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Wisconsin 38, Iowa 14: Back to reality

Offense is hard. Playing at Camp Randall is harder.

NCAA Football: Iowa at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

We all knew going into this Wisconsin game — no matter how desperately we/I tried to convince ourselves/myself otherwise — that things were going to be so old school Big Ten-y at Camp Randall Stadium.

It’s just how these things go.

Even after the Amani Hooker news came out, even after Jonathan Taylor rumbled and bumbled and stumbled for 19-yards on the Badgers first play of the game, even after Josh Jackson’s Pick-6 on the very next play, even after Jake Gervase’s Arm Punt interception... this game was bound to be frustrating for fans of both teams:

See what I mean?

After a 7-3 first quarter in which the only positive action from the Hawkeyes came from the defense (Jackson’s 43-yard pick-6 and a goal line stand that forced Wisconsin to kick a field goal), the Badgers and their big boy brand of football eventually wore out the Hawkeyes with a 5 play, 51 yard drive.

10-7, Badgers.

I’m not sure where “fun” Brian Ferentz went, or how Iowa prepared for Wisconsin’s defensive packages on and around the line of scrimmage, but after two opening three-and-outs, Iowa just looks lost. Not much changed on the ensuing drive: a run to nowhere, a knocked down pass, false start and a sack.


Of course, because this is Iowa at Wisconsin, on the very next play after the Iowa punt, Josh Jackson forces Taylor to fumble and Manny Ragumba jumps over it. Iowa football.

Care to guess how the Hawkeyes makes the Badgers pay for the third turnover of the game?

THREE-AND-OUT, BABY! This is Road Iowa, the kings of underperforming. Purveyors of juuust getting back to the line of scrimmage. Hell, punting is even hard again.

With five drives in the books, Iowa has 27-total yards. GO. HAWKS.

Thankfully, Josey and Josh’s defense is still pretty good. After Iowa swarms the line of scrimmage, they eventually force Wisconsin to punt. Great News!

Except that Matt VandeBerg decided to let the ball bounce instead of just catching it putting Iowa at the 8-yard line. I don’t know what is being taught during practice but the consistency of the crappy punt fielding, I’m beginning to think that the staff is just asking these guys to just not make a mistake; even if that means just not catching the ball. It’s honestly mind bottling (You know when things are so crazy, you get your thoughts trapped, like in a bottle?).

On the first play of the drive, BF calls a passing play (which has netted -10 yards on the day thus far) that results in a sack that was inches away from being a safety. Iowa then tries to get a little wiggle room before giving the ball to Wadley who is nearly dropped in the end zone again, for an almost safety (both plays were reviewed).

4th and 17 on the 1 is the perfect place for an Iowa punter...

With great field position after the return, Hornibrook finds Kendrick Pryor who burns and then disrespects Rugamba for a touchdown:

17-7 Iowa with 1:19 left in the half. Can’t wait to see what BF puts together here (it was a run for zero yards, a pass completion for zero yards and another run for zero yards to burn out the remainder of the clock).


Hats off to Wisconsin. After going down 7-0 early, the offense bodied up and pushed Iowa’s defensive linemen around while their defense pinned their ears back and went at Iowa’s offensive line with equal force and the Hawkeyes couldn’t handle the pressure.

I’m not sure what type of adjustments BF can make in the short amount of time he has after he gets down from the booth and into the locker room, but one thing is very clear, this Iowa team, on the road, in 30 degree weather is not equipped to handle the amount of pressure that the Badgers are bringing.

Iowa at Wisconsin... you’re gonna have a bad time.

Thankfully, Iowa starts the half with the ball. Hopefully someone throws away the second-half-Northwestern-playbook away before BF gets back to the booth.

ANNNNND it’s third-and-six just like that. Wisconsin, once again, pins their ears back and sack Stanley for a 10-yard loss. Three and out yet again.

You know what? I’m just going to put my computer down and come back the next time Iowa does something good (or Wisconsin scores). You guys don’t want to read a depressing play by play and I surely don’t want to write it.

Sorry, I lied... one last thing before I go. Iowa isn’t a running team this year. It’s just not there. I don’t really care if you don’t agree with me, because I’ve seen this coaching staff try to make them one all season long and every time Iowa has tried to establish the run game, the offense has sputtered along. It’s been over and over and over again. Nothing is going to change until they embrace their matchup nightmares at tight end in...



Iowa has five passing yards. Josh Jackson has 95-yards and 12-points scored. It’s a sad day when Hornibrook is the best quarterback for Iowa so far on the day (two picks and an almost botched snap).

Speaking of botched snap, after Stanley and Fant miss a long connection (Fant should’ve caught that ball), the Hawkeyes eventually are faced with yet another 3rd-and-10 (of course) and James Daniels snaps the ball when Stanley wasn’t ready in the gun. Wisconsin eventually scoops and scores on one of the weirdest sequences you’ll ever see:

24-14, Wisconsin.

Things that have come back for this game after completely disappearing against Ohio State: Drops (so many drops), bad offensive line play (Alaric Jackson and Daniels have had a rough day), the “bad” running game (less than 10-rushing yards half way through the third), the inability to convert on third down (0-10), three-and-outs, the defense doing everything possible to win this game (I guess that was there last week too) and false hope!

On the next offensive drive, Iowa moves the chains twice. Nate Stanley finally looks like he’s finding his rhythm and is instantly intercepted by quite the athletic play by T.J. Edwards at the 41-yard line.

This game is trash and it’s just now the start of the 4th quarter.

From there? Some more things happened; none of which went in Iowa’s favor (Stanley fumble, Ojemudia PI). Wisconsin fumbled some more, recovered some more and scored some more. And everything sucks again.

I’m going to Epcot to drink and see the fireworks I thought I was going to see in this game. I hope you all stay warm IRL and in the comment section.