After last week's long, long wait to be over we return to the gridiron for the Homecoming match up with the Indiana Hoosiers. As part of our ongoing effort to bring you the best coverage of the game we brought on Terry Hutchens for BADGERS POWER HOUR last night. Well, to get even more in depth with the Hoosier's faithful as our friends over at Crimson Quarry take a turn in our Opposition Q&A feature. A huge thanks to John and his staff for taking time to answer the questions that were on our minds.
Without further ado, here is Opposition Q&A - Indiana style:
WiscoBadgers: How bad is revenge on your mind after last years 83-20 loss in Madison?
Crimson Quarry: Revenge isn’t really on my mind. I would like to get revenge someday, but don’t expect it do be in 2011. Hey, maybe last year’s whipping was belated revenge for IU’s 2001 win, 63-32, at Camp Randall? This is a game that even before the season appeared to be IU’s least winnable game, and the play of both teams has enhanced that opinion. The chance that IU will win is very small, but I hope to see the team fight until the end. For all of this team’s faults, they haven’t quit in any game yet, and I hope that they will stay in this one for as long as they can.
WB: Middle Linebacker Jeff Thomas has 48 tackles going into this game, is he the most underrated LB in the conference?
CQ: He’s been very good the last two seasons. As you note, he is one of the few bright spots on the defense, and he sealed IU’s lone Big Ten win last year, at Purdue, with an interception in overtime. I’m not sure exactly how he compared to other underrated players, but we’re very glad to have him.
WB: Is Tre Roberson the answer for the Hoosiers for this year?
CQ: I don’t think there is an answer at quarterback right now. If there were, then IU wouldn’t have given meaningful playing time to three different quarterbacks in the first six games. Roberson is, by far, the best athlete of the three QBs but is most raw as a passer. Considering that the other two won’t soon be mistaken for Peyton Manning (or Ben Chappell, for that matter), then going with Roberson may well be IU’s best chance. But I suspect there will be some sort of rotation for the rest of the season.
WB: Are fans already looking ahead to having Gunner Kiel in at the QB spot next season?
CQ: Well, we don’t want to count on anyone until he is signed or enrolled, but it looks to me like Kiel should be able to win the starting job as a true freshman. People are excited about Gunner, both about seeing him on the field and for what it means to keep a player of his caliber in state and at IU.
WB: What do you make of all the players leaving or being kicked of the team?
CQ:I don’t make much of it. Clearly, Wilson isn’t happy with the way the upperclassmen are practicing or playing, they are being leapfrogged on the depth chart by underclassmen, and some are electing to leave. I would be more concerned if IU were losing players who were getting lots of playing time, but disgruntled players are commonplace in a program that is in transition.
WB: What offensive player has impressed you the most in 2011?
CQ: Wow. That is a disappointingly tough question. Running back Stephen Houston, a junior college transfer, is the team’s leading rusher and seems to have won the starting job. He hasn’t been overwhelming, but he has been reliable at a position where IU has been hurting because of injuries, particularly the career-ending knee injury to Darius Willis.
WB: Prediction for this game?
CQ: I think we will keep it closer than last year, but not particularly close: Wisconsin 45, Indiana 13.