Inside The Wisconsin Game

    Go Hoosiers! Sophomore safety Austin Thomas has collected 34 tackles over the last two games and ranks seventh in the Big Ten with 8.9 tackles per game.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Sophomore safety Austin Thomas has collected 34 tackles over the last two games and ranks seventh in the Big Ten with 8.9 tackles per game.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Oct. 26, 2007

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - As the Indiana football team prepares for Saturday's game at No. 25 Wisconsin, takes a look inside the numbers. The Hoosiers (5-3, 2-3 Big Ten) and Badgers (6-2, 2-2) will kick off at 11 a.m. CDT/noon EDT Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium (80,321) and the game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.

    Wayne Larrivee will handle play-by-play duties and he will be joined by analyst Charles Davis and sideline reporter Charissa Thompson. The game can also be heard on the statewide IU Radio Network with Don Fischer (play-by-play), Pete Compise (analyst) and Joe Smith (pre-game, halftime and post-game) on the call.

    The Wisconsin Series
    Wisconsin holds a 33-18-2 advantage in the all-time series against Indiana. The Badgers own a 19-8-1 edge in Madison. UW has won the last two meetings after the Hoosiers earned back-to-back victories in 2001 and 2002.

    The last time IU earned a victory at Camp Randall Stadium came back on Oct. 6, 2001, a 63-32 triumph. In 2002, the Hoosiers knocked off the No. 23 Badgers, 32-29, on Oct. 12.

    Scouting Wisconsin
    Wisconsin brings a 6-2 overall mark and a 2-2 Big Ten record into Saturday's contest. The Badgers are coming off a 44-3 drubbing off Northern Illinois, but they ride a two-game losing streak in league play. UW fell at Illinois, 31-26, on Oct. 6 and at Penn State, 38-7, the following week. Wisconsin is ranked No. 25 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll and is receiving votes in the AP Poll.

    The Badgers are averaging 196.2 yards on the ground and 221.6 yards through the air. Sophomore P.J. Hill leads the Badger rushing attack, sitting second in the Big Ten and ninth nationally with 126.1 yards per game. The East Elmhurst, N.Y., native moved past the 1,000-yard mark (1,009) with 184 yards against Northern Illinois, and his 13 touchdowns lead the Big Ten and rank eighth nationally. Hill averages 5.0 yards per carry.

    Fifth-year senior Tyler Donovan is in his first year under center. Donovan averages 213.9 yards per game, is completing 59.4 percent of his passes and has thrown 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Junior tight end Travis Beckum is the team's leading receiver with 50 receptions for 580 yards. Beckum averages 72.5 yards per game and has reached the end zone three times.



    On the defensive side of the ball, the Badgers are surrendering 343.6 yards overall, 203.0 passing yards and 140.6 rushing yards per game. Wisconsin has forced just two fumbles and five interceptions this season and collected 19 sacks. Junior linebacker Jonathan Casillas leads the team with 58 tackles, while sophomore defensive back Shane Carter has collected four of the club's five picks.

    Bret Bielema is in his second season at the helm of the Badger program. He finished his first season with a 12-1 record, including a 7-1 Big Ten mark, and a victory in the Capital One Bowl after taking over for Barry Alvarez. The Badgers held the nation's longest winning streak at 14 before falling to Illinois.

    Wisconsin Connection
    Four players on the IU roster hail from The Badger State. Junior holder/quarterback Dustin Hass (Ocono/Ocono High School), true freshman punter Chris Hagerup (Whitefish Bay/ Whitefish Bay), sophomore free safety/wide receiver Nick Polk (Milwaukee/Vincent) and redshirt freshman right tackle Mike Stark (Platteville/Platteville) all came to Bloomington from the state of Wisconsin.

    All In The Family
    Hoosier co-defensive coordinator Joe Palcic's father, Bob, is Wisconsin's offensive line coach. Bob Palcic is in his second season with the Badgers and in his 35th season overall as a coach.

    UW junior wide receiver Marcus Randle El is the brother of former Hoosier great and current Washington Redskin Antwaan (1998-01) and Curtis, who also played at IU as a defensive back (1996-99). Marcus has one reception for nine yards this season.

    On The Right Foot
    Austin Starr continues to show Hoosier fans the kicking game is on good footing. After hitting both field goal attempts at Michigan State and his lone attempt against Penn State, he owns a new school record with 12 consecutive made field goals. Starr broke Doug Smith's record of 10 set back during the 1981-82 seasons.

    The Logansport, Ind., native is 15-for-16 (93.8 percent) this season, 27-for-31 (87.1) in his career, 19-for-21 (90.5) from 30-plus yards and 8-for-8 from 40-plus yards, including a 40-yarder and a 47-yarder in East Lansing. Starr's 15 field goals are two more than he hit all of last season, are good for a share of third place on the school's single-season list, lead the Big Ten and share third nationally. He is two off the school record held by former NFL great Pete Stoyanovich (1988). Starr has also hit all 33 of his extra-point attempts this season, which is fifth on the single-season list, has connected on 35 straight dating back to last season, and he is on pace to break Stoyanovich's single-season mark of 45, set back in 1988.

    He is fifth in the nation in field goal percentage (tops in Big Ten), seventh averaging 1.88 field goals per contest (tops in Big Ten) and tied for 15th in scoring at 9.75 (fifth in Big Ten). Starr has moved into a tie for fifth place on the Hoosiers' single-season points list with 78.

    Wrap `Em Up
    Three Hoosiers reached double-digit tackles against Penn State. Junior strong-side linebacker Geno Johnson and sophomore weak-side linebacker Will Patterson led the club with career highs in total tackles (13) and solo stops (nine). The duo was joined in double figures by sophomore strong safety Austin Thomas, who recorded 12 tackles. This came on the heels of his 22-tackle effort at Michigan State.

    No Doubting Thomas
    Sophomore safety Austin Thomas collected 22 tackles at Michigan State, doubling his previous career high and recording the most in a single game since Joseph Fitzgerald made 22 stops vs. Iowa on Oct. 27, 1984. Thomas became the first Hoosier to reach the 20-tackle mark since linebacker Alfonzo Thurman dragged down 20 Buckeyes on Nov. 13, 1993.

    Thomas followed that performance with his second straight double-digit effort against Penn State (12). He leads the team with 71 tackles, giving him an 11-tackle advantage over sophomore linebacker Will Patterson. Thomas, who also set a career high with 14 solo tackles against the Spartans, leads the Hoosiers with 46 solo stops this season and ranks 26th nationally averaging 5.75 per game. The Woodstock, Ga., native is seventh in the Big Ten (all games) averaging 8.9 tackles per game and is fourth in five league games averaging 10.8 tackles per game.


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