WHEN THE BADGERS HAVE THE BALL
While Iowa’s yet to face a quality opponent, only Michigan State has fared better against the run among FBS teams over the season’s first three weeks. The Hawkeyes are allowing 42 rushing yards per game, making UW’s path to a more consistent ground game this week a difficult one.
Tight end Zander Neuville’s availability could be crucial. The fifth-year senior left last week’s game against BYU with a right leg injury after the second play from scrimmage and enters Saturday’s game listed as questionable.
Badgers running back Jonathan Taylor ranks second nationally with 515 rushing yards and has already scored five touchdowns.
Iowa also ranks in a tie for third among FBS teams with 12 sacks, 10 of which have come from defensive linemen, while UW’s surrendered six sacks through three games.
Quarterback Alex Hornibrook’s completed 63.2 percent of his passes this season for 595 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
EDGE | IOWA
KEY STAT | STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
In the first three games of the season, five different Iowa linebackers have made their first career starts. The Hawkeyes have started a different linebacker trio in every week.
WHEN THE HAWKEYES HAVE THE BALL
Monona Grove High graduate Toren Young leads Iowa in rushing with 234 yards on 43 carries. Another Wisconsin native, Menomonie High graduate Nate Stanley, has nearly identical stats to Hornibrook after three games. He’s completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 583 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Stanley endured a nightmare performance at Camp Randall Stadium last season, completing just 8-of-24 passes for 41 yards and an interception in UW’s 38-14 victory.
Stanley will face a different Badgers defense this time at Kinnick Stadium that replaced seven starters in the offseason.
BYU rushed for 191 yards on just 28 carries against UW last week, although Iowa’s offense may prove to be less tasking to solve schematically.
The Badgers’ new-look defense played well in its first two games this season against Western Kentucky and New Mexico.
Outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel enters Saturday’s game questionable after leaving in the first quarter against the Cougars last week with a right leg injury.
EDGE | UW
KEY STAT | PASSING DEFENSE
The Badgers have allowed 145 passing yards per game, a number that would have ranked first nationally last season.
Iowa senior kicker Miguel Recinos has converted just 4-of-7 field goals this season, while UW’s Rafael Gaglianone will try to bounce back from missing a game-tying, 42-yard attempt in the final minute against BYU.
Hawkeyes junior punter Colten Rastetter has improved his average from 37.8 to 45.4 so far this year, while the Badgers’ Anthony Lotti also appears to have taken strides in the offseason.
Both teams’ coverage units appear solid, and neither have presented a real threat in the return game yet.
EDGE | UW
Kirk Ferentz takes the edge in experience, compiling a 146-97 record in his 20th season with Iowa.
Paul Chryst’s hot start with the Badgers has earned him a 36-8 record and kept UW in the AP top 10 for 26 straight weeks before last week’s loss to BYU.
EDGE | UW
Kinnick Stadium’s a difficult place for opponents, especially with a primetime kickoff.
The Badgers are desperate to put their season back on track after last week’s upset.
The winner takes a major advantage in the race for the Big Ten West title.
EDGE | IOWA
STATE JOURNAL’S PICK
Expectations should lower for the Badgers following their loss to BYU last week, but UW’s still likely more talented than Iowa.
The Hawkeyes’ home-field advantage won’t make a victory easy, though.
BADGERS 20, HAWKEYES 16
THE NUMBER (UW)
17 | Trophy game victories for the Badgers in their last 18 rivalry contests with Iowa (Heartland Trophy), Nebraska (Freedom Trophy) and Minnesota (Paul Bunyan’s Axe), dating back to 2010.
THE NUMBER (Iowa)
14 | Career touchdown receptions for Iowa tight end Noah Fant, more than any other tight end in program history. Thirteen of those have come from quarterback Nate Stanley over the Hawkeyes’ last 16 games.