MADISON, Wis. — No. 13 Wisconsin held off the 18th-ranked University of Iowa football team for a 24-22 victory Saturday afternoon at Camp Randall Stadium.
Iowa scored 16 fourth-quarter points and had a two-point version attempt with 3:12 remaining that would have tied the game, but the Hawkeyes came up short. On a designed quarterback draw, Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley got to the 1 before he was met by Badger safety Eric Burrell 1-yard short of tying the game.
The Hawkeyes kicked the ball deep with two timeouts at their disposal, but the Badgers rode running back Jonathan Taylor, picking up three first downs to whittle away the clock and pick up their seventh victory.
Iowa falls to 6-3 overall, 3-3 in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes’ three losses have come by a combined 14 points against three top 20 ranked foes.
Wisconsin’s offense approached 500 yards, as the Badgers rushed for 300 yards with Taylor carrying the load to the tune of 250 yards on 31 attempts — an 8.1 average. Quarterback Jack Coan finished 16-of-25 for 173 yards with two touchdowns.
Iowa finished with 295 yards of total offense with Stanley completing 17-of-28 attempts for 208 yards and two touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Tyrone Tracy, Jr., had five catches for 130 yards and a touchdown, while redshirt freshman Nico Ragaini caught six balls for 32 yards and a touchdown.
The Hawkeyes’ rushing attack finished with 87 yards with junior Toren Young leading the way with nine attempts for 44 yards.
Defensively, Iowa forced two turnovers, but it turned them into six points. Wisconsin had a second-quarter fumble recovery that it capitalized on with a touchdown.
Junior Matt Hankins led the team with eight tackles (five solo) and an interception, while Jack Koerner, Michael Ojemudia, and Dillon Doyle had seven tackles apiece. Junior A.J. Epenesa had a sack and forced fumble.
“It was a tough game, tough loss. The guys battled and fought back into the game. We gave ourselves a chance, but credit to Wisconsin, they played a better game tonight.
“We had to go to a tempo operation because you don’t get that many possessions against these guys and that seemed to help us a little bit. Nate competed the whole night and gave us a chance, but we couldn’t quite come up with the victory.
“It’s going to be a tough 24-48 hours, but the key for us is how we handle this. The first 24 there is nothing to feel good about, we’re going to have to get back up on our feet. It was a physical game, an energy draining game. It’s going to be a challenge to get back on our feet, but we have good leadership and good guys.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Iowa’s defense forced the game’s first turnover on the Badgers’ second possession. On third-and-12 from its own 16, Epenesa stripped-sacked Coan and senior Cedrick Lattimore recovered at the 16.
- The Hawkeyes couldn’t capitalize, despite getting a defensive holding call on the first play that moved the ball inside the 10. After a 2-yard run on first down, two incompletions forced Iowa to settle on Keith Duncan’s 24-yard field goal, making the score 3-0.
- Wisconsin drove 58 yards over 11 plays on its ensuing drive. The Badgers went to the running game, rushing seven times for 48 yards and a 6-yard completion moved Wisconsin to the 8. On fourth-and-2, the Badgers brought the offense back on the field, but a false start changed the course. Wisconsin came away empty when Collin Larsh pushed a field goal wide right.
- The Badgers came away with their first turnover on the third play of the second quarter when the exchange between Stanley and Tyler Linderbaum ended up on the turf. Jack Sandborn recovered, giving Wisconsin possession at its 41.
- Wisconsin followed with a 59-yard scoring drive that was capped by a 17-yard jet sweep touchdown by Danny Davis that gave the Badgers a 7-3 lead.
- The Hawkeyes closed the gap to 7-6 with an eight play, 53-yard scoring drive. Iowa opened the drive with a 7-yard completion to Ihmir Smith-Marsette and a 15-yard personal foul moved the ball to the Iowa 48. A big play came from Tyler Goodson, as his 21-yard rush moved the Hawkeyes to the Badger 29. Duncan’s second field goal — a 40-yard attempt — cut the deficit to 7-6 with 6:31 left in the half.
- The Badgers ended the half with a 6-plus minute drive that covered 76 yards to extend their lead. Wisconsin opened the series with two completions before Taylor had back-to-back carries of 12 and 13 yards to the Iowa 33. With the clock winding down, Coan completed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Davis to make the score 14-6 with 14 seconds left in the half.
- Wisconsin used two big plays to extend its lead late in the third quarter. Coan hit Quintez Cephus for 52 yards on first down to the Iowa 34 and three plays later Coan connected with Cephus again for a 27-yard touchdown pass to push the lead to 21-6.
- The Hawkeyes needed just three minutes and nine plays to cover 75 yards to make it a one possession game. Stanley had consecutive completions of 26 and 17 yards to Tracy, Jr., and Smith-Marsette to the Badger 32. Stanley followed with completions to Ragaini and Tracy, Jr., for gains of 3, 8, and 12 yards to the 2. On third and goal, Stanley found Ragaini for a 3-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 21-13.
- The Hawkeye defense came up with a big play on Wisconsin’s ensuing possession when Hankins intercepted Coan, giving Iowa possession in Badger territory.
- Iowa followed with a 26-yard drive before Duncan’s 39-yard field goal made the score 21-16 with 9:27 to play.
- Wisconsin used a heavy dosage of Taylor to push its lead back to eight points. Taylor broke through for a 36-yard gain on first down to the Hawkeye 39 before carrying it five consecutive times to the 22. The Badgers moved the ball to the 11, but Iowa’s defense held. Larsh hit a 29-yard field goal, making the score 24-16 with 3:29 left.
- The Hawkeyes took over at their own 25 following a 22-yard kickoff return from Smith-Marsette. On the first play of the drive, Stanley connected with Tracy, Jr., on a deep post for a 75-yard touchdown pass. Iowa attempted a two-point conversion — a designed quarterback draw — but Eric Burrell stood him up at the 1. Iowa trailed 24-22 with 3:12 remaining.
- Duncan connected on three field goals today (24, 40, 39). He has 22 made field goals this season, a new single-season school record. The record of 21 was previously shared by Rob Houghtlin (1987), Nate Kaeding (2002), and Kyle Schlicher (2004). Duncan is 22-of-25 on field attempts this season, and 12-of-14 on field goal tries of 40-yards. Duncan has 29 career made field goals, tying Miguel Recinos for eighth all-time.
- Tracy, Jr.’s 75-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was Iowa’s longest play of the season, the longest reception of Tracy’s career, and ties for the longest pass of Stanley’s career (Nick Easley, 2019 Outback Bowl).
- Tracy, Jr., set career highs in receptions (5) and receiving yard (130). It is his first career 100-yard receiving game, and the most receiving yards by a Hawkeye since Jake Duzey had six receptions for 138 yards against Ohio State in 2013. It is the most receiving yards by a Hawkeye wide receiver since Marvin McNutt, Jr., had eight receptions for 130 yards against Michigan State in 2011.
- Stanley threw for 208 yards, raising his career total to 7,509 and passing Ricky Stanzi (7,377) for third all-time in program history. Stanley had 205 yards total offense, raising his career total to 7,377 and passing Stanzi (7,373) for third all-time in program history.
- Stanley threw two touchdowns today (3, 75). He has 64 career touchdown passes in his career, No. 2 all-time in program history (Chuck Long, 74). Stanley has 18 career multi-touchdown games, including four this season. Stanley made his 35th consecutive start, the second longest streak by a Hawkeye QB in program history (Long, 47).
- Two true freshmen made their first career starts. Tight end Sam LaPorta is the first true freshman in the Ferentz era to start at tight end and linebacker Jack Campbell is the fourth true freshman in the Ferentz era to start at linebacker (James Morris, 2010; A.J. Edds, 2006; Fred Barr, 1999). Since 1999, 27 true freshmen have started for the Hawkeyes.
- Hankins’ interception in the fourth quarter was the first of his career, and Iowa’s seventh of the season.
- Ragaini caught a 3-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, the first touchdown of his career.
- The Hawkeyes played their second trophy game of the season. Iowa defended the Cy-Hawk Trophy with an 18-17 win at Iowa State on Sept. 14. The Hawkeyes are 14-4 in their last 18 rivalry trophy games (Iowa State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin), with all four losses coming to Wisconsin.
The Hawkeyes return to action Nov. 16, hosting Minnesota in the battle for Floyd of Rosedale. Game time is 3 p.m. (CT) from Kinnick Stadium.