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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Big Ten road warriors

Team travels to Wisconsin in search of confidence-boosting win

It is not the season opener. It's not the home opener. It's not the Big Ten opener. No more new beginnings for the football team that is desperately searching for its first win.\nIU travels to Wisconsin for a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday to play at arguably one of the hardest places on the road in the hopes of securing a victory. \n"Wisconsin is one of the tougher places to play," senior defensive tackle Kemp Rasmussen said. "Their fans are crazy. They are loud and pretty obnoxious."\nAdding vocal fans to a versatile offensive might equal trouble for IU (0-3).\n"...Wisconsin is a typical solid Wisconsin football team with an impact guy here or there," coach Cam Cameron said. "Obviously, Wendell Bryant, an All-American candidate. I know we're looking forward to playing on the road in the Big Ten, which is always difficult."\nBryant, a senior defensive tackle, was named the Big Ten Player of the Week after UW beat Penn State in the Badgers Big Ten opener. Against the Nittany Lions, Bryant had six tackles for a loss, five of which were quarterback sacks and one fumble recovery.\nCameron said the Hoosier offensive line had its best game of the season in the loss to Ohio State, and in order to keep Bryant away from senior quarterback Antwaan Randle El, they'll need to play an even better game. \nThe Badgers are 3-2, and both of their losses were to ranked teams. Wisconsin was beating Oregon until the Ducks went on a fourth-quarter scoring drive led by Heisman hopeful Joey Harrington. The second loss was to undefeated Fresno State.\nWisconsin leads the series 31-16-2, and had won in the past two years by a combined point total of 102-22. Two years ago the Hoosiers traveled to Camp Randall, and was routed by Wisconsin 59-0.\n"Last time we went up there, it was kind of embarrassing," Rasmussen said. "We're hoping to pay them back a little for that. They are a solid football team that plays smart and doesn't make a lot of mistakes. They have a quarterback who is athletic, and can make some plays."\nThe Wisconsin is lead by junior Brooks Bollinger, who lead the Badgers to an 8-0 record and the Rose Bowl in his freshman year at Wisconsin. Earlier this season he was sidelined by an injury, and sophomore Jim Sorgi took his place.\nWisconsin has a breakout running back in freshman Anthony Davis, who in five games has 703 yards, and the Hoosiers are expecting to see him Saturday. \n"Defensively, we have to stop the run," Rasmussen said. "They are going to try to run, because they one of the leading rushing teams in the Big Ten. We need to stop the run and take them out of what they want to do."\nWith three possible threats on offense, the Hoosier defense will have to be in top form. Against Ohio State, IU managed to stop the Buckeyes on more than one occasion, but were unable to stop OSU at the most important times.\nBut the most inconsistent limb on the Hoosier team is the kicking game, especially the punting. In three games IU had 13 punts that traveled for a combined 309 yards, 23.8 yards per punt. The Hoosiers' opponents average more than 10 yards longer than that. \nFreshman Bryan Robertson is listed as being the main kicker, despite missing a field goal against Ohio State, but with four options at the punting position, who will be taking the snaps is unknown. \n"When you have young kickers that are talented there is more you can do," Cameron said. "You go out and continue to get better each week. Braucher will kickoff and Robertson will do field goals. The punter? We'll know Saturday who will do the punting."\nBut what is known now is that this win is critical for the Hoosiers, who have yet to back up statements about an "improved team."\n"We just need to get one under our belt, and this is going to be the one," senior linebacker Justin Smith said. "But you have to get the first one, because once you get the first one then you start to get on a roll. It's critical to get this first win"

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