IOWA CITY – Coming off a shocking upset at the hands of the BYU Cougars, the Wisconsin Badgers had to bounce back and focus on a pivotal early season rivalry game against the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The No. 18 Badgers (1-0 Big Ten, 3-1 overall) defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes (0-1, 3-1) 28-17, but it was less a game, more an old Ali-Frazier boxing match with both teams trading blows consistently throughout the night.
On the first drive out for the Badgers, they sent out redshirt freshman Logan Bruss who normally plays right tackle as a blocking tight end, showcasing that the Badgers game plan for the night was going to be playing smash mouth football. The drive stalled out and the Badgers were forced to punt to the Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes mounted their offensive, punching and dodging the Badgers defensive scheme on their first drive and driving the Badgers into the ropes early on.
As the Badgers covered up, when the ball got into the red-zone, they came off the ropes swinging and responded with a crucial stop on a 4th and one when they stuffed the Nate Stanley Iowa quarterback on a attempted quarterback sneak.
The Badgers offense responded to the valiant effort put forward by the defense, by driving 95 yards on 11 plays capping off the drive with a play-action pass to redshirt-freshman tight end Jake Ferguson giving him his first career touchdown reception of his young career.
Both defenses would hold their ground forcing punts on the next two drives, coming off a punt the Hawkeye’s offense only needed four plays to go 77 yards to finally get on the scorecard for the night, tying the game 7-7.
The game would enter halftime tied 7-7 and with the Hawkeyes winning the coin-toss in the beginning of the game and differing, they received the second half kickoff. They came out and put together a good combination of plays, but where unable to execute later on in the drive settling for a field goal, taking the lead 10-7.
On the ensuing Badger drive the offense stalled out and where forced to punt. On the ensuing punt saw the Badgers got a break with Shaun Beyer of Iowa attempting to block a Wisconsin player, the ball hit of his foot and was recovered by freshman cornerback Travian Blaylock. The Badgers would capitalize on this opening, needing only three plays until Alex Hornibrook found Danny Davis on a curl route for a touchdown, giving the Badgers a 14-10 lead.
It would not take long for Iowa to respond only needing eight plays to go 75-yards on their next drive to retake the lead on 1-yard Nate Stanley pass to Noah Fant, Iowa would take a 17-14 lead.
The ensuing possessions were reminiscent of the aforementioned fights between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali with both sides trading shots on the defensive side of the ball. As when all hope seemed like Iowa would limp away with a victory over the Badgers, Alex Hornibrook drilled a throw into junior wide receiver A.J Taylor.
On the ensuing Hawkeye drive, the Hawkeye’s needed to drive 67-yards in 53 seconds to steal the game away from the Badgers. As Nate Stanley drop backed on a pivotal 3rd and 5, he rifled a throw into sophomore wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette who was unable to control the pass hitting off his hands and tipped up in the air for senior linebacker T.J Edwards to settle underneath it and intercept it.
As the Badgers were looking to run out the clock they pulled out a jet-sweep by handing the ball off to senior fullback Alec Ingold to securely win the game 28-17.
Check back later at http://www.dailycardinal.com/section/sports for a complete recap of Wisconsin’s win over Iowa.