Run and Shoot: Hawkeyes and Badgers ready for battle

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Hawkeyes and Badgers ready for battle

MADISON, Wisc. -- A primetime game -- and pivotal Big Ten matchup at that -- is more than enough to set State Street in Mad-Town on fire. Brats, burgers and plenty of Wisconsin's finest beer are scenting the scene for tonight's Badger-Hawkeye game, the first-ever evening meeting in the history of this series.

This game will be won in the trenches, where the Badgers own arguably the best offensive line in the conference. That unit must contain an Iowa front four that has lived in its opponents' backfield in the first three weeks of the season.

The winner of this one will march on to compete in a Big Ten race that becomes more focused with each passing week.

What to watch:

No Big Ten defense has been as dominant as the Hawkeyes, who haven't allowed a single touchdown in three weeks. Iowa ranks second against the pass and run. This week, however, that unit must contain the Big Ten's second leading rusher (P.J. Hill) and it must frustrate a quarterback (Tyler Donovan) who has yet to throw an interception.

The Badgers' front four has been disappointing thus far. The team has only registered five sacks, but that could improve against an Iowa team that is tied for second-most sacks allowed. The team that applies the most pressure to the opposing quarterback will win this game.

Wisconsin will need its youth movement to help out in this one. While Paul Hubbard is recovering from an injury the Badgers will turn to Kyle Jefferson and a host of other younger playmakers at receiver. The Badgers will also expect true freshman return man David Gilreath to make plays and flip the field on special teams.

The one-two punch of Albert Young and Damian Sims has proven effective for Iowa this year. Both backs have a strong yard-per-carry average, and both should find room against a Badger defense that gave up chunks of yards on the ground to Washington State (157) and the Citadel (123).

Game notes:

Donovan made his first start at Iowa last year and delivered a 24-21 badger win. In that game, Donovan completed 17-of-24 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns. He also gained 61 yards on 13 carries.

The last time these teams met in Camp Randall, Kirk Ferentz ruined Barry Alvarez's last home game. The Hawkeyes won that game, 20-10.

The Badgers own the nation’s longest winning streak (12).

The series is tied, 40-40-2.

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