Updated: November 16, 2011 3:56PM
The first touchdown pass of Edward Wright-Baker’s college career came last season at Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium, in the fourth quarter of Indiana’s record 83-20 loss.
Tre Roberson may get the chance to throw his first collegiate touchdown pass when the Hoosiers (1-5, 0-2 Big Ten) return to Wisconsin today.
Dusty Kiel — who started Indiana’s last two games because of Wright-Baker’s ankle injury — didn’t practice this week because of his own ankle injury. So Wright-Baker is expected to start again for the Hoosiers, with Roberson as his backup.
Indiana coach Kevin Wilson isn’t saying just how much Roberson will play against the fourth-ranked Badgers (5-0, 1-0).
Roberson played all of the fourth quarter last week against Illinois because of Kiel’s injury.
“I thought for a young guy, Tre handled it good,” Wilson said on Tuesday. “I thought he played calm. He didn’t get rattled.”
Still, Wilson noted that his quarterbacks, while good for young players, are a long way from where they need to be.
The same can be said for the Hoosiers as a whole.
“We still don’t play with speed on offense, assertiveness,” Wilson said. “We play in granny gear.
“I think we make the game bigger than it is. I don’t think we go into the arena with the confidence or knowledge where we trust what we do.”
Of course, no game on the schedule poses a bigger challenge than this one — not only because of last year’s rout, but because of the Badgers’ overall record of success.
Wilson, though, looks forward to the challenge.
“I get excited about playing good teams, I think it’s a great opportunity,” Wilson said. “To me as a competitor, the bigger the game, the bigger the opponent, the more excited you ought to be.
“Let’s go against somebody really good and see what we’ve got. To me, we haven’t played our best yet.”
The Hoosiers will certainly need to be at their best to have a chance to knock off the Badgers, the only team in the country in the top 10 in both total offense and total defense, and one of just two teams (Stanford) in the top 10 in scoring offense and scoring defense.
And Wisconsin has the nation’s top-ranked passer in Russell Wilson (216.89 rating) and top scorer in running back Montee Ball (16.8 ppg), who ran for 167 yards and three TDs last year against Indiana.
Key player: Edward Wright-Baker. Indiana’s sophomore quarterback missed the last two games and won’t have an easy transition back to the field. He’s got to play well — and stay upright — for the Hoosiers to have any chance.
Wisconsin will win if: What do you mean, if? The Badgers have won six straight and 12 of 14 from the Hoosiers, scoring at least 24 points each time. The final score may not be as ridiculous as last year’s … but it could be close.
Indiana will win if: The Badgers get lost on the way to Camp Randall. With all due respect to the Hoosiers, the talent margin is too much for Indiana to overcome.
Proffet’s prediction: Wisconsin 62, Indiana 13.
— Correspondent Andy Proffet