Despite being a theif, Jack Ikegwuonu has proved himself at DB. Joe Thomas should give the Arkansas Dline fits and allow P.J. Hill room to run. We shall have to wait and see whick McFadden shows up to play. UW also needs to remember that the Hogs have used McFadden as an effective QB (3 passing TDs) as well as a receiver. Stopping the run game isn't the only thing we need to watch out for.
Part of me feels like we should be nervous for this game, but I'm just not there yet. I was much more nervous about the Auburn team we meet last year. At the time, I feel Wisconsin was a weaker team than the one that will hit the field tomorrow and Auburn and Kenny Irons were a better team then the Hogs we're supposed to see tomorrow.
That being said, I'm not looking past this game. As with the rest of the season, special teams will play a big part in the game. If we can't get our guys to hold on to the ball or provide some decent coverage, Arkansas could be starting with crazy good field position all day long. I know we can win this game if we keep them on a long field, but putting our defense on the field over and over and giving McFadden short yardage to go could prove to make things very difficult for the Badgers.
Finally, I'm super excited to see Arkansas punter Jacob Skinner as much as humanly possible during tomorrow's game. Not only will it mean that we're holding their offense, but I can't get enough of that kid's yoga/martial arts/whatever you want to call it lining up. Makes me happy!
Some of the salient points of the bowls picks:
ESPN.com - Arkansas 24, Wisconsin 20
"Interesting matchup of the nation's best sophomore running back (Razorbacks' Darren McFadden) against the nation's best freshman running back (Badgers' P.J. Hill). Hogs are in trouble if they have to throw, but Wisconsin remains an unconvincing 11-1."
SI.com - Wisconsin 24, Arkansas 21 This is a huge write-up and well worth the full read.
"While Arkansas is a known commodity -- a big-game-tested, run-happy power from the nation's toughest conference -- the jury is still out on Wisconsin. The Badgers finished 11-1 but played only one ranked team, Michigan (losing 27-17), and coasted through a non-conference cakewalk of Bowling Green, Western Illinois, San Diego State and Buffalo. Will Wisconsin not be ready for prime time, or will it deliver an inspired performance to prove its doubters wrong? I favor the latter. The Capital One is more of a consolation prize for the Razorbacks, who had the Sugar Bowl in their clutches, whereas for the Badgers, it's their one and only chance to validate their status among the national elite."
Stewart Mandel - Wisconsin 30, Arkansas 28
SI On Campus - Arkansas
Scout.com - multiple people pick, the number next to the pick is their confidence level. The higher the number, the more confidence they have
CBSSportsline.com has a chart, with 3 of 5, including the computer, picking Wisconsin