The Iowa football team defeated the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday in a blowout win. Takeaways and observations from the Hawkeyes’ victory.
It was an ugly first half between the No. 16 Iowa Hawkeyes (6-2) and Wisconsin Badgers (2-3) on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium, which saw a score of 6-0 in favor of Iowa with less than 200 total yards between both teams at halftime.
It was a much more exciting second half for both offenses, but eventually the Hawkeyes pulled away for a convincing win by a final score of 28-7.
Iowa has now won six straight games after beginning the season 0-2. The Hawkeyes also snapped a four-game losing streak to the Badgers.
Here are the biggest takeaways and observations from Iowa football’s statement win over Wisconsin:
- Whew, this was a much closer game than the score indicated. The Hawkeyes pulled away late in the fourth quarter, but the game could have easily been 21-14 had Wisconsin capitalized on a fumbled snap by punter Tory Taylor that set them up 1st and goal with 7:44 remaining. Four plays later, Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell intercepted Graham Mertz for a touchback.
- We knew this would be a defensive battle, and the first half indicated as such. In the end, it was the Iowa defense that got the last laugh. The Hawkeyes forced two turnovers which resulted in 10 points. Wisconsin finished with just 225 total yards.
- Another up and down game from Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras. On one play, he looks outstanding. The next, he looks like he doesn’t belong on the field. If his first read isn’t open, he panics. He still had three outstanding throws, all three of which went to receiver Ihmir-Smith-Marsette for gains of 38, 19 and 53 yards. Two of those were touchdowns.
- Petras finished 14-of-25 passing for 211 yards and two touchdowns. The final stat line looks much better than the on-field production.
- Smith-Marsette reminded everyone of his big play ability. On Senior Day, he racked up seven receptions for 140 yards and two scores and probably could have had more had he not injured himself on a touchdown celebration. Smith-Marsette was spotted in a walking boot later in the game.
- Speaking of big plays, running back Tyler Goodson capped off Iowa’s win with an 80-yard score with 4:09 remaining that put him over 100 rushing yards. It was Goodson’s fourth game of 100 yards this season.
- Goodson’s 80-yard run heavily skewed Iowa’s final rushing averages. The Hawkeyes finished with an average of 4.0 yards per carry, but if you take away Goodson’s long run, it comes out to be 1.5 yards per carry. Neither team was effective running the ball. Wisconsin averaged 1.7 yards per carry.
- Iowa special teams had their worst outing of the season. A muffed punt by Charlie Jones cost the Hawkeyes seven points. Later, a fumbled snap by Taylor nearly cost Iowa another seven if not for a Campbell interception in the end zone. Taylor had a few poor punts early on, but finished with an average of 42.1 yards.
- Iowa’s defensive line is the deepest positional group on the team. Chauncey Golston grabbed a critical sack late in the third quarter that forced a Wisconsin punt. The game was still in the balance at that point.
Up next: The Hawkeyes will play either next Friday or Saturday in the Big Ten’s Champions Week. An announcement will be made tomorrow on the opponent. It’s looking likely that No. 12 Indiana could be the Hawkeyes’ final regular season opponent.