Saturday, November 10, 2012
It's game day at IU's Memorial Stadium
By Adam Rittenberg
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Since its inception in 2008, the Big Ten blog has covered games at 11 of the league's 12 stadiums. Today, we complete the set.
While I couldn't have predicted in August that I'd be here covering a pivotal Leaders division game, nothing has gone according to plan this season in the Big Ten. Wisconsin can clinch a spot in the Big Ten title game Dec. 1 in Indianapolis with a victory today, while a surprising Indiana team can put itself in the driver's seat by beating the Badgers. Indiana hasn't won three consecutive Big Ten games since 1993. Although second-year coach Kevin Wilson wants to keep his players focused on daily improvement, this is the biggest game they've played at IU. Should be fun.
It has been a season of transition for Wisconsin's offense, and there will be more today as Curt Phillips gets the nod at quarterback. Phillips beat out Danny O'Brien for the job after starter Joel Stave suffered a season-ending broken clavicle Oct. 27 against Michigan State. Coach Bret Bielema discussed the Phillips decision Thursday.
Wisconsin hasn't had three different starting quarterbacks in a season since 1987 ((Bud Keyes, Tony Lowery, Otis Flowers). Phillips is a great story, having overcome three ACL tears to keep playing. He competed for the starting job in 2009 before the injuries began. He had good mobility before the injuries, so it will be interesting to see how he moves around today. Phillips hasn't attempted a pass in a game since 2009 and is 7-for-12 passing for 65 yards with no touchdowns and an interception in his career. His teammates will need to pick him up today.
Indiana's quarterback situation also will be worth watching. The Hoosiers have had success rotating Cameron Coffman and Nate Sudfeld. Coffman played well last week against Iowa, while Sudfeld has been the more effective player off of the bench at times. The Hoosiers boast arguably the Big Ten's top wide receiver corps, led by Cody Latimer, so Wisconsin's secondary will be tested.
It's a gorgeous fall day with a bit of a breeze to the north. Great tailgating scene around the stadium, but the crowd size will be something to watch.
Keep it here for much more on Wisconsin-Indiana.