not an Indiana team to be taken lightly. Tuttle is competent enough to come in and keep things moving smoothly for the Hoosiers. But this is not the matchup that will allow for that to happen. Wisconsin's defense can dictate the tone of the game from the start and make for a long game for visiting Indiana. Mertz and the Badgers get back to what worked well in their first two games of the season and hold off a respectable Indiana team to get back in the win column this week.

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Prediction: Wisconsin 26, Indiana 17

Podcast: Coaching Carousel and Week 14 Preview and Predictions

— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Patreon, on Twitter @KevinOnCFB, on Instagram, and Like him on Facebook.