The most frequently used word at Tuesday’s media availability: Physical.

Perhaps as it should, Iowa and Wisconsin will be playing in 30 degree weather to claim a 72-pound brass bull. Two foes with a Midwestern ethos, good defense and a history.

Just ask Kirk Ferentz:

“Been probably about 30-plus of these now, and it’s been pretty much that way for most of the time other than maybe the late ’80s,” Iowa’s head coach recalled. “Wisconsin is a program that we’ve had a lot of respect and admiration for. When I got back here in ’99 they were at the top of the league and then clinched that Rose Bowl our first year when they beat us in their last game of the season.”

“They’ve been good, really as far back as you can think. A lot of commonalities team to team. They’re strong, very physical, very fundamentally sound, and typically play really smart football on top of it. Very opportunistic.”

Ferentz offered praise to the Badgers offensive line, which he said is “one of the better ones that we’re going to face, if not the best one. It’s going to be a challenge for our guys out there.”

Defensive tackle Noah Shannon thinks the battle will be won in the trenches, going up against that stout unit.

“Every year it’s big dudes and I feel like every year the battle is always won up front,” Shannon said. “Whoever dominates the line of scrimmage I feel like is going to come out victorious.”

On the other side of the football, Mason Richman said he “expects a dogfight,” and went out of his way to point out Wisconsin’s midseason coaching change. The Badgers fired Paul Chryst after the team’s 34-10 loss to Illinois, and defensive coordinator Jim Leonard took over as interim head coach.

“They run the same things they used to run. They run the same things they ran last week, and they’re going to base it off of out-physicaling and out-toughing you,” Richman said. “They’re a really physical team. They do a lot of things well. They’ve been a great team for a number of years with great coaches.”

Spencer Petras knows that, too, especially after Iowa’s venture to Madison last year. The offense scored just seven points, and the 9th ranked Hawkeyes fell 27-7. This year’s team is in the middle of the pack defensively, but Petras sees the same pack of Badgers.

“It’s Wisconsin’s defense,” Petras chuckled. “Some new faces, but like always, they’re pretty solid up front. The front seven’s physical, they’re very well coached.”

One key to winning the game: Winning the turnover battle, according to Ferentz.

“They’ve done a good job of getting takeaways against us and I would attribute part of that to their style, it’s a little bit unique in terms of what they do defensively,” Ferentz said. “They’re always aggressive, physical and opportunistic, so it’s certainly going to be a factor in this game.”

Coach has a point. Wisconsin’s capitalized on nine touchdowns off Iowa turnovers in the previous five matchups. Although, this is on-brand for Ferentz.

Also, spoiler alert, our Hawkologist’s not-so-irrelevant prediction has this game scoreless through three quarters. Whether that ends up being the case, or this turns into a shootout for the Heartland, from everything we’ve heard this will indeed probably be a physical game.

For more Hawkeyes coverage, follow @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter and Facebook.