Iowa Football: Early look at matchup against Wisconsin

IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 22: Running back Taiwan Deal #28 of the Wisconsin Badgers is brought down in the second half by defensive backs Amani Hooker #27and Julius Brents #20 of the Iowa Hawkeyes, on September 22, 2018 at Kinnick Stadium, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 22: Running back Taiwan Deal #28 of the Wisconsin Badgers is brought down in the second half by defensive backs Amani Hooker #27and Julius Brents #20 of the Iowa Hawkeyes, on September 22, 2018 at Kinnick Stadium, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) /
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Iowa football will host Wisconsin on Saturday, Dec. 12 at Kinnick Stadium. Here’s an early look at the Hawkeyes-Badgers matchup.

The battle for the Heartland Trophy continues this Saturday as the No. 19 Iowa Hawkeyes (5-2) get set to take on the No. 16 Wisconsin Badgers (2-2) for the 93rd time in series history. Kickoff is set for 2:30 pm CT.

Each team is headed in opposite directions, as the Hawkeyes have won five straight games after losing their first two contests this season, while the Badgers have lost two in a row after winning their first two games.

Iowa is coming off a 35-21 victory over Illinois in a game that saw 35 unanswered points from the Hawkeyes. After falling to a 14-0 deficit, Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras produced his best game of the season by throwing for over 200 yards and three touchdowns while completing 64 percent of his passes.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin lost to No. 12 Indiana this past weekend by a final score of 14-6. After scoring 94 points in their first two games, the Badgers have only scored 13 points in their previous two outings.

But offense may not be the key to victory for the Badgers this week. Though Wisconsin has struggled on offense in recent weeks, it’s been the opposite for their defense.

The Badgers rank first in the FBS in total defense (229.2 yards per game), rushing defense (72.2 yards) and passing defense (157.0 yards). They rank second in points allowed per game (12.3).

With the way Iowa’s defense is playing, this could be a low scoring affair. The Hawkeyes rank 15th in total defense (326.4 yards) and 14th in points allowed (17.3).

The Heartland Trophy, which depicts a brass bull, was first awarded in 2004 when Iowa won 30-7. Wisconsin leads the all-time trophy series with a record of 9-5 and has won the previous four matchups. Luckily, the Hawkeyes won’t have to face former running back Jonathan Taylor this season. Iowa opened as a 3-point favorite on Sunday evening, according to BetOnline.

Next. Iowa Football: Petras overcomes adversity, battles back against Illinois. dark