Photo by Flickr user Phil Roeder. Used with Creative Commons permission.
It’s been a while since we have talked Badger football, so we are going to go back in time about a month and three weeks in order to catch up on the season from where I last left off. The last I discussed the greatest college football team of all time (we’ll agree to disagree on this), the Badgers were 3-1 and ranked No.19 heading into the start of Big Ten play against then 4-0 Hawkeyes from the University of Iowa.
When it comes to a matchup against Iowa, I always expect the Badgers to win. Always. But the numbers are much closer than one would expect. The Badgers only lead the all-time series by two wins (44-42-2). But Wiscsonsin has also been 53-2 against unranked teams at home, so the odds were in favor, right? Wisconsin also had a nice 10-game winning streak at home and had only lost seven times at home since 2004. To give an even bigger boost in confidence, Wisconsin beat Iowa on the road 26-24 last year, so why would anyone think that it would be impossible for Wisconsin to lose to Iowa?
Well, Iowa’s defense was just too much for the Badgers to overcome, and it sadly resulted in a loss by the end of the contest. Offense was bland on both sides, but Iowa’s defense dominated and took home the win for the team. Wisconsin QB Joel Stave had four turnovers in the game, including two interceptions to Iowa CB Desmond and King and two fumbles. Wisconsin’s rushing game was hurt without RB Corey Clement, who was out with an injury. Top rusher for Wisconsin was RB Taiwan Deal, who only had 59 yards in 15 attempts. QB Joel Stave didn’t look too bad out there considering he threw 21 for 38 and 234 yards. He was not able to connect for a touchdown though, and this hurt the Badgers big time. RB Dare Ogunbowale led the Badgers in receiving with 43yards and 4 receptions. Five other Badgers completed for more than 20 yards a piece. When looking at Iowa’s passing, you would think Stave outplayed him and led the Badgers to complete dominance over Iowa, but sadly that is not the case there. Iowa QB C.J. Beathard completed 9 of 21 attempts for 77 yards, and he had one touchdown and one interception.
When it came down to it, both offenses were nowhere to be found and this game had to be won by defense. Iowa stepped up where Wisconsin could not and was able to come out with a 10-6 win to improve to 5-0 on the season and knock Wisconsin down to 3-2. This game looks at who is really dominant in the Big Ten West, and Iowa was able to prove that they were a team to look out for. It is still true in week 11, as Iowa is undefeated with an 11-0 record.