Badgers Host Hoosiers in Big Ten Semi

D1A Rugby: Badgers Host Hoosiers in Big Ten Semi

COTTAGE GROVE, Wis. – The Badgers have been sharpening up for the Indiana Hoosiers who Wisconsin will host on Saturday in the Big Ten Universities (BTU) conference semifinals.

Wisconsin was the only team in the Big Ten (East or West) to go undefeated in the regular season for 15s and, not for nothing, won the Big Ten Sevens championship in November. So far in 2013 the Badgers have played Lindenwood (10-54 loss) and went undefeated on a tour to Ireland.

Indiana hasn’t been twiddling their thumbs though after the BTU regular season ended in October. They’ve traveled to #2 Life (24-31 loss) and won first place at the St. Patrick’s Day Tournament in Savannah, Ga. The Badgers still loom as a huge threat to IU though.

“We are going to have to match [Wisconsin’s] strengths of organization and technical discipline at the breakdown. I’m looking for our guys to defend the gainline really well and to search for turnovers,” said Marcus Hurley, Indiana’s head coach.

He’s looking for a big game from his loose forwards, particularly freshman openside Tyler Graham whose athleticism has led to him being recruited to play summer sevens with a domestic academy.

With everything to play for, you can expect both teams to come out and try to dictate pace early on. Both teams have athletes all over the park and it might end up being who can hold on the longest in a high-paced and physical semifinal.