The Ottumwa Courier

Iowa Sports

October 18, 2008

Slumping Badgers to face Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — These are trying times for Wisconsin.

The Badgers went from the top 10 to the Big Ten cellar in three short weeks — a stretch capped by a humiliating home loss to No. 3 Penn State — and fans that were ready to pack their sunscreen for another January bowl trip are now wondering what in the heck is going on.

Sound familiar, Iowa?

The rival Hawkeyes can sympathize with Wisconsin’s plight, having seen their hopes of a long run among the Big Ten’s elite squandered by years of unmet expectations. That’s of little help to the Badgers (3-3, 0-3), who enter Saturday’s game at rival Iowa (4-3, 1-2 Big Ten) needing to win in the worst way possible.

Wisconsin became the first team in Big Ten history to open conference play by facing Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State — and it didn’t go well. But the Badgers say they’re focused on putting their woeful conference start behind them and salvaging what’s left of their season.

“You can go two ways. You can look back and dwell on all that stuff, or you could go forward. Really, we don’t have a choice. We have to move forward. There’s still a lot of season left,” Wisconsin offensive lineman John Moffitt said.

Wisconsin’s response to its losing streak might include a new starting quarterback. Senior starter Allan Evridge’s underwhelming season hit rock bottom against the Nittany Lions, as he completed just 2-of-10 passes before being replaced by junior Dustin Sherer.

Sherer threw 115 yards in a lost cause. Bielema left the door open for a switch by pairing both on the top line of this week’s depth chart.

Iowa knows a thing or two about quarterback shuffles as well, having spent four games switching back and forth between Jake Christensen and Ricky Stanzi. The coaching staff handed the keys to the offense to Stanzi for the start of the Big Ten season, and the Hawkeyes finally broke through with a 45-9 win at Indiana last week that snapped a three-game losing streak.

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