Saturday, December 5, 2020, Camp Randall Stadium, Madison Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m. ET
Hoosiers at Badgers Betting Preview: Hoosiers (+14.5), Badgers (-14.5)
Indiana Hoosiers Betting Preview
The No. 12 Hoosiers (5-1, 5-1 Big Ten) have taken a major hit heading into their game at Wisconsin.
The announcement that starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is done for the year with a torn ACL on Monday was tough for players and coaches to accept, but the Hoosiers are prepared to rally around his replacement, sophomore quarterback Jack Tuttle.
“Setbacks and adversity is part of this life,” Indiana coach Tom Allen said. “We told the team, even last week, it is about how you respond to these challenges that define who we are.”
Penix suffered the injury during Indiana’s 27-11 win over Maryland last week when he went to the sideline to finish a 21-yard run in the third quarter. He finished the year with 1,645 yards passing, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions.
Tuttle completed all five of his passes for 34 yards in relief of Penix. A four-star recruit from San Marcos, California, Tuttle transferred to Indiana from Utah before the start of the 2019 season.
“We still have full confidence that Jack Tuttle that he can come in and control the game and the pace and lead us to victory as well,” said IU running back Stevie Scott III, who rushed for three touchdowns in the Maryland win. “Jack is also a great leader, and I feel like he’s definitely going to show and prove this week. I’m excited to see Jack play.”
Allen is counting on the rest of the team to step up and help Tuttle. IU’s defense has posted a nation-best 16 interceptions and 18 takeaways on the season. The Hoosiers also rushed for a season-high 234 yards in the Maryland win, with Scott rushing for 80 yards and freshman Tim Baldwin rushing for 106.
“It’s about every group elevating one percent, every position group, every phase of the game,” Allen said.
Wisconsin Badgers Betting Preview
The No. 16 Badgers (2-1, 2-1 Big Ten) are eager to get back on the field after their game against Minnesota was canceled last week due to a COVID-19 outbreak within Minnesota’s program.
“With the way things finished out last week, we kind of chose to try to take advantage of a couple of days of getting little practice in, getting a little recovery in,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. “Excited to start in earnest preparation for Indiana.”
The Badgers had two of their first four games canceled because of COVID-19 issues and were off last week.
After averaging 47 points in wins over Illinois and Michigan, their offense took a step back in their last game, a 17-7 loss to Northwestern.
Quarterback Graham Mertz has thrown for 605 yards with eight touchdowns against three interceptions to pace the Badgers along with freshman running back Jalen Berger. Berger has rushed for a team-high 180 yards on just 30 carries with one touchdown.
“Jalen has been good, and very new at it, a true freshman,” Chryst said. “The things that other people aren’t seeing, that’s the fun part about it, each week is a little bit different and there’s obviously a component of how do you prepare mentally as a team, the film study that goes into it.”
With just three games played and only two dates left on the current schedule, the Badgers won’t meet the six-game threshold to be eligible to play in the conference title game on December 19 if they don’t finish out.
The only out for the Badgers is if the average number of conference games played by league teams falls below six and the Badgers are able to play these next two Saturdays.
Hoosiers at Badgers Betting Pick for December 5, 2020
The two teams have not met since 2017 when the Badgers posted a 45-17 win over the Hoosiers in Bloomington. The Badgers have a 10-game winning streak in the series with Indiana’s last win 32-29 in 2002. The Hoosiers also won 63-32 in 2001 to end a six-game skid in the series.
Hoosiers at Badgers Betting Pick:
Badgers 28, Hoosiers 10
Hoosiers at Badgers Best Bet for December 5, 2020
The two teams are close in scoring offense with the Badgers averaging 33.7 points a game and the Hoosiers 32.8. But the Badgers have one of the nation’s top defenses in holding foes to an average of 11.7 points game (No. 3) while the Hoosiers have given up 10 more points a game.
Hoosiers at Badgers Best Bet: UNDER 45.5